In Memory of Assistant Professor Dr. Emily Rauscher


(Courtesy University of Utah Department of Communication)

By Delaney Sheppard, News Writer

The University of Utah community mourns the death of one of its own, Dr. Emily Rauscher, an assistant professor who passed away on Sept. 16, 2019. She was 36 years old.

Emily Rauscher was an assistant professor researching and teaching in the Department of Communication. Rauscher was also working at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in correlation to her research on family risk communication. Before joining the U in July of this year, Rauscher was a professor at Texas A&M University.

Rauscher was beloved by her peers and students. Best exemplified by her cat Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who she would dress in a supreme court justice outfit, Rauscher had a passion for studying books about the founding fathers and enjoyed talking about “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings.” She loved her work and was passionate about helping others.

“She loved her work, and was very passionate about helping people — especially those at high risk for developing breast cancer — understand their risks and prevention options,” said Jakob Jensen, Associate Dean for Research of the College of Humanities. “She also loved teaching. Working with students was one of the highlights of her day.”

A colleague in teaching and research, Kimberly Kaphingst, spoke on Emily’s impact at the U, “Emily made an immediate impact here both professionally and personally. Many people across campus have shared how much they enjoyed getting to know Emily, and that they appreciated her creativity, energy, and dry sense of humor. A favorite memory for many was seeing a picture of Emily’s cat Ruth dressed in her supreme court justice outfit.”

“In addition to Emily being an excellent scholar, she was also a dedicated professor. She set rigorous standards for her students and engaged them in the classroom with humor, authenticity, and a grounded approach to communication,” said Assistant Professor Natasha Seegert. “It took less than four weeks for her students to bond with her and to miss her ‘real’ presence in the classroom. She is missed.”

Rauscher is survived by her parents Steve and Cheryl Rauscher and two brothers Jeff and Nathan Rauscher. A memorial was held for the Department of Communication on Oct. 4. Rauscher’s impact and kindness will be remembered throughout the community.


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