In Memoriam

GW remembers Barry Berman.

May 8, 2010

George Washington statue in University Yard

In Memoriam: Barry Berman

By William Parke, chair of GW’s Department of Physics

GW professor Barry Berman, after a year-long and heroic struggle, died on Monday night, July 19, 2010.

Dr. Berman joined GW’s Physics Department in fall 1985. At the time, he was already a highly respected and accomplished physicist, having made ground-breaking studies of the atomic nuclei. At his first presentation at GW on his research, we recognized a brilliant mind and a first-rate teacher. We later learned he was also a forceful champion for the whole science endeavor.

He was elected chairman of the Physics Department in 1993, serving six years, and again served in 2007 and from 2009. He was elected Columbian Professor of the Natural and Mathematical Sciences in 1998.

Dr. Berman received a B.A. from Harvard in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of Illinois, in the field of experimental nuclear physics. From 1963 to 1985, he worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, held numerous visiting positions and was often a guest scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1972. He was author or co-author of 244 refereed publications in physics, 430 papers in total.

Given his intellectual capacities and love of ideas in physics, it comes as no surprise to see the range of topics to which he contributed (and received funding support): medium- and highenergy nuclear physics, including photonuclear reactions, and electron, proton, and pion scattering, especially on few-body nuclei; neutron-induced reactions, nuclear fission, nuclear resonance fluorescence, relativistic heavy-ion reactions and nuclear astrophysics; atomic and solid-state collision and coherent-radiation phenomena, including channeling radiation, transition radiation and coherent bremsstrahlung; applications of nuclear, atomic and radiation physics to problems in lunar geology, radiation shielding, medical diagnostics; and cancer radiotherapy, radiobiology, materials characterization, substance identification, nuclear nonproliferation and radiological and nuclear threat reduction.

He was an accomplished musician, who could recite long poems and lyrics, and taught a popular course on the physics of music.

He was in his office on the Friday before his death, even with evident weakness and struggle, meeting his nuclear physics group, and working to the end.

He devoted himself to physics and to leading the Physics Department toward the highest achievements possible. With his perception, experience, and judgment, he knew what was needed to tease secrets out of nature, and to inspire others to do so.

In his valiant causes, his impatience in the face of barriers was tempered with evident and sincere humanity. That is why his friends found him so endearing.

In Memoriam: Bernard Bouscarel

Dr. Bouscarel, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of medicine, died May 30. Dr. Bouscarel was director of GW’s Digestive Diseases Center and of GW’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences’ Program in Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Bouscarel received a doctor of science and a doctorate from the University of Toulouse, France. Dr. Bouscarel is survived by his wife Susan Ceryak, associate research professor of pharmacology and physiology.

A memorial gathering will be held on June 2 from 6-7 p.m. and a memorial mass June 3 at 11 a.m., both in of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, at 2700 S. 19th St., Arlington, Va.

In Memoriam: Jamie Grodsky

Jamie Grodsky, associate professor of environmental law, died on May 22. Professor Grodsky joined the GW Law faculty in 2006 and taught in the areas of environmental, natural resources and science and technology law.

Professor Grodsky was widely published on biological and technical developments in environmental law and her last two articles were chosen as one of the top five law review articles in the United States.

Professor Grodsky had a versatile career, which included work with the San Francisco Oceanic Society, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Marine Policy and the United States Congress Office of Technology and Assessment, where she wrote on information technology and economic competition.

Professor Grodsky also held legal positions in the federal government in Washington, D.C. She served as a counsel to the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995, counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate from 1995 to 1997, and was the senior advisor to the General Counsel of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 1999 to 2001.

Professor Grodsky received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford University.

The Law School will hold a memorial service in the fall semester.

In Memoriam: Taylor Hubbard

Mr. Hubbard, a sophomore from Lexington Park, Md., died on May 15. He was an engineering student at GW.

“Taylor was a promising student and a beloved member of the George Washington community,”  said President Steven Knapp. “I speak for the entire University when I express our sympathy to Taylor’s family.” 

Members of the George Washington community who are affected by this tragedy may contact the University Counseling Center at (202) 994-5300.

In Memoriam: Charles F. Elliott

A Russian studies scholar, Dr. Elliott taught at GW for almost 36 years.

Charles F. Elliott, professor of political science and international affairs, died on Jan 1. Dr. Elliott retired from GW in 1999 after more than 35 years of teaching at the university. A Russian studies scholar, Dr. Elliott was an expert in Soviet Union and post-Soviet politics and foreign and military policies. Dr. Elliott also organized and directed more than 14 GW group tours to the former Soviet Union and was an active member of both the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and the International Studies Association.

Dr. Elliott founded the GW men’s squash team in 1975 and served as their coach until 2000. He was inducted into the national College Squash Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

Dr. Elliott received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard University in 1953, a master’s degree in Russian studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1958 and a doctorate degree from Harvard University in Russian area studies in 1963. Dr. Elliott also studied Russian at the Army School of Languages in Monterey, Calif., and worked in military intelligence with the U.S. Army in Germany.

Dr. Elliott is survived by his wife, three children, six grandchildren and three brothers.

In Memoriam: Dorothy I. Height

George Washington University mourns the passing of civil rights leader Dorothy I. Height, who died on April 20.

Ms. Height, called “the godmother of the civil rights movement” in a White House statement, was president for 40 years of the National Council of Negro Women. A Richmond, Va., native, Ms. Height’s activism dates back to the 1930s. She was an instrumental figure in movements for school desegregation, voting rights and women’s rights. In 1994, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by Bill Clinton.

Speaking at GW’s Charles E. Smith Center on April 20, Vice President Joe Biden paused to remember Ms. Height during his remarks about Title IX.

Ms. Height was honored in an exhibit from the Gelman Library Special Collections Department in 2000. The exhibit, titled “Africana Women at the Dawn of the New Millennium,” was an official White House Millennium Project and included photographs, documents and artifacts. In addition, the late Patricia Roberts Harris, J.D. ’60, a former U.S. Cabinet member who joined the faculty of GW Law School in 1983, was executive director of Delta Sigma Theta when Ms. Height was president of the sorority.