Graduate research endowment memorializes Penn State psychology alumnus

Susan Burlingame
January 17, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was the late 1950s. Herbert Krauss was an undergraduate at Penn State when his psychology professor asked him to stay after class. “Why aren’t you taking notes?” the professor inquired.

According to Beatrice Krauss, to whom Herb was married for 51 years before he died in 2016, Herb was a voracious reader, consuming five or six books each week from an early age. Herb purportedly told the professor he would be happy to take notes if the professor said anything Herb hadn’t already read and remembered.

Bea&HerbKrauss

Harpist and social psychologist Beatrice Krauss is pictured here with her late husband, Herbert Krauss, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. In her husband's memory, Beatrice established an endowment supporting graduate students in the Department of Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts.

IMAGE: Beatrice Krauss

“Rather than calling Herb a smart aleck, the professor asked him to be his assistant,” said Krauss. “That was the beginning of Herb’s psychology career, the beginning of people taking him seriously as a scholar, and the reason he was forever grateful to Penn State.”

Raised in inner-city Philadelphia by parents who only had eighth-grade educations, Herb went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State and a doctorate from Northwestern University, after which he served as a faculty member and in leadership capacities for Hunter College of the City University of New York, Pace University and other organizations.

As director of rehabilitation research at the International Center for the Disabled, Herb guided the survey on disability, access and barriers, which provided the statistical evidence for the Americans with Disabilities Act. While at Pace, within blocks of the World Trade Center disaster, he implemented an intervention for those who had lost loved ones and guided Pace’s own healing.

A prolific scholar, he had more than 115 publications, including six books, many co-authored with former students and colleagues.

To honor her husband’s memory and his love for his alma mater, Beatrice recently created the Herbert H. Krauss Memorial Graduate Research Endowment in Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts with a gift of $50,000.

When the Department of Psychology announced Beatrice’s decision to create the endowment in Herb’s memory, the fund quickly attracted more than $20,000 in additional gifts from Herb’s colleagues, students, and friends.

“Penn State was Herb’s saving grace,” said Krauss. “It feels wonderful to know that others have contributed.” Beatrice had the opportunity to meet six recipients of the research endowment in November 2018, students with whom Beatrice continues to stay in touch. “Herb would have loved the students who received the award, and he would have loved what they are studying.”

Beatrice Krauss is an award-winning social psychologist and a fellow of the American Psychological Association and its Healthy Psychology Division. She is semi-retired, serving as a “designated campus colleague” for the University of Arizona. She has led more than 40 HIV-related research projects and has published widely on the topic. She is also an accomplished harpist.

“I’m honored that we can provide graduate students with support for their research from a fund honoring Herbert H. Krauss,” said Melvin Mark, head of the Department of Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts. “Having served as department chair himself, Dr. Krauss was aware of the value of dedicated funding for graduate students and their research. I know that his wife, Dr. Beatrice Krauss, is pleased that several students have already benefited from the fund she established. For example, because of support from this fund, one student is now involved in a research collaboration with noted scholars at another university. We are so grateful to Beatrice Krauss for memorializing her husband and endorsing his alma mater in such a meaningful way.”

“Penn State gave Herb lifelong friends, and it had the right spirit about academia. Penn State was his intellectual home,” Beatrice said. “I think Penn State has such loyal alumni because the professors are so student-centered — and that was Herb’s experience.” Though Beatrice is not a Penn State alumna, she joined the Penn State Alumni Association and attends alumni events in Arizona, where she resides.

“Creating this endowment just seemed so right,” she concluded. “Herb loved students, and he loved Penn State.”

To make a contribution to the Herbert H. Krauss Memorial Graduate Research Endowment in Psychology, contact Danae Blasso, associate director of development, at dvb5718@psu.edu or 814-863-5832.

The Krauss endowment helps Penn State as it seeks to fulfill its mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections. "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence" focuses on three key imperatives: Open Doors, Create Transformative Experiences, and Impact the World. Through teaching, research, and outreach, and because of generous alumni and friends, the College of the Liberal Arts is able to offer scholarships to deserving students, create life-shaping experiences, and make a difference in the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Last Updated March 28, 2019