"If one advances confidently in the direction her dreams, and endeavors to live the life which she has imagined,, she will meet with extraordinary success" (Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854). My beloved wife exceeded the predictions of Thoreau written more than 150 years ago. She has brought that philosophy to more than 160 successful doctoral candidates. As one student wrote, " Your absolute genious for drawing (and sometimes dragging) out the best in each of us is a gift that will kep on giving, and we will do our best to continue to do the same".
If I had to find one word to describe all that Rita was and what she accomplished it would be LOVE in large capital letters. She loved her children, her friends, her students, her audiences, her research, her publications, her belief in the learning style process, and especially those who listened to her advice, because if they did, she "would get them through"
Her wealth of caring and passion also extended to her husband, soulmate, best friend, partner, co-author, companion, lover, and debater. (Yes, that's all the same person). She couldn't believe we could write two different books for two different publishers. "Analytics do not do that." After spirited debate we did it! For me there will never be another like her--caring, supportive, strong, energetic, persuasive, encouraging, and connected. Our life together for more than four decades could not have been happier
She emailed students and co-authors at 3 or 4 A.M. when she sometimes awakened because "something had to get done". She instituted Mock Orals at our home and at St. John's University as the ideal "pregame" training for the final Oral Pesentation to a Doctoral Committee. Former professors, successful graduates, and those in process came to our home (St. John"s North) to challenge candidates just before their final interviews. Candidates always indicated that our Mock Orals were more difficult. If her students missed deadlines, "Mama" , as she was often called, would receive stern but supportive phone calls at all hours. Among her many,many accomplishments; she aided in establishing more than 30 Learning Styles Centers around the world; she was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame; she was awarded recognition for co-writing a seven article series noted as the best Educational Series published that year; she had more than 200 articles, 30 books, and 12 assessment instruments published. Dearest Rita, We are all better than we might have been because of your loving and caring presence in our lives. Your love has been the most precious treasure of my life. Your Ken always
Kenneth J. Dunn