In Memory

Anne Rusoff

Here is Anne's obituary. She was a truly brilliant person and I am I am so terribly sorry to know she isn't working any longer. I have always held her in my thoughts -- ever since we shared the stage as co-valedictorians at Hellgate. It seems a long time to do that without ever writing her, but life took over and I never could figure out exactly where she had chosen to live and work. Bert Chessin our fellow classmate told me he'd had a chance to visit with Anne in 2009 and had told her I still remembered her brilliance. I'm so glad he could do that for me! A scholarship fund in her name has been created at MSU to support the education of women in the sciences -- perfect for Anne, and I encourage donations. They can be can be made to the MSU Foundation, and sent to: > Anne Rusoff Scholarship > MSU Foundation > 1501 South 11th Ave. > Bozeman, MT 59717-2750 Anne Christine Rusoff 30 January 1950 to 9 December 2009 Anne was born in Ohio, and became a Montanan at 7 years old. She spent her formative years in Missoula and graduated at the top of her class at Hellgate High School. From there, she went to the University of Montana, got her doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado, and did post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan. She then spent some time in Germany, doing research at the Max-Planck-Institute fur Himforschung, and travelled in Europe while there. She began her academic career when she joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater; she moved back to Montana in 1985, to Bozeman and Montana State University (MSU). Anne's teaching and research career at MSU spanned the years between 1985 and 2006, when she was forced to retire due to health issues. She loved teaching and advising the undergraduates in both the Biological Sciences and the WWAMI medical program. Her research included the development of the visual system and whirling disease. At the same time, she began to focus on encouraging young women to enter the fields of science and engineering, and served on the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE!) Committee from its inception. She mentored students and young women faculty, secured grants to fund the program, and provided leadership for the program in many ways. She became aware that students from the tribal colleges could benefit from academic and social support in their transfer to MSU. She worked with the Assistant Director of American Indian Research Opportunities (AIRO) and helped write a grant for a summer program to prepare the students for the transition to MSU. Anne spoke of her work on behalf of young women and native Americans as her proudest accomplishments. After retiring, she did not sit back and let health issues rule her activities; she helped colleagues at MSU, she tutored reading for young students in the Child Advancement Program (CAP), and she very much enjoyed helping foreign adults learn English. She lived out her days at the home she loved, as independent as was possible, caring for her beloved cats, watching over her two old horses, watching the seasons and the plants and the animals on the west side of the Bridger Mountains. Throughout this chronology, Anne had another life, revolving around horses. This life-long love affair with horses started early and was maintained and nurtured until she died. Her early horse adventures included ponying horses at the racetrack in Missoula, using her race-bred mare (this was sometimes more exciting than she might have wished....) and she was a trail cook in the Bob Marshall Wilderness (a bit of background that surprised her later friends and colleagues). She rode and showed her horses, starting as a young girl, and later learned to jump and to do dressage. Even when she could no longer ride, she participated in many horse activities, faithfully watching her horse work in all kinds of weather, attending shows and clinics, and helping others with the riding and horse care she could no longer share physically. There are 3 horses in particular who are still looking for her and the cookies she gave them after their rides. Though Anne's last years were often difficult, her dignity and courage will serve as inspiration to all who knew her. She devoted every ounce of her energy to her family, friends and colleagues, and she will be remembered and missed by a large and remarkably diverse group of people. 

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05/20/18 09:57 PM #1    

Robert "Bert" Chessin

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