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In Remembrance: Barbara Lynne Rowland Mori (1946-2012)

Professor of Sociology and Former Chair of the Social Sciences Department

Dr. Barbara Mori

Professor Barbara Mori passed away Feb. 12, 2012, at a hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., following a courageous battle with leukemia and having lived 23 years with a transplanted kidney.

Mori was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of William and Bertha Rowland. She attended Hofstra University and majored in history, with a concentration in Chinese studies. She graduated at age 20 and volunteered for the Peace Corps in Korea.

On a post-graduation trip to Korea, she met Japanese businessman Y. Mori. They moved to Japan and married. When the marriage ended after five years, Mori moved to Kyoto and studied the tea ceremony with the Grand Tea Master of Japan. She then pursued graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, where she earned her master’s degree in Asian studies and her master’s and doctorate in sociology.

Appointed assistant professor of sociology at Cal Poly in 1986, Mori retired as a full professor in 2010. While at Cal Poly, she taught Sociology of Gender, Race and Ethnic Relations; Sociology of Japan; and Women of East Asia. She also taught courses in Chinese and Japanese culture in the Humanities Program. Mori was active in the development of the women’s and gender studies minor and also chaired the Social Sciences Department from 2006-07.

Mori is survived by her brother, William F. Rowland of Nevada; sister, Kathy O’Connell of Florida; and son, Christopher Y. Mori of California.

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