[Athen] Loss of one of our own

Gaeir Dietrich gdietrich at htctu.net
Mon Jun 16 11:49:19 PDT 2008

Some of you in ATHEN knew Penny Peterson, AT Specialist at CSULB and CAPED
SIG chair for the Access Technology group, so I wanted to share the sad news
that Penny passed away last week from a stroke.

It is always a bit of a shock to me when someone I have worked with or seen
recently passes away. I feel a great sense of confusion before I even feel
the loss-particularly in the case of someone like Penny who I was expecting
to see very soon. My first thought tends to be, illogically, "But I just
saw/spoke with/e-mailed her"-as if it's not possible that someone could pass
away without notifying me first to prepare me!

I know that Penny was full of plans and visions for the coming
years-including retiring in the not too distant future. The suddenness of
her death is a great reminder that the biggest unknown in all of our lives
is the span of our days, and that amid all the to-do lists and hurry, we
should always take time to appreciate those dear to us and to take time for
what really matters to us in this moment, right now.

I have included below the words of a couple other colleagues.

Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
High Tech Center Training Unit of the
California Community Colleges
De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

With a heavy heart I regret to inform you that Penny Peterson, long time
friend of students with disabilities and the CAPED Southern SIG Chair for
AT, has suddenly passed away from a stroke. Lyn Clemons wrote a marvelous
testimonial about Penny to a current colleague of hers, Jean Wells, that is
appended in part below.

Our condolences to Penny's family and friends in this difficult time.

Details regarding arrangements will follow.

Dr. Bob Hughlett

From: Clemons, Lyn

Hi Jean:

".....My name is Lyn Clemons, VP of Committees CAPED. In hearing the news
about Penny and seeing your e-mail, I needed to let you know how grateful I
am for you to think of her CAPED connections.

Penny and I have worked together behind the scenes with the Assistive
Technology CAPED Interest Group for it seems forever! She allowed us to
have her assist in changing cultures of the organization and blending
commonality across the California Post Secondary Education Systems. She
took on the co-chair responsibilities modeling for the organization that
two-year/four-year do have enough in common for both systems to benefit.
The evidence of the power of networking and working across all of the
systems is shown in how the Community College system took the risk with
Section 508 and implementation AND how the Cal State system took what worked
for us and improved on it (as seen via the trainings, implementations, web

A major part was Penny's insistences supported by you (as CSULB) and the
value of that need to do right by the student is reflected in the continuous
improvement of the delivery of alternate formats at the CSU system. Penny
shared across both systems TO DO RIGHT BY THE STUDENT. Yesterday during a
staff training - one of our support staff that had worked for Penny reminded
that we don't help students but in the words of Penny we DO RIGHT BY THE

I can only imagine that you and Penny had to be recently collaborating on
some universal access issue and compliance across the system. I appreciate
your timely communication....

Lyn Clemons

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: winmail.dat
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 27450 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20080616/5659d649/attachment.bin>

More information about the athen-list mailing list