Sam Osherson, Ph.D.

Sam Osherson, Ph.D.

With great sadness, we share the news about the loss of beloved colleague Faculty Emeritus Sam Osherson, Ph.D. A four-day auto-immune storm (ITP) destroyed his platelets and his life.

Sam loved teaching at Fielding. He was a dear colleague, an excellent scholar, a caring practitioner, and a prolific writer. Sam held a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University. He researched and wrote about the complexities of adult life.

Sam’s legacy lives on at Fielding. He was the founding director of the Alonso Center for Psychodynamic Studies. Together with his brother, he established the Louis and Adele Osherson Fellowship at Fielding in honor of their parents. Thanks to Sam’s vision, the Fellowship made it possible for established professionals to further their graduate education by attending Fielding’s National Session. Over the years, many school counselors, social workers, writers, journalists, and even some lawyers and judges applied, providing a stream of intelligent, committed Fellows who came to Fielding and sampled our graduate education experience.

Given the changing circumstances resulting from the pandemic, Sam and our colleague, Marilyn Freimuth, Ph.D., worked to convert the Fellowship into a scholarship for doctoral students in the Fielding Clinical Psychology Program. The scholarship now accepts student applications and is a multi-year award to a student who is a single parent with primary custodial responsibility for a child or children. The Louis and Adele Osherson Scholarship announcement was recently published in Fielding’s FOCUS:

Sam’s positive outlook on life was inspired by his love of life itself and is reflected in his autobiographical essay on his website ( “Life on earth has been good to me, and I owe it my all.”

Please reach out to Director of Development & Community Relations Elena I. Nicklasson at 805.898.2926 or with any questions.

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