In Memory and Honor of H.S. Pennypacker
Dear Friends of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies,
You may have learned of the sad news that our Chair of the Board of Directors, Dr. Pennypacker passed away in Gainesville last week at the age of 86. He was the intellectual leader and much of the cohesive glue of our group. More importantly, through his words, actions, and mentorship, he taught us to honor and respect our science and each other. Our Center is what it is because of the contributions of many people, yet from my perspective, no influence has been greater. Hank was funny, smart, and deeply kind, and he will be missed. I am beyond grateful to have shared 51 years of friendship. I am also happy that so many younger scientists/ practitioners were able to meet him and listen to his stories through our many conferences. Some of the luckier ones also got to hear him pick up a guitar and carry on our tradition of music. (He was after all, a member of the Snake River Outlaws and most recently, the Oak Hammock Rockers).
If you are on social media, I’m sure you have seen pictures and stories from some of the many amazing students that he impacted. Like most teachers, it was an immense source of pride for him when someone he mentored did something good. If you are among that group, please know that you brought him joy. There is a link to his obituary below and information about his memorial service. If you have pictures that you want included, please forward them. It will help the family he cherished.
Rob Holdsambeck, EdD, LCP, BCBA-D
Remembering Our Wise and Caring Colleague – Dr. Henry S. Pennypacker
Dr. Carl Binder, CEO & Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies
The Performance Thinking Network
We are heartbroken to acknowledge the passing Dr. Henry S. Pennypacker (“Hank”), an insightful and pragmatic leader in the global community of behavior scientists, and a key contributor to standard celeration charting and precision teaching. Friend, collaborator, and fellow musician with Dr. Ogden Lindsley, Hank was first author of the original Handbook of the Standard Behavior Chart, and of each subsequent edition of that foundational guide book. He was a brilliant scientist who encouraged us to stay within Skinner’s natural science of behavior by using standard units of measurement. He founded the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Florida, where he taught for 36 years. With his former student and protégé, Dr. Jim Johnston, he co-authored one of the most important books in the field of applied behavior science, Strategies and Tactics of Behavioral Research. He was a leader in Precision Teaching of Florida, an early state-wide effort to promote effective instruction. His groundbreaking company, Mammacare, later to become a nonprofit foundation, conducted behavioral research to develop a breast self-examination methodology that has arguably saved thousands of women’s lives through early detection of cancer. He was Chair of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a wise and thoughtful leader, and a masterful strategist when engaging with organizations and communities. And he was, for over 20 years, an original member of the Oversight Committee of the B.H. Barrett Endowment for Neuro-Operant Research, established at the University of North Texas with a bequest from his long-time colleague and co-author, Bea Barrett. He was President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, where his often-cited Presidential Address (https://bit.ly/Pennypacker1986) encouraged his fellow behavior scientists to “buy in without selling out.” He encouraged us to bringing behavior science into the marketplace, to let its contingencies shape development and promotion of products and services that would be supported by customers, based on the needs those products and services address. He Chaired the Task Force of the Standard Celeration Society that defined and documented the essential features of the standard celeration chart.
Hank trained, counseled, coached, and promoted the careers of many young behavior scientists, both his formal students at the University of Florida, and countless informal proteges, whom he helped and taught until the end of his life. He was an extraordinary mentor who made each person feel special, and a collaborator who provided wise advice and a model of thoughtful leadership to everyone whom he touched. Most of all, Hank was a model of kindness, authenticity, and good humor to friends and colleagues. Being his friend and colleague was a gift, and being recipients of his many contributions is something for which we can feel profoundly grateful. Rest in Peace, Dr. Pennypacker. We will miss your presence, and always appreciate your extraordinary contributions to behavior science, its applications, and its community of practice.
Dr. Carl Binder is CEO of The Performance Thinking Network, a management consulting and training company that enables staff professionals, leaders and managers to apply accomplishment-based performance improvement at all levels in organizations through certification programs and a unique executive coaching methodology. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and learn more about his work at www.PerformanceThinking.com, www.PerformanceThinking.tv, and www.Fluency.org.