In Memoriam: Melissa Fenwick

The department is sad to announce the passing of Melissa Fenwick in December 2012, and sends its condolences to the Fenwick family, especially her husband, Michael Damici, and her many friends.

Melissa holds a special place in the history of the department. She was the first doctoral student recruited and admitted to the new Ph.D. program in 1997. She was an enthusiastic individual, who brought positive energy to her studies and to the program, and was an asset to the new Ph.D. program as a result. Though her progress in the Ph.D. program was impeded by the sudden death of her mother and her own illness, Melissa never gave up on her dream of earning a Ph.D. This commitment to education was one of Melissa's passions, and she significantly influenced the students she taught at Western Connecticut in her role as an Assistant Professor, as detailed by students comments left on her memorial page. Her students commented that her door was always open, that she was always available to them, and that if you really wanted to learn, Dr. Fenwick's classes were the ones you wanted to take. She had a strong influence on her colleagues as well, who created an endowed scholarship in her honor.

In honor of Melissa, let us never forget our love of learning and passing along what we know to our students, and that teaching and mentoring are important aspects of our profession to be valued.