I am writing with the very sad news that our friend Sonya Barclay died of metastasized liver and uterine cancer on Christmas day, at 4:30pm in Presbyterian Hospital. She had been ill only two weeks, after going to the emergency room on December 9th.
Sonya's graciousness and determination were a model for us all. She earned her Ph.D. only six months ago, in May 2008. This fall at CMU, she again taught her popular "American Countryside" course on rural culture. A gifted writer, researcher, and teacher, she was especially dedicated to and beloved by her undergraduate students. Last week, from her bed in intensive care, she insisted on grading her students' finals so they would not be kept waiting for their semester grades, which were filed on time.
We are lucky to have known Sonya and will miss her very much. Early in the new semester, her many friends will organize an event on campus to remember her when her students are on hand to participate.
Services will probably be held next week, in her hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania. Details will be forthcoming as soon as they are known.
Scott A. Sandage
Associate Professor of History
Baker Hall 240
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890