Former psychology department chair dies
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 16:05
William Howell, adjunct professor of psychology and department chair from 1970 to 1987, died in his Phoenix home on April 14, according to a Rice News and Media release. He was 79.
Howell was a Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Psychology at Rice and a professor of administrative science at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
Howell also served as executive director for science of the American Psychological Association, the release stated.
Howard Rhoades (’80, ’83), a mentee of Howell’s who is currently a senior statistician for the Harris County Psychiatric Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, said Howell had been a member of his dissertation committee. Rhoades said Howell had an energy and drive for excellence.
“Whether it was working at his desk or talking to us in one meeting or another, he always seemed in the moment, very focused and engaged,” Rhoades said.
Rhoades said he thought Howell was a tireless and dedicated educator.
“Not only did he educate in the classroom, but his work ethic and demeanor provided an informal education and example for us,” Rhoades said. “He maintained a high standard for all work we did.”
Rhoades said a fond memory of Howell was when they trained for and ran the Houston Marathon together.
“When we got in sight of the finish line, Bill suddenly decided to sprint — without saying anything,” Rhoades said. “When I asked why he decided to sprint the last bit, he said, ‘Well, there looked to be one or two older folks in my age bracket I might be able to pass.’ It was typical Bill.”
In honor of Howell, the Department of Psychology established the William C. Howell Fund for Psychology, the Rice News and Media release stated.