Jean Devlin Initiative

A Strong Relationship to UCSB

Jean Devlin made a deep and profound impact at UC Santa Barbara, while enhancing the lives of many. The Jean M. Devlin Initiative is being established by a group of Pharmacology alumni as a vehicle for honoring and recognizing Jean's incredible contributions to their lives and to the UCSB campus, through the establishment of a permanent and prominent tribute that will endure for many generations to come.

Jean M. Devlin and Why We Wish to Honor Her

Born in London, England, Jean received part of her secondary education in France, an experience that left her with an enduring appreciation for that country and its culture. She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Sciences degree at the University of London and thereafter conducted research in pharmacology at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London.

In 1967, she immigrated to the United States and accepted a position in the Pharmacology Department at Harvard Medical School where she designed, performed and supervised experiments for medical students. After two years at Harvard, she moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where she was associated with several departments and impacted thousands of lives over the next 25 years.

During Jean's tenure, and with the leadership of Professor Bob Jacobs, UCSB established the first undergraduate major in pharmacology in the country, and she was instrumental in its successful development: she designed experiments and supervised the laboratory component of the courses; she raised funds from industry to create international exchange programs with universities in the U.K., France, Switzerland, and Italy; and she launched innovative internship programs with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, all of which provided Pharmacology students with a unique, broadly based and enriching experience. Due in large part to Jean's personal involvement and support, many Pharmacology graduates went on to highly successful careers in industry. Jean took great personal responsibility for her former students and maintained life-long relationships with many of them. The Pharmacology program achieved international recognition under Jean's leadership and served as a model for similar initiatives at other institutions. For her contributions, she was elected to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

In 1994 Jean was recruited to the State University of New York at Stony Brook as Director of the Undergraduate Pharmacology Program, the second of its kind in the U.S. Here, she replicated her numerous previous activities and accomplishments at Santa Barbara and mounted a particularly successful international exchange program, which received the National Science Foundation's Award for Educational Innovation in 1999. In 2000, SUNY-Stony Brook established an endowment to support a prize in her honor - the Jean M. Devlin Award.

In 2000, Jean moved to the Rockefeller University in New York as its first Director of Educational Affairs. In this position her responsibilities included recruiting graduate students, administering the graduate student program, organizing the university's postdoctoral association, and directing the program for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows, some of whom later became candidates for the graduate program. Her impact on Rockefeller was, tragically, abbreviated by the onset of a terminal illness.

Jean Devlin was a remarkable person. She had a firmly rooted set of values and a strong sense of fairness and integrity. She was sympathetic and helpful to her students and, in return, she expected and demanded responsible behavior and performance. She had amazing, apparently inexhaustible, energy, that enabled her to perform her professional work at a high level of intensity and, in addition, to serve on numerous boards of volunteer organizations, such as the Vice-President and Director of the Rudi Schulte Research Institute in Santa Barbara. She radiated an infectious, galvanizing cheerfulness and optimism, which she retained to the end. She was unfailingly generous, loyal and supportive of friends, associates, colleagues and students. She lived life to the fullest -- dressing elegantly, traveling widely, often vacationing in France, enjoying friendships in many places, laughing easily and often.

On July 2, 2003, Jean M. Devlin passed away at the age of 66, following a long battle with cancer. Those who knew her will never forget her and the impact she had on their lives.

The Jean M. Devlin Endowment and Teaching Laboratory in Molecular Pharmacology

Our goal is to secure an endowment of $1 million or more to establish the Jean M. Devlin Endowment in Molecular Biology & Pharmacology. This Endowment would provide named undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships in perpetuity. In addition, the funding would help equip and supply state of the art teaching facilities.

In honor of Jean, we would also name The Jean M. Devlin Teaching Laboratory in Molecular Biology & Pharmacology, which would be housed within premier teaching space in the Life Sciences and Technology Building. The Life Sciences and Technology Building serves as a flagship facility for the Sciences Division. This 80,000 square foot facility provides a hub for interdisciplinary research and teaching in the biological sciences. The Devlin Teaching Laboratory will be a cornerstone of the building's research and teaching programs.

Recognition and Celebration

A public celebration and gift announcement is scheduled for the spring of 2012. This event will serve as an opportunity to not only honor Jean, but also bring together her friends, family and colleagues to celebrate her life. Supporters of the Jean Devlin Initiative will be honored with public announcements broadly promoting their gifts in Jean's name.