Humboldt State University

Department of Psychology

Passing of Professor Emeritus Bettye Elmore

Bettye Elmore

Bettye Elmore, Professor Emeritus, passed away on December 1st, after a long illness.  She earned her doctorate in Psychology Education from University of California, Berkeley in 1977 and taught in our department from 1977-2007.  Many of us are better clinicians, teachers, and people for her influence on us. 

Shannon Stuart-Maver, (Lecturer, MFT, LPCC, and former student) said. “she was a wonderful woman and professor, and had a profound influence on who I have become as a child therapist, a teacher, and a parent.  I am grateful to have known her, and to have had her as a mentor”.  Many of us echo this sentiment.

Former student, Ryan Ruiz, wrote, “She was like a grandmother to me.  Straight forward, kind, and intelligent.  Willing to say what was on her mind, and loving at the same time…Such a jewel in this world that makes people usually pick either straight forwardness or kindness”.

She encouraged and mentored countless students and colleagues, challenging us to be better, to work in pursuit of social justice.  She was instrumental in the development of the Humboldt Pledge, signed by many students at graduation.  This promise, to uphold a high standard of sustainability and ethics in all our life choices, has spread to other institutions including Stanford and MIT.

Her influence can be seen throughout the work of her students, many of us now clinicians.  Her style of teaching was integrative and intersectional.  Through her mentorship, we understood the impact of child trauma and how to nurture clients to grow and thrive in spite of it.  She modeled empathy and connectedness, and always with relationship at the heart of everything she did.

Bettye was a beloved member of our department and we are saddened by her death.  We offer our condolences to her children, Reed and Jennifer.