|Birth: ||Feb. 17, 1930|
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 5, 2011|
Edith Conn, a longtime professor at Ventura College, passed away on Wednesday evening, October 5, 2011, at her home in Ventura.
As a beloved teacher she was valued by generations of students. Brought up in Washington, DC, she graduated with a B.A. from Washington University in 1951, and pursued graduate work at Mills College, Oakland, 1951-1953 and 1956-1957.
Edith taught at San Mateo, Westwood and Leggett Valley High Schools, and Maebashi University in Japan, under a Fulbright scholarship, 1957-1959, until Ventura College employed her on September 11, 1962 to work in the special education department, where she began a career of fifty-eight years. Her fields of specialization included dance, English, special education, and women's studies.
Her "Women in Literature" course changed the lives of many young women, as one of her students remarked. On the campus she was active in co-curriculum and curriculum committees, the Academic Senate and the Women's Concerns Council.
She represented the college at the state as president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, from 1972-2000. Secretary from 1975-1977, and chaired several committees including affirmative action, educational policies, and faculty development.
She joined a state committee task force on availability data, alternate media for blind and visually impaired students, and affirmative action.
She received many awards, one for Individual Achievement, 1998, from the Community College Chancellor's office, the Lifetime Achievement Award: Diversity in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2000, from De Anza College.
She was a member of the Modern Language Association, American Association of University Professors, National Women's Political Caucus, National Organization for Women, and Emily's List.
She also joined the National Women's Studies organization, and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Edith Conn was an active member of Temple Beth Torah and ORT, (Jewish Women's Rehabilitation/Occupational Support Group) as well as WISE, Women Involved in Sports Evolution.
She was married in 1962 to Elwood J. Conn, graduate of the University of New Mexico and Ventura College of Law. Her husband died in 1990; he practiced law in Ventura and served in the Ventura County Public Defender's office.
The remark of one of her students epitomizes the esteem in which both faculty and students held the professor: "Edith is a gift to Ventura College!" a young student said.
The wish of the deceased was that there be no ceremony and that her ashes be interred with those of her husband in a cemetery in Concord, California.
Among many duties, the teacher helped facilitate building of a new dance studio. Her last remembered performance was bringing her small mentally challenged students out on the stage at Ventura College to perform for faculty, staff, and students.
None of those who saw those shows will ever forget them. They represented the essence of Edith Conn's gifts to the college - communication and joy.
Published in the Ventura County Star from October 9 to October 12, 2011.
Elwood J. Conn (1934 - 1990)
Live Oak Cemetery
Contra Costa County
Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
Record added: Oct 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78572091