UC Irvine Remembers Dr. Stuart Karabenick

UC Irvine Remembers Dr. Stuart Karabenick

From Colleagues and Alumni from the University of California-Irvine:

In Memory of Stuart Karabenick

It is with deep sadness that we share news of the loss of Stuart Karabenick, Research Professor, Education, School of Education and Adjunct Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan and long-time collaborator at UCI. Many members of the UCI community have been deeply impacted by his departure, and we would like to take a moment to acknowledge what a profound imprint Stuart has left on our community. Even though his affiliation was at the University of Michigan, for many of us, Stuart had a second home here at UCI.

Stuart was a friend, mentor, coauthor, cheerleader, and collaborator to so many, regardless of our rank. His involvement with the UCI community dates to 2007 as a PI of a National Science Foundation-funded longitudinal study of teacher and student motivation called the Math Science Partnership–Motivation Assessment Program that formed the foundation of the California Achievement Motivation Project dataset. This study was the first of a number of Stuart’s collaborations with our UCI community that materialized into two additional large NSF grants housed at UC Irvine. Over the past decade these collaborations resulted in numerous manuscripts with UCI colleagues that continue to benefit from the legacy of his work. He wrote countless letters of recommendation, served as a sounding board for our early ideas, read and edited drafts of our manuscripts and grant proposals, and routinely checked in on us. In addition, the California Achievement Motivation Project dataset has facilitated the statistical training of many UCI graduate students.

To say we are devastated by the loss of a great friend and mentor would simply be an understatement. Stuart has shaped our growth and also the growth of countless others. He was a remarkable scholar who left an indelible mark on the fields of help-seeking, self-regulated learning, teacher motivation, and computer-mediated instruction. Just this year, while in “retirement,” Stuart received a new NSF award to improve STEM undergraduate education; last year he was the keynote speaker at EARLI and in 2014, the keynote speaker at the Self-Regulated Learning SIG at AERA. Recently, he shared his acquired wisdom from a five-decade career in Education Review.

Despite having officially retired, his work—as a colleague, researcher, innovator, and mentor—never ceased. Our connections with Stuart extended beyond distant professional relationships; we took trips to museums, shared meals at favorite restaurants in Southern California, and swapped jazz and film recommendations. Stuart had a love for life, and he lived with immense passion; even after the inevitable manuscript rejection, Stuart maintained a sense of humor and lightness, and taught us all how to look forward (all the while encouraging us to improve our work so that the same reviewers would not reject us twice). 

Many of us are lucky to have shared conversations with Stuart in recent weeks. We continued this journey together until the end—and so much of what we have left to discover in the future is influenced by his legacy. 

We miss you Stuart. You left too soon.

Anna-Lena Dicke, UCI Project Scientist (California Achievement Motivation Project)

Jacquelynne Eccles, Distinguished Professor of Education (Principal Investigator, California Achievement Motivation Project)

Charlott Rubach, UCI Postdoctoral Scholar (California Achievement Motivation Project)

Teomara Rutherford, University of Delaware Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences (PhD, 2014, University of California Irvine)

Erik Ruzek, NWEA Senior Research Scientist (PhD, 2012, University of California Irvine)

Nayssan Safavian, UCI Project Scientist (Co-Investigator, California Achievement Motivation Project, PhD, 2013, University of California Irvine)

Katerina Schenke, Katalyst Methods Founder and Principal Consultant (PhD, 2015, University of California Irvine)