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OSU Magazine

SUMMER 1996 -- VOLUME 67, NUMBER 4


Arts and Sciences
GOING THE EXTRA MILE

Students say Charles Abramson, left, studies their needs and creates fascinating experiments and demonstrations to capture their interest.


Charles Abramson is well known among his students as a teacher willing to go the extra mile to help them succeed, both in the classroom and in life.

One of his most devoted fans is Ellen Gray Robinson.

Robinson, who was recovering from three consecutive strokes when she enrolled at OSU in the fall of 1992, was confined to a wheelchair and unable to articulate sentences. She also had little control of her arms and hands, making writing difficult.

"Dr. Abramson devoted much time and expertise to obtain whatever I needed to learn any subject, whether it be psychology or geology, and even used his own money to buy me computer programs," she says.

"He did the same types of things for each student who wanted to learn," she says. "Where and how he maintains the energy and excitement to give so much of himself to so many is just incomprehensible to me."

Abramson, a native New Yorker who earned his degrees at Boston University, designs and implements multifaceted and multilevel programs that allow students to "learn by doing."

Abramson makes his classroom experiences available to others by writing books and articles, developing videotapes and presenting lectures and workshops throughout the United States and more recently in Italy and Brazil.

He created the OSU Psychology Museum and Resources Center (PMRC), the Psych-Mobile Program (which is the PMRC on wheels) and the Certification in Psychology Demonstrations Program. The PMRC serves as a facility for student and teacher groups and as a training center. The equipment in the PMRC is loaned free of charge.

Regents Distinguished Teaching Award

In addition, Abramson has garnered international recognition for his learning and memory research on Africanized honey bees, commonly called "killer bees."

Italo de Souza Aquino, an OSU graduate student working in entomology and a professor at the Universidade Federal da Paraiba in Brazil, says Abramson is as generous with his research ideas, apparatus and expertise as he is with his classroom techniques.

"I was most surprised when he offered to lend me some of his laboratory space to conduct my project," Aquino says. "Any student dedicated to learning will always find a place in his lab and in his classroom."

Carolyn Gonzales