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Helen Stavridou ("Lena") Astin

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Helen Stavridou ("Lena") Astin Obituary
February 6, 1932 - October 27, 2015 Helen "Lena" S. Astin, Distinguished Professor Emerita at UCLA, passed away on October 27 at her home in Brentwood. Lena was recognized and honored professionally for her pioneering research and activism related to the higher education of women, and those who knew her were most touched by her loving heart, warmth, mentorship, and infectious optimism. Helen (Stavridou) Astin was born on February 6, 1932 in Serres, Greece, the second child of Pericles and Sotiria Stavrides. Her 2014 memoir, "The Road From Serres: A Feminist Odyssey," describes her experiences growing up in Nazi-occupied Greece, her journey across the sea as a 19-year old to pursue higher education in America, her marriage and family, and her career as a scholar and activist. Lena met her husband, Alexander "Sandy" Astin, in 1954 when they were both psychology doctoral students at the University of Maryland. They married in 1956. In 1973, the Astins accepted professorships at UCLA where they remained until their retirement in 2002. Lena helped found the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and served as its Interim Director. The author of 14 books, Lena served as a trustee of both Hampshire College in Massachusetts and Mt. St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. She mentored hundreds of doctoral students, influencing many young lives through both her keen intellectual counsel and vibrant, open-hearted spirit. Lena is survived by her husband, Sandy, sons John and Paul, daughter-in-law Jenny Griffiths, nephew Alex Stavrides, and three granddaughters Erin, Amal�a, and Ila Astin. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in Lena's memory be made to UCLA's Astin Civic Engagement Scholars Program.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 2 to Nov. 3, 2015
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