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Monday, February 4, 2013

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Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology Barry Gillen Dies

Henry Barry Gillen, 68, associate professor emeritus of psychology at Old Dominion, died peacefully at his home in Portsmouth on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.

Gillen was a graduate of Granby High School and received bachelor's and master's degrees from East Carolina University. He earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Miami University of Ohio.

He joined the ODU faculty in 1967 and taught at the university for more than four decades, sharing his knowledge, wisdom and amazing sense of humor with tens of thousands of young minds. His research interests included sex roles and physical attractiveness, clothing and fashion, and attribution theory. Gillen received a Teletechnet Faculty of the Year award from the university in 2002 and was awarded the title of Associate Professor Emeritus in 2012.

"Barry taught introductory and social psychology to thousands of students in the classroom and online," said Barbara Winstead, professor and chair of the psychology department. "One student, when told that she could take his class online, said, 'Why would I do that, his class is so much fun.' Barry definitely had a way of using humor in the classroom to hold students' attention and to provide them with memorable examples of psychological concepts."

Gillen was an active member of the Collie and Sheltie Rescue of Southeastern Virginia and SASS, an organization that keeps alive the values and cowboy traditions of the 19th century American West.

He is survived by his two daughters, Amy Lynn Avery and Susan Elizabeth Fancher; his twin brother, Larry Gillen; three grandchildren, Peter Hagemeyer, Caroline Cassity and Mary Grace Hagemeyer; a niece, Patrice Malena; and a nephew, Scott Chance.

A private memorial service will be held in the near future.

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