Alumni News

September 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm

University Community Remembers Dr. Homer Bradshaw, Psychology Professor Emeritus and Alumnus

Homer Leslie Bradshaw

Dr. Homer Leslie Bradshaw

Dr. Homer Leslie Bradshaw, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Ohio University and also an alumnus, died on Sept. 15, 2019, at the age of 97 in Friendship Village in Kalamazoo, Mich., according to his obituary.

Bradshaw, of Sinking Spring, Ohio, was born on July 29, 1922, in Pomeroy, Ohio, and raised in Howland, Ohio. After high school he joined the 1878th Aviation Battalion, building landing fields in the Pacific for the B29s that would carry the atomic bomb to Japan and would hasten the end of the World War II. After the war, he enrolled on the GI Bill at Ohio University, where he graduated in 1952 Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. degree. He later attended Ohio State University where he received an M.S. degree and Ph.D. in psychology.

Upon completion of his doctorate, Bradshaw joined the psychology faculty at Ohio University in Athens, where he pioneered work and training in Educational Psychology. He retired in 1985 with the rank of Professor from the Psychology Department. He served as the director of the graduate program in school psychology and was honored with an Emeritus Professorship upon retirement.

The Psychology Department history captures a glimpse of Bradshaw’s impact on OHIO:

There were also some happy endings, and to 30-year careers at that, during this period. Homer Bradshaw went on early retirement in 1984, teaching only during the winter quarter until 1989, when he retired fully. His loss was a truly large one, not only in the Department but also in the State, chiefly because of his work in school psychology. He obtained a series of sizeable training grants that got the program off to an excellent start and that provided funds for graduate assistantships. Subsequently, he was practically the whole program in the Department, not only directing it but also regularly teaching nine courses per year rather than the usual six in order to offer the needed instruction. He also probably directed as many as four or five master’s theses (for school psychology students) per year. His graduates took positions throughout Ohio and in many other states.

The employment of his students was greatly aided by his wide circle of Ohio acquaintances. (Anyone who attended his retirement dinner can attest to the accuracy of the phrase “wide circle.”) Early in his career he worked with others in Ohio on a program in school psychology that would meet the criteria for approval of the State Department of Education. He served from its origination as a member of the Interuniversity Council on School Psychology, and subsequently as President of both the School Psychology Association of Southeastern Ohio and the School Psychology Association of Ohio. In 1978 Homer was awarded the Clyde V. Bartlett Distinguished Service Award by the Ohio School Psychologists Association, its highest award. Tom Creer, in his 1985 letter recommending Homer for emeritus status, aptly characterized him as “Mr. School Psychology in Ohio.”

In addition to this activity, Homer made other significant contributions at Ohio University and also in the community, the nation, and even overseas. His work in developing the first teaching evaluation questionnaire for the Department produced what was widely known as the “Bradshaw Report,” and in turn became the initial attempt at a university-wide procedure to evaluate teacher effectiveness. He was active in Athens with the Beacon School for Retarded Children; a plaque in their new building gives him a good deal of credit in working for its existence and for other related efforts. He served on the Board from 1974 to 1983.

On the national level, he was in 1960 an Invited Participant, Legislative Provisions for Exceptional Children, sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives. He spent the period  of 1960-62 as a Fulbright grantee at the University of Hue and the University of Saigon, South Vietnam. He was also on leave at the East-West Research Center at the University of Hawaii in 1967-68.

Porter rooms 238, 239, 240, and 241 were frequently used by Homer’s students in giving individual tests and working with children.  So it was appropriate that a plaque with the following message now appears on the wall near them.

…I must add that my records show not only that he went on early retirement in 1984 rather than 1985, but also that he served as Director of the Program even longer than the plaque indicates, from 1960 to 1985 except for the years of 1962-64, when he was on leave.  My only other addition is a rather plaintive one: the School Psychology Program was terminated as of the end of the 1988-89 academic year. Perhaps it is a final tribute to Homer that school officials throughout the State petitioned Provost Bruning to plan a “push” to train a final group of school psychologists before the highly regarded program that Homer developed and nurtured is but a long-term memory.

From 1962 to 1964, Bradshaw was contracted by the U.S. government to serve as a technical adviser to the Universities of Saigon and Hue in then South Vietnam. He and his wife, Joan (Koby), lived and worked in Hue in central Vietnam overseeing the building of the Faculty of Pedagogy. It was in Hue where they met Jay and Ann Parsons, not yet married, who over the years were to become their adopted children and in turn the Parsons’ children, Alison and Tim, became their adopted grandchildren. However, the Parsons were not the Bradshaw’s only adopted children. Before going to Vietnam Homer and Joan befriended Jean (Foster) Calladine, Linda (Potter) Miller and Connie (Glasgo) Gross, undergraduates at Ohio University. The Bradshaw’s took these young women on a month-long camping trip that enabled them to attend a Methodist student conference in California. This cemented a special friendship. All of these friendships became life long “family.”

During Bradshaw’s illustrious career, he served as consultant to a variety of educational agencies. He is the past president of the Ohio Psychology Association and a member of a number of professional organizations and national honoraries. He is the recipient of the Clyde V. Bartlett Distinguished Service Award, the highest professional recognition for Ohio School Psychologists. His work received formal recognition from both the Ohio 96th General Assembly and the House of Representatives for outstanding service to Ohio. The psychology testing rooms in Porter Hall prior to the mid-90s renovation were named after Bradshaw in recognition of his contribution to the field and to the university. He continued his love of teaching in retirement, working with students from the area schools who needed extra help.

After retirement Homer and Joan built their home in Sinking Spring. After Joan’s untimely death in 1997, Homer became an active member of the Sinking Spring Community Church, where he taught Sunday school for many years and volunteered for a variety of fund-raising events. He established a particularly close relationship with the Rev. Greg and Diane Roberts during those years.

Bradshaw passed away quietly surrounded by his “family” of Jay and Ann Parsons, his granddaughter Alison and her husband, Eric, and their son, Fletcher. He died with no close blood kin and is survived by his sister-in-law Suzanne Ambrose.

A memorial service is at 1 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2019 in the Sinking Spring Community Center. Bradshaw loved flowers that he planted with wild abandon around his home in Sinking Spring. If anyone is considering sending flowers to Homer’s memorial service, they are encouraged instead to consider contributing to a scholarship fund established in Homer Bradshaw’s name to support a graduate of Peebles High School, a cause which he highly valued. Contributions can be sent to: ACOVSD, c/o Mary Beth Louderback, 141 Lloyd Road, West Union, OH 45693.

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