San Jose State University professor Amy Strage died on Thursday. Cause of death was not announced in an email to the campus community on Monday. Strage was part of the SJSU faculty for more than 30 years and led a storied academic career which entailed her leadership in many roles.
Born in New York City, Strage earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University, in 1977. She later earned a doctorate degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984.
A lifelong educator, Strage developed and honed a unique style in philosophical studies, educational studies and courses related to child development. Strage mostly taught child development CHAD-60 and CHAD-159 classes at SJSU.
A recipient of the SJSU Outstanding Service Award, Strage displayed a tireless devotion to teaching faculty members how to instruct at the start, middle and end of their careers.
“Amy’s leadership and teaching styles [centered on] sustainable programs that shape the way we think. She knew that teaching and developing skills doesn’t just apply to children, but that it’s a lifelong process,” close friend and Associate Vice President for Student and Faculty Success Stacy Gleixner said.
Strage was a devout believer that faculty should constantly hone their teaching styles at each stage of their careers.
Strage brokered many programs in which current and past faculty members networked with incoming members to help them adjust to teaching in a
Strage was also a unifier of faculty and students. She spearheaded the program known as “Coffee with a Professor” in which SJSU students can make arrangements to sit down with a willing professor of their choice to talk in depth about each other’s educational experiences over coffee.
Strage was also an influential figure in the creation and operation of the New Faculty Orientation Program, faculty-curated research projects for undergraduate students, Accessibility and Inclusion in the Classroom and Writing Marathons for outgoing faculty members.
Strage started the “Legacy Project” in which retiring faculty members partook in “Writing Marathons” to publish any lasting advice they wanted colleagues and students to grasp as they
exited the university.
“In her 30 years at SJSU, [Strage]’s devotion to teaching was immeasurable. More than anything, she led with empathy. Her programs shaped the different ways people think. . . she strove to make classrooms more inclusive and accessible,” Dr. Gleixner added.
Strage also oversaw a joint-university partnership between SJSU and Stanford University. Several members of the Stanford faculty would regularly meet with SJSU faculty to assist them in forming research studies as well as honing their teaching styles.
“Her passing comes as a shock,” colleague and friend Gina Marin, program services coordinator for the center for faculty development, said.
“She was a great person and an amazing scholar with so much knowledge of developmental psychology,” Marin added.
Strage was awarded the 2009-2010 Distinguished Service Award from the university for her 31 years of leadership and educational reform at SJSU.
Strage is survived by her husband, an educator at California State University, East Bay in Hayward.
No details of a service ceremony have been released to the public yet.