FROM: Christopher Murphy, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology
Aron Siegman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, passed away in late January. After earning his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1957, Aron served on the faculty at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan Israel and then as a Research Associate and Research Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Aron joined the faculty of UMBC in 1969, before Psychology was an official department. From 1970 to 1978 he served as discipline coordinator and then Department Chair. Aron was instrumental in launching graduate programs in the Department, and in recruiting many outstanding colleagues to UMBC. Aron retired in 2001 with his wife Sarah to their home in Beit Shemesh, Israel.
An ordained rabbi and Talmudic scholar, Aron was a highly productive contributor to Psychology. His research interests spanned broad areas of personality, clinical, and health psychology. Among his many early- and mid-career contributions include studies on perceptual defense, cultural aspects of personality, religion and psychodynamics, therapeutic interactions, verbal fluency, and paralinguistic features of communication, During the later years of his research career, Aron made important and sustained contributions to our understanding of the complex influences of anger, antagonism, and hostility on cardiovascular reactivity and coronary heart disease, as exemplified in the books “Anger, Hostility, and the Heart” (co-edited with Timothy Smith) and “In Search of Coronary Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A” (co-edited with Theodore Dembroski).
Colleagues and former students fondly remember lively discussions about history, politics, philosophy, religions, and literature; Aron’s remarkable ability to translate complex psychological concepts into testable scientific hypotheses; his tenacious dedication and advocacy of colleagues, students, the department, and the discipline; and his love and devotion to his wife Sarah, their three sons David, Jonathan, and Eli, and their many grandchildren.