|The Passing of Dr. Fereshteh Ebrahimi|
Dr Fereshteh Ebrahimi, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, died on January 29th 2011 after a valiant battle with cancer. Dr. Ebrahimi’s professional life was the story of a pioneer. After graduating from University in Tehran, she went to the University of Surrey in Britain to work on a master’s degree. During the Islamic revolution she came to the United States and became the first woman to receive a PhD from the Colorado School of Mines. Again she was a pioneer at the University of Florida: in 1984 she became female faculty member in the Department of Materials Science of Engineering and one of the first female faculty members in the College of Engineering. In July 2010, she became the Associate Chair of the Department but, sadly, had to step down after only a month as her health failed. She was a caring and rigorous teacher: her classes tempered generations of students, forming them into tough and flexible young scientists and engineers. She was a valued colleague, exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, intellectual rigor, professional dedication, and personal integrity. We are all better for having known her.
Her obituary can be viewed at:
Her primary focus was always her students. One of her recent PhD students wrote this in the guest book at the Gainesville Sun:
“I was so lucky that I got to spend four years with Dr. Ebrahimi when I was pursuing my Ph.D. She has taught me so much about science and life that I am forever grateful. She was one of the strongest people I have ever met; the few times I saw tears in her eyes are when students leave the group. As she explained “students are my children, and it is hard to see my children leave.”
When I last spoke to her on Jan. 5th, she was worried about my career and other students. She didn’t mention much about herself. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate her advice and her dedication to her students throughout all these years, but I know I will benefit for the rest of my life.”
We send our deepest condolences to her husband Steve, daughter Sara and to the rest of her family.