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Dr. Barbara Lowery, Associate Provost and Professor of Nursing

Dr. Barbara Lowery, Associate Provost and Independence Professor of Nursing, died at Penn Medical Center, on October 10 at the age of 64. "Barbara has been one of our most beloved faculty members, and I am sure you will miss her sage, steady advice and warm, engaging personality as much as I will," said Provost Robert Barchi.

A member of Penn's faculty since 1970, Dr. Lowery has been "a tireless leader" in the School of Nursing, having served as chair of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (1978-1984), Director of the Center for Nursing Research (1986-1994), and Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Nurse Scholars Program (1986-1991) and as Associate Dean for Research in the School (1990-1993).

Dr. Lowery served on the President's Task Force on Women from 1970-71 and was one of the founders of WEOUP (Women for Equal Opportunity at the University of Pennsylvania). She served as the president of the Penn Chapter of AAUP from 1980-81. Dr. Lowery was the faculty liaison to the University Trustees from 1981-83. She has been the consummate University citizen, playing a leadership role in several central offices including Interim Secretary of the University (1997), Ombudsman (1984-86) and most recently, Associate Provost responsible for faculty appointments, promotions and grievances. She also served as Chair of the Faculty Senate (1994-95).

At the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Faculty Senate on April 19, 1995, Dr. Gerald J. Porter, the then-Past Chair of the Senate, made a motion to submit a tribute to Dr. Lowery who

"for the past year, provided the Faculty Senate with strong leadership. Through hard work and with an unerring sense of fairness she has steered the Senate through sometimes contentious issues. In her own quiet way she has been a vigorous advocate for the faculty in consultations with the administration. Seeking no personal fame she is firmly committed to the precept that the strength of the University is its faculty."

"Beyond her capable leadership and keen grasp of University policy and practices, Barbara has been best known on our campus for her exceptional judgment, her profound sense of fairness and her extraordinary grace under pressure. She has left a legacy of leadership and strength of character that we all aspire to. We have lost an extraordinary colleague and friend," Dr. Barchi said.

Dr. Afaf Meleis, Dean of the School of Nursing said, "The School of Nursing mourns the loss of Barbara Lowery who was known for her role in advancing psychiatric nursing science, but better known by her nursing colleagues as a voice of reason, great integrity, and compassion as an innovative thinker and problem-solver. Known as a committed mentor for researchers, teachers, and clinicians, both inside and outside the University, we will miss her scholarship and her warm wisdom for a long time to come. However, she left with us a legacy that will always remain and she will never be forgotten."

Dr. Lowery took her B.S.N. magna cum laude, from Villanova in 1966, her M.S.N. at Penn in 1968 and her Ed.D. in educational psychology from Temple in 1973. Villanova University named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1985. She was a longtime fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and was elected in 1991 to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Lowery served as chair of the National Council of Nurse Researchers (1987-89); was a member of the Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on Mental Health (1982-83); was chair of the Invitational Conference on Directions in Care of the Chronic Mentally Ill, NIMH (1983); was chair of the Mental Health Behavioral Sciences Research Review Committee, NIMH (1990); was a member of the Search Committee for the Director of NIMH (1990-91).

Author of over 40 papers, member of several editorial boards and participant in more than 20 funded research and training projects, Dr. Lowery was also the associate editor of Nursing Research (1978-83) and was on the editorial review board of Archives of Psychiatric Nursing (1985-present) and was an editorial consultant to Advances in Nursing Science (1985-present) and was on the editorial review board of Nursing Research (1978-present).

She was a consultant in psychiatric nursing and nursing research in Hawaii, the Peoples' Republic of China, Israel and Australia.

In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Dr. Lowery--the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing since 1991-- "never stopped teaching, something she loved and devoted herself fully to" Dr. Barchi added. In 1979, she was the recipient of the Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence. The Association of Women Faculty and Administrators (AWFA) presented the Leonore Rowe Williams Award to Dr. Lowery in 2000 "for providing a role model of distinguished academic achievement and outstanding public service at Penn for all women to emulate."

A Barbara J. Lowery Scholarship Fund has been established; checks made out to the fund should be addressed to: Barbara J. Lowery Scholarship Fund, 420 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096.

Dr. Lowery is survived by her husband of 43 years, Donald; and two sisters, Darlis Braddock and Nancy Bizup.

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  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 8, October 15, 2002