In Memoriam: Florence Sullivan: UMass Amherst


Florence Rita Sullivan, professor of math, science and learning technology at the College of Education, died at her home in Easthampton on June 1, 2022 surrounded by her family.


Florence Rita Sullivan

Sullivan was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and study K-12 computational science and thinking and worked collaboratively with teachers in Holyoke and Springfield to integrate robotics and computer science into the curriculum. . Her book, “Creativity, Technology, and Learning: Theory for Classroom Practice” grew out of her research and service to local schools. She also rejoiced in her students’ learning and was deeply invested as a doctoral mentor.

Born in 1962 in Northern California, Sullivan received her undergraduate education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, then at New College, and graduated a few years later from San Francisco State University. . She lived in the Bay Area for 18 years where she poured her creative energies into writing and performing music, which eventually led her to sound production and then digital learning. Florence left California in 1999 to pursue a doctorate in cognitive psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where in addition to earning a Ph.D. and being active in anti-Iraq war efforts, she met Celia Oyler, whom she married in 2007 in Northampton.

Professor Sullivan enjoyed life, including playing tennis, dancing, engaging in the ongoing fight for racial and economic justice, spending time with his family, riding the waves every summer on Cape Cod, and making music with friends, including at the annual conference of the American Research Association. in a college rock band.

She is survived by her wife, Celia; their three children, Kyana Otero, Elly Perez and Naizejha Perez; his new grandson Enzo Fogg; his siblings Elizabeth, Trudi, James, Anne, Daniel and Kathleen Sullivan; his brother-in-law Lance Bergman; nieces Sara Nuño-Villa, Guadalupe Nuño-Nunez; Anne Elizabeth Bergman, Marisol Nuño, Seinin Opacic, Julie Bergman, Nicole Sullivan; and his chosen family Aimee and Nepemba Katembo. Also survived by his untimely departure is his devoted mother-in-law, Mr. Irene Oyler, as well as many dear friends, students and colleagues. She was predeceased by her mother and father Sara J. and Richard B. Sullivan and brother John Richard Sullivan.

A green circle of burial and memorial sharing will take place on June 9, 2022. Please email: [email protected] for details.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UMass Amherst for the Florence R. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship. To donate, please go to the Florence R. Sullivan Scholarship. 01003. Please write “Florence R. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship” on the memo line of the cheque.


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