November 1, 2006

A Tribute to Dr. David O'Drobinak

It is with great sadness that the Biology Department reports the unexpected passing of our friend and colleague, David O’Drobinak. David had been undergoing treatment for Burkitt lymphoma, a rare B-cell cancer that struck him very suddenly about six weeks ago. His courageous struggle to stay in the classroom, even as he was so obviously in pain, was evidence of his devotion to teaching and how much he cared for his students.

For David, or “Dr. O” as he was more widely known, being a professor was more than a vocation. He worked countless hours to make Anatomy & Physiology, one of the toughest subjects in Biology, accessible to students. In the classroom, he was intense, but hysterically funny at the same time. The rapid-fire delivery was always peppered with creative comments that exposed his great passion for biological science. He had a great sense of style, whether it was his way of speaking or the sharp color-coordinated clothes that made him unofficially the best dressed scientist on campus. His door was always open for unlimited office hours and there was a steady stream of students who came in for personal tutorials. He had a huge white-board on the wall of his office and was always willing to give a one-on-one explanation to students who wanted to learn.

David’s pride and joy was his website (http://www.valdosta.edu/~dodrobin/3450/3450lab.htm), which he treated like a work of art that was always under revision. He loved to call us into his office to see the latest innovation as he crafted better and better ways to share information with students. His greatest joy was knowing that teachers all over the country had discovered the site and were recommending it to their students. His biological research was in the area of muscle physiology, but he had recently taken up doing educational research in order to evaluate the efficacy of these online images as a supplement to classroom instruction.

There is a large blank poster on his office door where people are invited to leave messages for David or his family. You are also welcome to send email condolences to lesliesj@valdosta.edu which will be forwarded to his family.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2006 at Azalea City Church of God with Reverend Raymond Gabbard and Reverend John Harrell officiating. Burial will follow at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Saturday at the church one hour prior to service time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the family for the Educational Fund of his sons, Colin and Adam. Condolences may be conveyed on the obituary page at www.mclanefuneralservices.com - Carson McLane Funeral Home.