Joan Jurich, 62
Longtime NCFR member Joan Jurich passed away on May 22, 2016, at age 62, after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
The complete notice — including information about the celebration of life and making donations in Dr. Jurich's honor — is available on the Athens Messenger website.
NCFR member Karen Myers-Bowman has written the following in memory of Dr. Jurich:
Dr. Joan Jurich was an NCFR member for nearly 40 years. She served as secretary of the NCFR Board of Directors from 1993–1995, and had recently become chair of the Research and Theory Section. She was as a member of the Conference Quality Control Committee and the Jessie Bernard, Reuben Hill, and Ernest G. Osborne award committees; chair of the Human Sexuality Focus Group; and president of the Ohio Council on Family Relations.
Joan began her professional career at Planned Parenthood as a counselor and trainer from 1979 to 1984. Her passion for women's health continued as she completed graduate school. She earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University and was subsequently hired as a professor in that department, where she served from 1986 to 2001. From 2003 to 2008 she was the instructional development specialist and coordinator of TA Programs at the Center for Instructional Excellence at Purdue. In 2008, Joan joined the faculty of the Department of Social and Public Health at Ohio University, earning tenure for a second time. Her research interests centered on adolescent and young adult sexuality, parent–child relationships (including parent–child communication about sexuality), and women's reproductive health. She also made significant contributions to the field of Family Science in the areas of theory and feminist teaching techniques.
Joan was blessed with both intelligence and a good heart, and she shared these gifts freely with her students and colleagues. As an educator, she worked tirelessly to learn students' strengths and use that knowledge to move them to ever-higher levels of learning and skill. Joan was highly respected and loved by her students. We appreciated and valued her vast knowledge and supportive teaching style that included kindness and respect for all. Her exceptional teaching skills were frequently recognized—she was the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Most recently, the Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions' (CHSP) Student Advisory Council selected her to receive the Outstanding Teaching Award for the 2015–2016 year. Additionally, Joan received the Class of 1950 Faculty Excellence Award from Ohio University in 2013, and the CHSP's Innovative Teaching Award in 2011. Joan was also the 1991 recipient of the Ernest G. Osborne Award, given every other year to an NCFR member who has excelled in teaching Family Science.
On a more personal note, Joan began as my mentor and major professor in graduate school at Purdue in 1988, but she grew to be one of my closest friends and a true soul mate. She was a wonderful friend, mother, wife, sister, and daughter. She had a genuine and boundless interest in others, and the ability to hear, support, and—when helpful—challenge us to grow. I know I represent many others when I say that I will miss Joan's support, honesty, love, intelligence, and commitment. I am a much better person because she has been in my life. Her influence will live on in us—her students, colleagues, children, family members, and friends.