Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Professor remembered for kindness, enthusiasm

June 27, 2001

Although cancer affected sociology Professor Chris Vanderpool within weeks, his wife, Mariam Sticklen, said Vanderpool had prepared her for his death.

“It was a shock, but he really prepared me, I suppose,” she said. “Already my house is filled with 60 baskets of flowers from whoever had a memory of something.”

Vanderpool, 58, died Monday night. He was a former chairman of the Department of Sociology who had a large focus on the environment, fisheries and wildlife.

He has two sons, Aaron Vanderpool, 34, and Eric Vanderpool, 29, and a stepdaughter, Mitra Sticklen, 15.

Although the husband and wife met nearly 10 years ago when Mariam Sticklen came to MSU as a professor of crop and soil sciences, they married just more than a year ago.

“As two professors, we have a lot in common,” Sticklen said. “We both love to travel together all over the world. We love the same music. We watch the same type of television programs.

“We did a lot of things over a year.”

Tom Conner, chairman of the Department of Sociology, said Vanderpool was scheduled to teach introduction sociology courses as well as graduate-level theory courses in the fall.

Conner said he had known and worked with Vanderpool at MSU for more than 30 years.

“He was a very enthusiastic, active person,” he said. “He liked his work and really loved sociology.”

Sticklen said Vanderpool didn’t treat anyone differently, whether the person was a freshman entering a first lecture, a custodian near his office in Berkey Hall or an administrator.

“He was a person who didn’t care what degree of education a person had,” she said. “There was no age difference, no culture difference. He ate at the same restaurants with janitors as he did with the provost.”

Provost Lou Anna Simon said she came to know Vanderpool as they crossed paths through many activities and groups.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” she said. “He saw those liberal arts and land grant principles as being complimentary.

“It gave us a chance for me to learn and for us to find ways to meet our shared goal of making MSU a better place.”


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