[Athen] Loss of one of our own

rmhaven at stanford.edu rmhaven at stanford.edu
Mon Jun 16 13:23:51 PDT 2008

Thank you, Gaier, for sharing this sad news, as well as for the
sentiments reminding us of the broader perspective of how we spend our
time here, both in the context of our jobs and of life in general.

- Shelley Haven

Quoting Gaeir Dietrich <gdietrich at htctu.net>:

> 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

> www.htctu.net

> 408-996-6043


> 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

> support).


> 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





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