|George H. Zimny, Ph.D.|
A longtime Saint Louis University professor has passed away. George H. Zimny, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology, died March 14, 2011. He was 85.
Dr. Zimny joined the Saint Louis University faculty as an associate professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry in 1964. He served as a full professor from 1967 to 1997, when he retired with emeritus status.
Dr. Zimny earned his undergraduate degree at Loyola University in Chicago in 1946, majoring in philosophy with a minor in psychology. He then stayed on to complete his master's degree in psychology in 1949. From there, he moved to the University of Minnesota where he earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology with a minor in educational psychology in 1952.
From 1952 to 1962, Dr. Zimny worked in the department of psychology at Marquette University. He was an instructor at Marquette from 1952 to 1955; an assistant professor from 1955 to 1958; and an associate professor from 1958 to 1962. At that time, he left Marquette to become a U.S. Public Health Service post-doctoral trainee in psychophysiology as well as a research associate in the department of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis.
During his three decades at SLU, Dr. Zimny published nearly 40 papers and a textbook, Method in Experimental Psychology. He was known for developing the Medical Specialty Preference Inventory tool, an assessment still used today that measures medical students' interest in various specialties to determine their focus in residency.
Dr. Zimny also served as chief of the section of human behavior from 1967 to 1974 at SLU.
George Grossberg, M.D., professor of psychiatry, called him a "true mentor" - someone known throughout the department for helping young faculty members and students with their research aspirations.
"He was a true gentleman who was a first-rate researcher. He dedicated his career to helping young researchers like me at the time so that we could get our research off the ground," Grossberg said. "He was one of my mentors. He helped me write the first grant that I ever got."
John Chibnall, Ph.D., professor of neurology and psychiatry, also recalled that Dr. Zimny nurtured careers by offering his time, his patience and his experience to his students and his colleagues. Chibnall added that his loss is quite significant.
"When I joined psychiatry, Dr. Zimny had already served the university for 25 years. He loved to talk and tell stories, and he was a true guide and a limitless source of information on research and surviving in an academic setting," Chibnall said. "Dr. Zimny's passing marks the end of an era for psychiatry at Saint Louis University."
Dr. Zimny is survived by his wife of 62 years, Rita (Najdowski) Zimny; his sons, George V. (Denise) Zimny, Gary (Judy) Zimny, and Paul (Gina) Zimny; his daughter, Cathy (Mike) Barry; his brother, Richard Zimny; his sister, Pat Riordan; and 10 grandchildren.
Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 18, followed by a funeral Mass at noon at St. Genevieve du Bois Catholic Church, 1575 N. Woodlawn Ave. in Warson Woods.
Memorial donations can be made to Saint Louis University Medical School White Coat Society Scholarship Fund #20016, Saint Louis University, DuBourg Hall, 1 N. Grand Blvd., Room 319, St. Louis, MO 63103.