Professor dies in bicycle accident
November 8, 2010, 8:52 pm · Updated November 9, 2010, 12:00 am·
School of Social Policy and Practice lecturer Joseph McBride died Friday in a bicycle accident. He was 58.
McBride joined the faculty in 1998. He received his bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College, now known as The College of New Jersey. He earned a master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University.
In addition to teaching at Penn, McBride worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as the associate director of the Diabetes Center for Children and director of Social Work Training at the Child Guidance Center. He also owned a private practice where he specialized in therapy pertaining to chronic illness and bereavement in Lawrenceville, N.J., for 30 years.
Dean of SP2 Richard Gelles pointed to McBride’s background in grief counseling as a reason for his death being especially upsetting to faculty and students. However, he stressed that although McBride will not be there to help them through this difficult time, his past advice had been taken to heart.
“Joe approached death very pragmatically,” Gelles said. “One of the things he told his students was that there was always a big rush to console families in the immediate days after the death and then everyone goes away. We are trying to think long-term in how to be supportive to his family and his children in the weeks ahead rather than just the next few days.”
At Penn, McBride received the Excellence in Teaching Award for part-time faculty twice.
SP2 alumnus and Black Men at Penn School of Social Work, Inc. President Chad Lassiter met McBride while working at the Child Guidance Center at CHOP. The two formed a friendship.
“I thought of him as a person who had a beautiful mind as it pertained to wanting to help everyone on every side of the color line,” Lassiter said. It was on McBride’s advice that Lassiter decided to enroll at Penn. He was also a student of McBride’s.
“You looked forward to going to his class,” Lassiter said. “It was like, ‘I got to get into Professor McBride’s class, and I have to sit in the front row, because I know he is going to say something about the material, and he’s going to relate it to real life and it’s going to be funny all the while.’”
“What I’ll remember is his wonderful spirit and his sense of humor,” said Lina Hartocollis, associate dean for student affairs at SP2. “He is somebody who the whole community knows and is missing, but also trying to remember how wonderful and full of life he was.”
Editor's note: The image that ran along side the print version of this article was not of SP2 Professor Joseph McBride. The image above is of SP2 Professor Joseph McBride.