John Gilmour Sherman ’53 died on May 24, 2006, in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Born in Fall River on April 3, 1931, he prepared for college at Central High School in Fall River, and became a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation from Bowdoin he undertook graduate study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and then worked at Columbia University with renowned behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, earning a master’s degree in experimental psychology in 1955 and a Ph.D. in 1959. He taught at the Manhattan School of Music in 1956-57 and at Barnard College and Columbia University from 1958 to 1962. He was a Fulbright scholar at the fledgling University of Brasilia in Brazil, where he helped to establish the psychology department. He taught at the University of Arizona for four years before joining the faculty at Georgetown University in 1969, where he was the director of the Center for Personalized Instruction, an approach he pioneered in the field of psychology.His career also included visiting professorships at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Brasilia.While teaching part- time at Gallaudet University he learned American Sign Language, which he taught at Georgetown. He retired in 1990. He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Humanities Faculty and the Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf. He was the recipient of a number of teaching awards and was the author of seven books and of dozens of scholarly articles.There are no immediate survivors.