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Former Health Sciences Dean Cheryl Samuels Dies

Cheryl SamuelsCheryl Samuels

Cheryl Troy Samuels, who served as dean of Old Dominion's College of Health Sciences for four years, starting in July 2000, died March 23, 2013, in Rockville, Md., after battling ovarian cancer for more than five years.

Samuels was born on Oct. 1, 1945, in Brooklyn, N.Y., where her father was stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a U.S. Navy ferry pilot during World War II. Though she was raised in Toledo, Ohio, she remained fiercely proud of her Brooklyn roots. After high school, she earned a certificate of dental hygiene and a bachelor's degree in education from Ohio State University; a master's in dental hygiene education from the University of Michigan; and Ph.D. in policy sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her career was spent in higher education.

For 17 years Samuels served as chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene at the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore. Later, she served as dean of the College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University in Mankato; dean of the College of Health Sciences at ODU; and provost and vice president for academic affairs at both Texas Woman's University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Samuels wrote the following in a letter to her ODU colleagues, announcing that she had accepted the position at Texas Woman's University: "It has been a genuine privilege and honor to work with all of you. I have enjoyed very much being a part of this university, and we at ODU have much of which to be proud. With the leadership that all of you bring to ODU and this community, the future ahead is very bright."

An intrepid world traveler with a zest for life, Samuels was an avid reader, tenacious debater, academic visionary and mentor to young women.

She is survived by her husband, Jeff; daughter, Courtney; son, Blair; parents, Richard and Wanda Troy of Toledo; sister Gay Escobar, also of Toledo; and sister Connie Troy of Safety Harbor, Fla.

To view the guest book, go to: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/nytimes/guestbook.aspx?n=cheryl-samuels&pid=163923474&cid=full.