Howard Schein '66

Urbana, Il
Grinnell Major: Biology (Chemistry minor)
Alumni Student Connections

Howie has been closely involved with Grinnell since he began as a student in 1964. Biology major and Chemistry minor, swim team member, and work study student he quickly learned at Grinnell what hard work was all about. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since. At his 25th reunion he walked into the science building where his former botany professor, whom he hadn’t seen in all that time, greeted him warmly with a “Hello, Howard,” and no, he was not wearing a nametag. When his two daughters visited Grinnell as they looked at colleges, Howie was able to sit in on several classes. From his viewpoint as a Big-10 professor, he was bowled over by the quality of teaching, by the fact that the students had all done the reading (which happened to be original source materials), by the enthusiastic and lively class discussions, and by the intellectual level of the conversations. Happily both his daughters decided to attend Grinnell (’08 and ’12), and he was once again able to see the college through their enthusiastic eyes.

Howie has always kept close ties to Grinnell volunteering with the GRASP program, representing Grinnell at local college fairs, interviewing prospies, giving a convocation address and sponsoring convocation speakers, connecting his academic friends to Grinnell, as well as serving as a swim official and volunteer alumni swim coach on the team’s winter training trips. He would certainly do more but his wife has not yet been persuaded to relocate. The Alumni Council is another opportunity to serve Grinnell enthusiastically.

After Grinnell, Howie studied marine animal behavior (specifically, mating and fighting behavior in snapping shrimp) at Cal Berkeley (M.A.) and University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He then changed directions, working as the director of an undergraduate residential learning community and as faculty in higher education at the University of Illinois. In retirement, he volunteers as a high school and college mentor, a frequent apheresis donor, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for kids in foster care (CASA), and a neonatal baby cuddler. He is also a studio potter, a swim coach, a voracious reader, and travels with his psychologist wife, Deborah Allen.

Posted June 2016