Campus Life, News, Obituaries

Community remembers professor Liz Rothlein

Professor Liz Rothlein

Liz Rothlein held many titles throughout her life: educator, author and overall leader. Rothlein dedicated 25 years of her life to teaching at the School of Education and Human Development, including 13 years as associate dean. She died on Jan. 6 at her home in Warne, North Carolina. She was 80 years old.

On Feb. 4, a memorial was held at the Watsco Center to celebrate her life. A crowd of about 50 family members and friends gathered in the Hurricane 100 room, perusing photos of Rothlein from her teenage years in Ohio to her time at UM.

Attendees had tears in their eyes but smiles on their faces as they remembered the life of a woman who impacted their lives. Her impact even reached a man serving drinks and catering for Chartwells at the memorial, David Canepa. He met Rothlein 16 years ago at another event he catered.

“She always seemed happy and happy to see everyone around her,” Canepa said.

Rothlein dedicated her life to teaching while inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. Throughout her life, she authored or co-authored about 30 books, books filled with activities and stories meant to instill children with a love for reading.

Kimberly Brandt, Rothlein’s daughter, welcomed people as they entered the memorial. She said she remembers her mother being project-oriented, always ready to move on to her next goal.

“It was important for her to make a big impact on the educational world, that she wanted to leave her mark,” Brandt said. “She wrote books, she did lectures, she always aspired to touch as many people as she could in the educational realm.”

Rothlein was awarded Teacher of Year at the university and listed as an outstanding Teacher of America, a national honor given to educators who demonstrate commitment to students’ successes.

Students weren’t the only ones to benefit from interacting with Rothlein; her influence extended to co-workers and peers, as well.

Rothlein hired Marilyn DeNarvaez in 1993. DeNarvaez has been at the university ever since and is now a senior administrative assistant in the School of Education.

“She was so kind-hearted and soft spoken and yet she stood up for you if you needed it. She had your back. She always had your back,” DeNarvaez said.

Valerie Giroux, a professor in the School of Communication, remembers being under Rothlein’s mentorship while receiving her PhD in Educational Leadership/Administration. Rothlein was hands-on in each of the courses she taught and worked as a mentor for PhD students in the School of Education.

“She was a good leader. She took a number of us PhD candidates under her wing,” Giroux said.

Giroux recalled being told she could never become a high school principal because she was a woman. When she had Rothlein as her mentor, Giroux would be allowed to teach some of Rothlein’s classes in the School of Education, a practice rarely done at the time.

“It meant a lot to me that she trusted me with her classes. It was good back in the day to have a strong woman leader. She inspired me. She was totally inspirational,” Giroux said. “I’m still here, 26 years later.”

Rothlein’s love for UM was rivaled only by her love for her family and friends.

Married to Ash Rothlein for 40 years until her death, Rothlein traveled abroad often with her husband, some summers even traveling to Switzerland and staying the duration of the season in a chateau.

“We took risks, traveling, doing anything. We never went on tours, we always went in a car, sometimes a two-cylinder car. We were always excited wherever we went,” Rothlein said. “We were never separated for forty years more than three or four days.”

Liz Rothlein is survived by her husband, her two daughters Terri Wild and Kimberly Brandt, two stepsons Jay and Steve Rothlein, four grandchildren Amanda, Jason, Tyler and Sophie, sister Linda Foley and brothers Jim and John Brandt.

Correction, Feb. 13, 2017: This article originally misspelled Valerie Giroux’s name as “Valeria Giroux.”

February 8, 2017

Reporters

Nathalie Mairena


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga, awaiting word from the NCAA on the appeal to rei ...

The Hurricanes officially welcomed ballyhooed new quarterback Tate Martell on campus Friday, and he’ ...

Before Jess Simpson’s final playoff run as the coach of Buford fell short in a Georgia state champio ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

"We're excited to welcome these coaches to the Miami family," Diaz said. ...

The No. 17 Miami women's tennis team recorded its second win of the day Saturday evening at the ...

Chris Lykes scored 20 points, but the Canes come up just short against No. 13 UNC. ...

In the first of its two matches Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex, the No. 17 Miami women's t ...

Canes have won six of last 10 meetings with UNC. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.