SUSAN SCHWARTZ STROOCK, 72, died Saturday, March 30 after a two-year struggle with cancer. Sue had an amazing zest for life and loved hiking, dancing and travel, especially to spots of natural beauty. In addition to many US National Parks, she and her husband had visited over 40 foreign countries together. They continued to travel after her diagnosis, most recently to Antarctica, a lifelong dream.
Sue was born in Memphis but moved with her family to Forest Hills, New York at the age of 3. She majored in biology at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York and in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. She was determined to succeed despite discrimination against women in science in graduate school and later in hiring. She taught at Northampton Community College, where she and a colleague developed a novel way of teaching biology to non-majors, combining study of topics in biology with their inherent social and ethical issues. The method was featured in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. She was also awarded the inaugural adjunct “Teacher of the Year” award at Northampton. Later, she spent 7 years teaching biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Upon moving to Little Rock Sue was hired by Pulaski Technical College to teach in their cooperative program with Baptist Health College. There she taught anatomy and physiology to nursing and allied health students. Her courses were always in high demand. She had a special way of explaining highly complex facts in simple language and with homespun analogies. She was delighted when former students came to her in restaurants or in clinics to tell her how much her course had contributed to their success.
Sue is survived by her husband Chris Hackler, son Douglas Stroock, brother Stanley Schwartz, and Sue’s and Chris’s former exchange student, who is like another son to them, Anatoliy Shatkovskyy, his wife Inna and their daughter Sophia.
In lieu of flowers, please send any contribution to an animal rescue or wildlife support fund, or your favorite charity.