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Jane Westfall

Jane Westfall Jane Westfall, PhD, age 92, died January 24, 2021 at Manhattan, Kansas.

Jane was born to Frank and Anne Westfall. Jane was raised in Lafayette, California, where she graduated from Acalanes Union High School in 1946. She graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, with a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1950. She received her master’s degree in zoology from Mills College, Oakland, California, in 1952, and her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley in 1965. She received an undergraduate scholarship at Pacific, and a teaching fellowship at Mills.

Jane’s first position was a research assistant in zoology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1952. She spent the following year at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy, as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1954, Jane began her doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley, but took time off in 1957 to work full time as a laboratory technician, first in the department of physiological chemistry, then in the department of zoology. In 1962, she returned to the program and completed her dissertation.

In 1967, after two years as an assistant research zoologist at the University of California at Berkeley, she accepted an assistant professor position at K-State. At K-State, Jane ascended to associate professor in 1970, and to full professor in 1976—the first woman to do so in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award by Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Westfall’s accomplishments also include: The 1971 Bradley Writing Award, Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Nebraska in 1972, designated visiting Woman’s Scholar at the University of Oklahoma in 1976, elected Fellow of American Association of the Advancement of Science in 1981, Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award at Kansas State University in 1984, the 1993 Conoco Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, the university of Pacific Alumni Association’s Distinguished Professional Service Award in 1995,the 1998 Pfizer Award for Research Excellence at K-State and, as well as many other honors. Professionally, Dr. Westfall has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Anatomists, American Association of University Professors, American Society for Cell Biology, American Society of Zoologists, Comparative Respiratory Society, Microscopy Society of America, International Brain Research Organization, International Platform Association and Kansas Academy of Science. Although she retired in 1999, Jane often returned to her campus office. She helped organize a symposium on neurobiology for the International Conference of Coelenterate Biology. Jane acknowledged the many women who aided her quest to excel in her field, becoming the first woman professor at Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Jane was an active member of the Manhattan and K-State communities. She was a member of Friends of McCain Auditorium, Friends of the Beach Museum of Art, Friends of KSU Libraries, KSU Social Club, KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, Friends of Sunset Zoo, the English-Speaking Union, the League of Women Voters, and an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan, Kansas. A scholarship in Dr. Westfall’s name was established at the Kansas State University Foundation for students in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Jane is survived by one sister, Mary Westfall, nephews, Craig Rosen, David Rosen and niece, Laura Rosen.

Services will be held on 5th of, February 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church Peace Memorial Garden for cremains commitment, with the Rev. Jason Pittman officiating.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502 or First Presbyterian Church, 801 Leavenworth, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

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