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Dr. Forsman, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Dr. Katsenelinboigen, Wharton
Dr. Langfitt, Neurology and former Vice President Health Affairs
Dr. Root, Wharton
Dr. Sabini, Psychology
Dr. Weber, Pathobiology
Dr. Xia, Wharton

Dr. Forsman, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

W. Forsman

Dr. William Comstock Forsman, professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering, died July 12 in Devon, at age 75.

Born in Deer River, Minnesota on July 24, 1929, he attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1952 with a B.ChE degree and immediately took a job with Hercules Chemical Company where he met his future wife Jane Chandler.

Dr. Forsman was a soldier in the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Penn in 1961. He then returned to Hercules for three years. In 1964 he came back to Penn as assistant professor of chemical engineering and rose to professor in 1976. He was named professor emeritus in 1994.

During his 30-year career at Penn, he was a distinguished scientist in the field of polymer science. He was the author, co-author and contributing author of numerous books and published research papers, and the holder of several patents. He was inducted into several honor societies and supervised more than 22 Ph.D. candidates as a thesis advisor.

Dr. Forsman was predeceased by his wife, Jane in 2002, as well as his grandson, Mike D’Isa in 2003. He is survived by his son, William Jr.; daughters, Ellen Thomas, Beth Nanis, and Ann Adams; and ten grandchildren.

Dr. Katsenelinboigen, Wharton

A. Katsenelinbogen

Dr. Aron Katsenelinboigen, professor emeritus of operations and information management, died July 30. He was 77.

Dr. Katsenelinboigen was born in Isaslavl, Ukraine and immigrated to the U.S. in 1973. He received his Ph.D. at the Institute of Economics at the University of Copenhagen in 1957 and later a Ph.D. in economic sciences in Moscow at the Institute of the National Economy in 1966.

Dr. Katsenelinboigen has held previous appointments at Moscow State University, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Princeton University, and University of California, Berkeley.

In 1978, Dr. Katsenelinboigen was appointed research professor of social systems sciences and in 1981 became professor in the same department. He also chaired this department from 1985-1986. In 1987, he became professor of decision sciences. He had a change of title to professor of operations and information management in 1993, a position he held until he retired in 2004.

Dr. Katsenelinboigen received Wharton’s undergraduate excellence in teaching award in 1997. He has published numerous books based on his research areas: aesthetics and its applications to decision making, creation, economic invariants, indeterminism, and systems theory.

The operations and information department is planning a seminar in Dr. Katsenelinboigen’s honor in the coming months.

He is survived by his wife, Gena; and sons, Gregory and Alex; and a grandson.

Dr. Langfitt, Neurology and former Vice President Health Affairs

T. Langfitt

Dr. Thomas W. Langfitt, retired vice president of health affairs and director of University of Pennsylvania Medical Center died August 7. He was 78.

Dr. Langfitt received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1949 from Princeton University and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1953. He served as a U.S. Army doctor in the military in 1955.

In 1961, Dr. Langfitt became head of neurosurgery at Pennsylvania Hospital. He came to Penn in 1968 as chairman of the neurosurgery department in HUP. In 1974, Dr. Langfitt became the vice president of health affairs. After leaving Penn in 1987, he became president of Pew Charitable Trusts and headed the Glenmede Trust Co., the bank that handles Pew’s assets. After retiring from these positions in 1994 and 1996 respectively, he became president of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Dr. Langfitt is survived by his wife, Carolyn; sons, Frank, John, and David; brother, Frank, Jr.; sister, June Brewster; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial will be held today, September 6 at 4 p.m. at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd Street. Memorial donations may be made to the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, in care of of Sue Piergallini, 1700 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19130.

Dr. Root, Wharton

R. Root

Dr. Franklin Russell Root, professor emeritus of international management at the Wharton School, died August 4. He was 82.

Known to family and friends as Russell, he served in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Purple Heart as well as the Bronze Star. Dr. Root completed his undergraduate degree at Trinity College and subsequently earned an M.B.A. from Wharton in 1948 and a Ph.D. in economics from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Penn in 1951. In 1949-50, he spent two consecutive summers working as a research economist for the United Nations, where he met and married Liliane Weissbrodt.

Dr. Root’s academic career began in 1950 as a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland. In 1955, he joined the Wharton faculty where he remained until his retirement in 1993.

Dr. Root also held positions at the Copenhagen School of Economics and Business Administration, and Naval War College.

Among his professional honors, Dr. Root was elected Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 1983 and served as president, 1980-1982 and as dean, 1987-1990. He also served as president of the International Trade and Finance Association, 1990-1991.

Dr. Root is survived by his second wife, Joyce Hanson; daughters, Michele Root-Bernstein and Valerie Root Wolpe; sons, Peter, Allan and Jonathan; stepdaughters Karen, Alexander and Anne Hanson; and 10 grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Abington Memorial Hospital, Intensive Critical Care Unit, 1200 Old York Rd., Abington, PA 19001.

Dr. Sabini, Psychology

J. Sabini

Dr. John Sabini, professor of psychology, died July 15 at the age of 58.

Dr. Sabini earned his B.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1968 and his Ph.D. in 1976 from City University of New York in social psychology. He joined the faculty in 1976 as assistant professor of psychology and was promoted to professor in 1987.

He chaired the psychology department from 1991-1996. Dr. Sabini was also chair of the psychology graduate group, and director of graduate studies in psychology from 1984-1991 and again from 2003 until his death.

Dr. Sabini served for many years on the IRB and on the CGS Executive Committee. He has also chaired University Council’s Facilities Committee and served on the Faculty Club Executive Committee, the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, the SAS Personnel Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the SAS Dean’s Search Committee.

In 2003, Dr. Sabini won the Dean’s Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research. He published a textbook, Social Psychology in 1992, and co-authored with Maury Silver, Moralities of Everyday Life and Emotion, Character, and Responsibility.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie Kossman and daughter, Carolyn.

Dr. Weber, Pathobiology

At press time, Almanac learned of the death of Dr. Wilfried Weber, emeritus professor of pathobiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine. A full obituary will appear in next week’s issue.

Dr. Xia, Wharton

Y. Zia

Dr. Yihong Xia, assistant professor of finance at Wharton, died August 6. She was 34.

Dr. Xia received a B.A. from Fudan University, in China in 1992 and a M.A. from Emory University in 1996. After completing her Ph.D. in finance from UCLA, Dr. Xia joined Wharton in 2000 as an assistant professor of finance.
She has received eight grants for her research, as well as the Geewax Terker Prize in Investment Research. She had nine publications in leading academic journals.

Dr. Xia taught Corporate Valuation to Wharton undergraduate and MBA students. She was also active in Wharton’s doctoral program, teaching and serving on a large number of dissertation committees.

She is survived by her husband, Guiming Miao; daughter, Jessica Miao; parents, Jinqi Xia and Zhenghua Fang; and brother, Xinhong Xia.

  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 2, September 6, 2005


September 6, 2005
Volume 52 Number 2


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