In Memoriam: We Celebrate Your Legacy
Dr. June Downing
June Downing, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Special Education, passed away on July 20, 2011, at the age of 61. June was Professor in Special Education at California State University, Northridge from 1995 to 2007, and Associate Professor in Special Education at the University of Arizona from 1987-1995. During her career, she created an extraordinary legacy in teacher preparation and inclusive education through her passionate advocacy, individualized mentorship, and tireless commitment for students with significant and multiple disabilities and their families. June published nine books, 13 monographs and curricula, 14 book chapters, more than 38 articles, and co-directed several federal grants. She presented numerous keynote addresses and workshops on teaching students with multiple disabilities and deaf-blindness throughout the United States and internationally, including Canada, Australia, Russia, and Abu Dhabi. June was on the Executive Board of TASH, an advocacy organization for those with disabilities and was founding member of CHIME Institute, an inclusive school. June’s tireless advocacy and scholarship contributed significantly to improving the education of students with disabilities and reforms in special education. It was a joy and privilege to be her colleague.
Dr. Larry R. Fleischer
Dr. Lawrence Fleischer joined the faculty of the Department of Special Education (Deaf Education Program) at CSUN in 1972. He was a pioneering figure in the establishment of the Deaf Studies B.A. degree program in 1983, and the establishment of the Deaf Studies Department in 1994. During Dr. Fleischer’s 38-year tenure at CSUN, he was a dedicated instructor and a visionary. He compiled an impressive record of scholarship on the campus and in the field of Deaf Education. He was also instrumental in promoting and developing Deaf Studies as an academic discipline across the country and remained a steadfast advocate for the Deaf community, serving on numerous professional organizations and boards. Dr. Fleischer is remembered by faculty and students as an outstanding professor, colleague, mentor and advisor, an advocate in promoting ASL in Deaf Education, and an unparalleled leader in the Deaf community.
Dr. Debbie Leidner
Debbie Leidner, an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, passed away in August of this year. Debbie's entire career was devoted to the students of the Los Angeles area, first as a teacher and then as a school administrator and eventually as superintendent of LAUSD's District A for four years. Following her departure from the district, Debbie spent the last six years of her career as a professor at CSUN. Deb was revered by the many faculty and students whose lives she touched. She was instrumental in her department receiving a federal grant to fund Project CHANGE, an effort to identify and train future administrators. She contributed to the university through her assistance in the opening of the on-campus High School, her advising, and especially her teaching.