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Volume 57, Number 30    April 19, 2010         

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In Memoriam

Eugene Rebstock
Professor Emeritus of Speech and Communication Studies Eugene Rebstock passed away March 6 at the age of 81. One of the founders of the then-Department of Speech when it evolved from the Department of English, Gene Rebstock's tenure at SF State spanned five decades. He worked with S.I. Hayakawa to establish the study and prominence of general semantics and served as department chair. Rebstock's broad teaching repertoire also included organizational, group, interpersonal and management communication, persuasion; and interviewing methods.

Fostering his inquisitive intellect, Gene spent a sabbatical year at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London in 1966. This experience helped shape his Neo-Freudian/Rogerian approach to exploring the intrapersonal and unconscious forces at work in the dynamics of persuasion, group communication and interviewing. Rebstock’s international experience also included six years with the Japan Exchange Teachers Program, helping to select candidates to assist Japanese teachers of English, and traveling throughout Japan to evaluate the program. Highly respected for his applied expertise, in tandem with Henry McGuckin, Rebstock conducted communication training seminars and workshops in organizational communication and team building for 25 years for senior members of the Bechtel Group.

A fount of campus history, Rebstock shared vivid accounts of the fractious student/faculty strike lasting from November 1968 to March 1969, and the consequent turmoil, which divided both factions and produced lingering tensions, but also generated innovations in curriculum. Amid this chaotic time, Rebstock maintained his unfailing devotion to students, honoring the strike by meeting with students in private homes, cafes, and sometimes in his car.

- Submitted by Rick Isaacson, associate professor of communication studies


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Last modified April 15, 2010 by University Communications.