Fielding saddened by death of Clinical Psychology faculty member

The Fielding community was sad to learn that beloved Clinical Psychology faculty member Stephen Ruffins, passed away on April 28.

The brilliant and creative Dr. Ruffins had been coping with chronic illness for a number of years.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he had both research and merit fellowships, Dr. Ruffins was an expert in psychopathology, stress, social psychology, and many other areas of psychology.

His family is planning a memorial this summer on Long Island, New York. The Clinical Psychology program is planning a remembrance in his honor at Summer Session in Chicago this July. If you would like to send a note to be read at that event, and later given to Dr. Ruffins’ family, please email it to PsyCE@fielding.edu.

Faculty member Sandy Drob, PhD, a colleague of Dr. Ruffins, is hosting a memorial cluster meeting in Brooklyn on June 23, where students, alumni, and colleagues may share memories and stories. Please contact Dr. Drob to RSVP and for the location: sdrob@fielding.edu

Dr. Drob also wrote this remembrance:

The world can be a blind and cruel place and Stephen was beset by two horrifying degenerative illnesses. Still, he always spoke about his fate with optimism and equanimity. His passing makes us all and the world poorer in love, intelligence, and spirit.

 

I will always remember Stephen for his out-of-the-box, and seemingly out-of-the-blue, comments and critiques, which upon deep reflection were always seen to land precisely on their mark!

 

I will always remember Stephen for his unassuming smile and his manner of infusing momentary encounters with others with a genuine sense of great importance.

 

I will always remember Stephen for his stunning capacity in his earlier years to cut through a person’s BS, a skill he retained but later chose not to exercise.

 

I will always remember Stephen for the passion he brought to his work and the depth of his caring for his friends, colleagues, and students.

 

I will always remember Stephen for his affection and concern for my family and his unwavering support when my youngest son was diagnosed with cancer.

 

I and we all have lost a dear and irreplaceable friend and colleague. I am humbled by Stephen’s humanity and the standard of menschlichkeit he has set for myself and all those who were touched by him. He will be sorely missed but he will be etched into our hearts forever.

 

There are further comments from colleagues and alumni on this Fielding Facebook group post.

Dr. Ruffins was an active member the Alonso Center for Psychodynamic Studies, where he enjoyed working with his students. Donations in his name can be made to the Alonso Center or to the Psychology Scholarship by sending checks to Fielding Graduate University, c/o Office of Development with “in memory of Dr. Ruffins” in the memo, or by making a gift by credit card; simply select Alonso Center or Psychology Scholarship from the gift designation menu. Call Director of Development Elena Nicklasson at 805-898-2926 with any questions.