Rita Dunn

  • "Always in our hearts A part of ever day For encouraging to..."
    - Marjorie Schiering
  • "It has been 34 years since I worked with you on my..."
    - Dr. Harold MacMurren
  • "I have had you on my mind these past few weeks. Your words..."
    - Dr. Dena Butterfield-Phipps(Lister)
  • "Dr. Rita Dunn will live always in my heart and professional..."
    - Sandra Bethel
  • "Rita was a truly generous colleague, ever encouaging as I..."
    - Grace Ibanez Friedman

Dr. Rita Dunn, professor at St. John's University for nearly 40 years, died August 1 at her home in Pound Ridge after a short but valiant struggle with breast cancer. Dr. Rita Dunn, an authority on learning styles, a professor in the Division of Administrative and Instructional Leadership and the director of the Center for the Study of Learning and Teaching Styles became an inspiring, internationally renowned professor of higher education; prolific author of 32 textbooks and more than 450 manuscripts and research papers; the recipient of 31 professional research awards, and expert on using individual learning styles to improve teaching. During her career at St. Johns, Dr. Dunn mentored more than 160 doctoral students, many of whom now occupy positions of leadership throughout the world.

In 1995, Dr Dunn received St. John's University's highly competitive first Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. She and her doctoral students have been involved in 37 years of prize-winning research. Researchers at more than 130 institutions of higher education have participated in international research on the Dunn and Dunn Model and have published more than 830 studies.

Everyone who ever encountered Rita recognized that she possessed unusual talent and extraordinary virtue. She demonstrated a deep and charming humanity to everyone she met from the humblest student to the most exalted academic dignitary. She left everyone with the unforgettable imprint of her endearing personality.

Rita was a woman who possessed unusual intellectual abilities. Along with her manifold personal qualities she had a powerful analytical intelligence. Her devotion to education was unparalleled.

In these final weeks she was comforted by the loving presence of her family, friends, students, and colleagues. Professor Dunn is survived by her husband, Dr. Kenneth Dunn, professor at Queens College, daughter, Rana, four sons, Richard, Robert, Kerry, and Kevin, and an extended loving family. A Memorial Service will be held at St. John's University on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM.
Published on NYTimes.com from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8, 2009
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