Chris Givner, 1953-2022
On the morning of 9 July 2002 I learned that a colleague and friend to many special educators, Chris Givner, passed away 6 June 2022 in Buffalo, NY. She had an extended career in special education, contributing as a advocate, teacher, researcher and administrator.
Over the years, Chris collaborated with wonderful special educators such as Diane Haager, Kathleen Lane, Clay Keller, and others. She had a diverse range of interests including inclusive schools, teacher education, and rural special education.
According to an online obituary from the Dunkirk Observer, Chris was born 9 February 1953 in Warren, PA. The obituary provided this summary of her academic career:
After Chris graduated from Warren High in 1971 as class valedictorian, she went on to study a multitude of disciplines at Allegheny College[,] ultimately earning her PhD in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. After receiving her PhD at Pitt, she started her career as a researcher at John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., for three years. She then moved on to become a professor of Education specializing in mild to moderate disabilities at Trinity College in Burlington, Vt. While at Trinity, she received numerous awards for excellence in the field. After half a decade at Trinity, she moved on to become a full professor of Education at Cal State[,] Los Angeles, focusing on the promotion of inclusion in the classroom and being appointed to the Chair of the College of Education. She then proceeded to become the founding Dean of the College of Education at SUNY Fredonia, where she worked tirelessly for 16 years.
Chris retired from the deanship in 2020. In addition to the honor of serving as a dean, Chris was the recipient of many awards including the Charles C. Mackey, Jr., award for Excellence in Service Leadership from the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; she was also an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Chris is survived by her husband, James Givner, son, Jelani Givner, and grandchild, Paxton Ross-Givner.