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Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

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Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Obituary
NOLEN-HOEKSEMA, SUSAN Yale psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, age 53, of Bethany, passed away on Jan. 2, 2013 in Yale-New Haven Hospital. Chair of Yale's Department of Psychology, she was a renowned scholar, teacher, mentor, and academic leader. Prof. Nolen-Hoeksema was born in Springfield, Illinois, on May 22, 1959, to John and Catherine (nee Sims) Nolen. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Yale (1982) and her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (1986). She was a faculty member at Stanford University (1986-1995) and the University of Michigan (1995-2004) before returning to Yale in 2004. She is survived by her husband, Richard, and son, Michael; by her father, John Nolen of Stonington, Illinois; and by her brothers, Jeff Nolen of Stonington, Illinois, and Steve Nolen of Dundee, Illinois. Prof. Nolen-Hoeksema shaped the field's perspective on depression in women and girls. Her innovative work on gender differences in depression included a 1987 theoretical evaluation of why women are more likely to develop depression than men. Countless empirical studies and many other theoretical contributions followed as she developed her theory of rumination and depression. In addition to her scholarly and scientific accomplishments, she was a good friend to many in and outside the field. She was vibrant and approached her life and work with enthusiasm and joy. She was always generous, warm, open, and wise, helping students and colleagues to advance their careers. A longstanding member of United Church on the Green, Prof. Nolen-Hoeksema worked with Abraham's Tent, a project between New Haven congregations and Columbus House that houses homeless men in congregations during the coldest winter months. She met and married her husband of 32 years, Richard, at Yale. She valued balancing her professional life with family life, she relished her time in the car driving to soccer practices and games and on the sidelines cheering on her son, Michael, as he played soccer with his club, middle- and high-school, and college teams; she also loved to cook and spend time with family and friends over gourmet meals. A memorial service for Prof. Nolen-Hoeksema will be held Friday, Jan. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the United Church on the Green, 323 Temple St., New Haven. Contributions in her memory may be made to Columbus House Inc., 586 Ella T Grasso Blvd., New Haven, CT 06519 to support work such as the Abraham's Tent program, or to the Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT 06520 to support training opportunities for students. Arrangements are in care of BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden. For futher information or to send a condolence to her family please see:


Published in The New Haven Register on Jan. 8, 2013
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