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Donna Fournier, professor emerita of physiology, dies

by Sherry Fisher - December 8, 2008


Donna Fournier, professor emeritus of physiology, died Nov. 12. She was 72.

Fournier, who lived in Glastonbury, graduated from UConn in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology/biology.

She went on to study physiology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, receiving her doctorate in 1969.

She taught at the Health Center in the School of Medicine as an instructor and then as assistant professor through 1973, when she joined the School of Pharmacy in Storrs as assistant professor of physiology. In 1995, she was appointed associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Pharmacy. She retired in 2002.

The period of her tenure as associate dean was one of intense academic activity, encompassing the planning and development of the new Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, the accreditation of the program, and the admission of the first degree candidates.

Andrea Hubbard, associate dean in the School of Pharmacy, says when Fournier joined the pharmacy school, there were few female faculty. “She paved the way for others to join,” says Hubbard.

“As an associate dean,” Hubbard adds, “Donna demonstrated patience, compassion, and a real talent for multi-tasking.”

Michael Gerald, former dean of the School of Pharmacy, says Fournier played a major role in getting the Pharm.D. program successfully off the ground.

He says she was “a fine teacher with high standards, who was very committed to the academic process.”

She was enjoyed by her students, Hubbard says, and they voted her “Teacher of the Year” in the pharmacy school.

“The award meant a lot to her,” she adds, “because it was a recognition of the work and caring she put into the preparation and delivery of her courses.”

During her career at UConn, Fournier served on many academic and administrative committees and was a member of the University Senate. She also served briefly as interim director of the UConn Honors Program.

Fournier maintained a life-long commitment to running and cycling, and enjoyed gardening.

She is survived by her husband Joseph, a sister and two brothers.

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