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Annie Neidel, Ph.D.: 1977-2018

by Jeanette Grider on 11/20/2018

Annie Neidel, Ph.D., program manager with Saint Louis University’s Honors Program, died Thursday, Nov. 15. She was 41. 

A magna cum laude graduate of Rockhurst University, Neidel went on to earn her master’s degree and Ph.D. (A&S ’16) in English from Saint Louis University

Neidel joined the Saint Louis University staff in 2003 and spent a number of years in University Writing Services while pursued her graduate and doctoral degrees. She was also an adjunct professor.

She joined the Honors Program staff in 2014, serving as the program coordinator for competitive fellowships and scholarships. In addition, she was an advisor to all SLU students (undergraduate, graduate and even alumni) who planned to apply for competitive awards like the Fulbright grant, Marshall Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Truman Scholarship and others.  Her advising and guidance included exploratory meetings with students to discern their interests, individual meetings to hone application materials, and interviews with faculty members to prepare students for application submission. 

Neidel also served as the mentor to the Presidential Scholars Society and taught the Presidential Scholars section of the Honors Crossroads class. 

Robert Pampel, Ph.D., head of the honors program and a longtime colleague, spoke of her strong spirit and commitment to students.

“Annie was well known for her teaching and her wonderful work with students interested in competitive fellowships and scholarships,” Pampel said. “She was a generous mentor to all SLU students, a dedicated teacher, and a friend.”

Pampel added that her optimism and determination were unbelievable even as she battled cancer for more than two years.

“Annie was intensely private about her illness,” Pampel said. “She was always hesitant to share bad news if she couldn’t redeem it with positivity, and so she kept much of her recent health troubles to herself. That was Annie – always focused on making others comfortable, always looking for the silver lining.  We will miss her dearly.”

Neidel was also an active member and past president of SLU’s Women’s Commission. She became a member in 2015 and went on to serve as president during the 2017-2018 academic year, working closely with current president Kellisa Lyn Fiala from the School of Education.

“Armed with an infectious smile, Annie lived Jesuit education at Saint Louis University,” Fiala said.  "As a ‘woman for others,’ she modeled strong leadership, lifted us up when we struggled, and offered encouragement for our futures.”

Neidel is survived by her husband, Jim; children Josie Jane and Jimmy Raymond; parents Drs. Larry and Jane Rues; and brother Martin Rues.

 A funeral Mass was held Monday, Nov. 19, at Saint Francis Xavier College Church.