Dr. John A. Czaja, age 74, passed away on Saturday, September 21st. He was born on February 27, 1945 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Alexander and Victoria Czaja. John is survived by Carol (Fishman) Czaja, a childhood friend and the mother of his children, Ian (Katya) and Jason, his grandchildren, Ben and Nik, his wife of 25 years, Brenda Stevens, his New Hampshire relatives, his sister, Ellen and nieces and nephews.
Growing up he loved spending time with his family at the lake, swimming, boating, and watching the loons. Precocious, he played trumpet, and by age ten was giving music lessons.
He loved jazz and the blues. While in high school, on weekends, he would play with an adult band; before graduation, he played with the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra.
A scholarship student and psychology major at Yale, he was a member of the Russian Club and played with the football and concert bands. Additionally, as an undergraduate, he was a National Science Foundation Summer Research Fellow. After graduation he followed his mentor to Connecticut College where he was a research and teaching assistant.
These experiences gave him the foundation for his future research as a psychoneuroendocrinologist, (looking at the impact of hormones on the physical functioning and behavior of animals) and demonstrated to him, the importance of faculty mentors, grantwriting, and undergraduate research experiences.
Before coming to Miami in 1985, John held research and teaching positions in Oregon, obtained his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin, and taught at Purdue. At Miami, John was a professor in the Psychology Department and became the Associate Director of what is now the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS). In addition to helping faculty write research proposals, John was responsible for university animalcare, patents, and the development of a computer network.
Over time, his focus shifted to facilitating grantwriting, faculty mentoring, and developing programs for undergraduate research experiences.
Visitation will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, 420 S. Campus Ave, Oxford, OH 45056 on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 10 AM until the Service of Thanksgiving at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Loon Preservation Committee (a center and wildlife sanctuary, dedicated to the protection and preservation of this ancient and threatened species), at Lees Mill’s Road, PO Box 604, Moultonborough, New Hampshire 03254
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.