In Memoriam

January 8th, 2016


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Teresa (Terry) Lynn Polowy, professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona.  A brilliant scholar, teacher and mentor, Terry passed away on November 25, 2015.  She will be remembered in death as she was in life: a kind and charismatic person who embodies the ideals of our profession.  During her twenty-five years of teaching at University of Arizona, Terry worked with countless students, fostering interest and passion in Slavic languages and cultures. 

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Terry moved to Tucson in 1990 where she began her long and fruitful career in the UA Department of Russian and Slavic Studies.  Head of the department until 2015, Terry coordinated several partnerships with the community, including a tutoring program for high school students learning Russian and an internship for UA students to work with Holocaust survivors. 

Terry’s contribution to the field of Slavic Studies includes many articles, translations, presentations, reviews, and a full-length study of the popular Russian writer, Valentin Rasputin.  Her monograph, The Novellas of Valentin Rasputin: Genre, Language and Style (1989) was one of the first works to examine this author in depth.  A pioneer in the field of gender and Russian literary studies, Terry authored groundbreaking work on the portrayal of alcoholism in female-authored texts from the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. 

An innovative teacher and inspiring mentor, Terry encouraged her students to challenge themselves and actualize their potential.  The Russian and Slavic Studies Department at University of Arizona, along with countless friends and colleagues, will remember her legacy and the impact she made on our field and on the lives of those she knew. 

A fund has been established in honor of Terry’s memory.  Gifts to The Teresa Polowy Memorial Fund will go to the study of Slavic languages and literature for University of Arizona students.  Gifts can be made payable to “UAF/Teresa Polowy Memorial Fund” and sent to:

UA College of Humanities

Attn: Development Office

PO Box 210067    

Tucson, AZ 85721