Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

In Remembrance

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson retired in December, 2002 with 36 years at Illinois State University. Few faculty have had the opportunity to impact as many students in their careers as Jim. In General Psychology alone, Jim taught over 15,000 undergraduates. In Theories of Personality, he taught over 1000 graduate students. Jim chaired or was second committee member for over 100 master’s theses. As a staff psychologist at the Student Counseling Center for a number of years, Jim impacted many students there as well.

"Dr. J," as Jim was affectionately known by students, devoted considerable time to students outside the classroom assisting in the Athletic Study Center, the Student Psychology Association, the Golden Key International Honour Society, and the psychology honors program. Jim’s service awards are manifold, including Teacher of the Year, Herb Sanders Advisory Award, Distinguished Psychology Alumnus, and the Stretch Miller Award from the Athletics Department. His research did not suffer, though, as he investigated parenting styles, worked on prediction of graduate performance, directed a field study for McKnight Publishing Company, and was a research consultant for reading programs.

Jim was one of the longest standing members of noon hour basketball at Horton Field House. Neither did he give up tennis or fishing with university buddies or tutoring student athletes. In fact, Jim kept his hand in at teaching General Psychology up through the Fall 2012 semester.

Dr. Johnson passed away on October 21, 2013. A Celebration of Life was held on November 9, 2013 at Illinois State University. All who knew him and were touched by his life will miss Jim. Memorials may be made in his honor to the Department of Psychology, c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal IL 61790-8000.

Gary Ramseyer


Gary Ramseyer, a professor of psychology passed away on March 27, 2012. Gary, who was known as our in-house Dr. Humor of the stat set, retired in December, 1998, after more than 30 years of service. He taught math at University High School and received his doctorate in educational statistics from the University of Iowa in 1965.

Although he was widely known in measurement circles for his three publications with Dr. Valjean Cashen on the use of separate multiple-choice answer sheets in the early elementary grades and in statistical circles for his robustness studies of the q-statistic with Dr. Kup Cheng, he is perhaps more widely acclaimed for his website called the First Internet Galley of Statistics Jokes, which was developed in 1997. . Dr. Ramseyer's son, Joel, will continue to update this statistical website.

All who knew and were touched by his life will miss Gary. Memorials may be made in his honor to the Department of Psychology, c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000.

Gordon Redding


Gordon Redding was unique—a Texan in a cowboy hat and boots—who taught perception and cognition at Illinois State for 30 years (1972-2002). Gordon stood tall and was a "straight shooter" in everything he did. And he did a lot at Illinois State. He helped to bring an interdisciplinary curriculum in cognitive science to the University. He was completely dedicated to his research program and to the students who assisted him. His research focused on visual perception, including studying the well-known Müller-Lyer illusion. Often, he asked research participants to walk through the lower level of DeGarmo Hall while looking into a prism, which distorted vision. Gordon then studied how the visual system would adapt and re-align itself—so research participants could keep from walking into the walls!

Gordon's research on prism adaptation turned out to have an important practical benefit for people with a type of brain damage called unilateral neglect. Individuals with this disability notice visual stimuli on only one side of their body. When these individuals look into a prism, the visual system is forced to adapt in healing ways. For his research efforts, Gordon received two University awards: College Researcher in 1998 and University Researcher in 1999.

Gordon remained active during his retirement, traveling to distant places such as Egypt and China, and serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bloomington, Ill.

Dr. Redding passed away on August 1, 2013. All who knew him and were touched by his life will miss Gordon. Memorials may be made in his honor to the Department of Psychology, c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000.

Marge Lewis

Marge Lewis.

Dr. Lewis was a member of the Department of Psychology for over 20 years and of the Illinois State University community for over 35 years.

Marge, as she was known to her friends and colleagues, arrived at Illinois State in 1951 as a teacher of students with physical disabilities. She was a "master teacher" working in the laboratory school and conducting teaching methods workshops nationwide for other special education teachers. In 1966, she joined the Department of Psychology as part of the school psychology graduate program, where she remained until her retirement in 1987.

Dr. Lewis was a respected and beloved professor to over 400 graduate students in the school, and clinical and counseling psychology graduate programs, as well as the hundreds of undergraduate students in her Psychology of Exceptional Children (PSY 346) classes. She was a strong and independent woman but warm and supportive to students and colleagues alike.

Dr. Lewis passed away on May 11, 2005, in Normal, IL.

All who knew her and were touched by her life will miss Marge. Memorials may be made in her honor to the Department of Psychology, School Psychology Program, c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000.

Leonard Schmaltz

Leonard Schmaltz.

Leonard Schmaltz, professor of psychology for 26 years, died October 30, 2000 surrounded by his family. Len was known for many accomplishments both within the department and Illinois State University. Among them was his scholarship, his unsurpassed teaching skills, his broad perspective on diverse issues, and his unprecedented 11 years as president of the Academic Senate at Illinois State.

Certainly Len’s greatest love and commitment was teaching, and perhaps his greatest notoriety was accorded him by his students who affectionately dubbed him “Captain Lenny.” Year after year, Len’s reputation was passed down and students regularly oversubscribed his General Psychology classes. He taught with characteristic flair until the day before his hospitalization.

The University community acknowledged his many contributions in a memorial service on November 20, 2000. Len will be a legend very fondly remembered for years to come.

All who knew him and were touched by his life will miss Lenny. Memorials may be made in his honor to the Department of Psychology, c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000.