Upstate News

October 22, 2003
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Bonnie St. Andrews, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY Upstate, dies at 58

Bonnie A. St. Andrews, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University, died Oct. 21 at her in home Syracuse from a brain tumor. She was 58.

St. Andrews was an accomplished poet whose works were published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, JAMA, The Georgia Review, Commonweal and Virginia Quarterly. She was founding editor of The Healing Muse, SUNY Upstate’s journal of literary and visual arts, which recently published its third edition. Her new collection of poems, “Learning from Renoir”, will be published in November by Wells College Press.

She often explored medical issues in her writing. In “Songram,” for example, St. Andrews likens a fetal ultrasound to “a camera… exploring amniotic seas.” Her poems celebrated the courage of patients and practitioners in medical circumstances ranging from open heart surgery to resuscitation to MRIs.

St. Andrews also developed Kids in Art, an art therapy program for pediatric oncology patients at University Hospital.

St. Andrews received numerous accolades during her 23-year teaching career at SUNY Upstate. She received the highest academic honor from the State University of New York when she was named a Distinguished Teaching Professor in 1997 and won the SUNY Upstate President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992.

St. Andrews received a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University.

She is survived by her partner of 27 years, Deirdre Neilen, Ph.D., associate professor of bioethics and humanities at SUNY Upstate; her mother, Anne St. Andrews of Ogdensburg, N.Y., two sisters and a brother.

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