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Dr. Joyce Swartney, pioneer science educator July 19, 1935 -- June 3, 2007

Dr. Joyce Swartney, formerly of Williamsville and Detroit, died June 3 in Sarasota, Fla., from complications associated with progressive supranuclear palsy. She was 71.

She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Detroit, her master's in science education from the University of Pennsylvania, and her doctorate in science education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she was the first female recipient of the doctorate in science education.

She joined the faculty at Buffalo State College in 1968 where she taught undergraduate secondary science methods courses and graduate courses in elementary school curriculum. She later became the associate dean of natural and social sciences. She retired in 1994.

Dr. Swartney was an educational consultant to the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, served on U.S. Department of Education panels for science award programs and was a recipient of several National Science Foundation grants. She was a Shell Fellow -- an elite program that honored excellence in science teaching.

In 2004, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Western Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

She was a member of the Buffalo Serendipity Bell Ringers who performed in Germany and was an active church member of the Newman Center at Buffalo State for more than 30 years.

Her ashes will be buried at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Southfield, Mich., at the grave site of her father and mother. A memorial Mass will be offered in the Newman Center near Buffalo State in September.


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