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SU researcher dies unexpectedly at age 37

June 23, 2008

Kevin Morrow

Kevin Morrow

Todd Reynolds, a post-doctoral fellow at Syracuse University's Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies, died unexpectedly of natural causes Sunday (June 22) at his home in Syracuse. He was 37.

Reynolds had recently completed an advanced training project in rehabilitation research and disability policy co-directed by SU School of Education professors James Bellini and Steven J. Taylor and funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. At the time of his death, he was working on scholarly papers for presentation at conferences and publication in professional journals.

"Dr. Reynolds was a promising young scholar in Disability Studies," Taylor says, "and it's tragic that he will not be able to fulfill his potential."

"Todd was in the inaugural group of post-doctoral scholars with disabilities that we were able to recruit to SU," says School of Education Dean Douglas P. Biklen. "His premature death is terribly sad."

Reynolds specialized in the experiences of people with disabilities in natural disasters. His doctoral dissertation at the University of Oklahoma focused on how people with disabilities prepare for and cope with tornados and other severe weather in the Midwest. Reynolds earned a Ph.D. in geography at OU in 2007. From his arrival at SU in September 2007, he focused on how people with disabilities adapt to heavy snowfall. In conducting his research, Reynolds drew on his own experiences as a person with severe disabilities, including limited sight and hearing as well as mobility impairments.

This summer, Reynolds had been teaching the course "Geography of Disability" through University College and the Department of Geography in the Maxwell School.

Along with his Ph.D., Reynolds held two master's degrees from the University of Alabama.

He is survived by his father, William S. Reynolds of Marietta, Ga.; and three brothers--Shane Reynolds of Truckee, Calif.; Michael Stockton of Atlanta; and Matthew Stockton, who is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The funeral arrangements are private. The Center on Human Policy will hold an informal memorial service on July 9 at noon at the center, 805 S. Crouse Ave.

For those who desire, counseling is available from Hendricks Chapel (443-2901), the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (443-1087) and the Student Affairs Counseling Center (443-4715).

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