Faculty Memorial - Alexander Z. Guiora (1925-2015)
Alexander (Shonny) Guiora , Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Linguistics, died October 28, 2015 at the age of ninety. A native of Hungary, Professor Guiora took undergraduate studies at Peter Pazmany University in Budapest before entering the Université de Paris, Sorbonne, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1951. From 1951 to 1958, Professor Guiora served in the Israeli Defense Forces, first as clinical psychologist at a military hospital, and then as chief clinical psychologist in the Surgeon General’s Office. In 1958, he was appointed chief psychologist at the Bat Yam State Hospital in Israel, in 1960 senior psychologist at the Israeli Federation of Labor Mental Health Clinic, and in 1963 clinical psychologist at the Stockton California State Hospital. In 1964, Professor Guiora joined The University of Michigan as assistant professor of psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology; in 1965, he was promoted to associate professor and in 1970 to professor. In 1979, in recognition of his contributions to psycholinguistics, Professor Guiora was appointed professor of linguistics. On his retirement in 1985, he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Linguistics. He subsequently joined the University of Haifa as Professor of Psychology, a position he retained in emeritus status through to the early 2000s while also serving in the mid-1990s as President of the then newly-founded College of Yezreel in Israel. Professor Guiora’s major research focus was language behavior and the relationships between language, cognition, personality, empathy, and identity. His research on the effects of alcohol on lowering inhibition and improving second-language pronunciation was widely cited. Professor Guiora served the journal Language Learning, for more than 28 years, first as editor and then as general editor and executive director. Language Learning, founded at the University of Michigan in 1948 by the Language Learning Research Club, was important in establishing the study of Applied Linguistics. When Shonny became editor in 1978, the journal was behind schedule and in some disarray. He turned it around, making it financially sound, well managed, and professionally edited. Under his leadership, Language Learning grew to become one of the foremost journals in the Language Sciences and the Research Club grew to a learned society, which now supports a number of grants and scholarships. Shonny is survived by his wife Susie Guiora of Jerusalem, Israel, his son Amos Guiora, professor of lawat the University of Utah, his daughter-in-law, Hagit Guiora, and three grandchildren, Tamar, Amitai, and Yoav Guiora.
--Robin Queen, Chair, Department of Linguistics and Nick Ellis, General Editor, Language Learning