In memory of
DIANE LESLIE STEVENSON
STEVENSON, DIANE LESLIE Diane Leslie Stevenson, former professor and administrator at University of Florida, passed away at home on October 6, in Columbia, SC. She was 69. Diane was born in Cleveland, OH, and spent her professional life in Gainesville, before retiring to Columbia. Diane taught Writing, Grammar, and Composition at UF between 1988 and 2007, and reading and language arts at Eastside High School from 2001-2003. She served as Reading Program Coordinator for the UF Office of Instructional Resources (1992-1997), Director of the summer bridge program for the CLAS Dean's office (1997-2001), and Senior Lecturer in the Psychology department (2003-2008). Diane held six academic degrees: a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, Master of Arts in both English and Philosophy (Ohio University), a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (Case Western Reserve), a Master of Education (UF), and a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Public Relations (Boston University). She published poems in such journals as Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner, and received two grants from the Ohio Arts Council for her work. Diane was active in regional politics and conservation, using her talent and expertise to fight development on Payne's Prairie, and to advocate for progressive interests during Gainesville's elections. Her organization of the 1998 Florida Writers' Conference led to a longstanding friendship with author Carl Hiaasen, whose columns she edited into three collections (Kick Ass , Paradise Screwed , and Dance of the Reptiles ). She also authored books on grammar (Grammar Desk Reference, with Gary Lutz ), and academic advising (The Virtual Advisor, with Marty Haysacker ). She was committed to academic rigor and inclusion, developing courses for at-risk students, and training both graduate students and undergraduate mentors how to lead discussions. It was said of her that she taught teachers how to teach, and her devotion to pedagogy and student guidance was recognized with a Professor of the Year Award for teaching excellence from Psi Chi in 2005. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert C. and Barbara L. Stevenson, and is survived by a sister, Sandra Mormon of Atlanta, GA, a son, John Denton of New York, NY, and her husband James Denton of Columbia, SC. She will be interred in the family plot at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro, VT.
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