Deborah Kim Emery
1972-Oct. 30, 2007
Deborah Kim Emery, 35, a research associate at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, died Oct. 30 at Stanford Hospital following a stroke.
She was born in Los Angeles and her family moved to Palo Alto in the 1980s, where they ran the Cookbook restaurant in Town & Country Village Shopping Center.
She graduated from Gunn High School in 1990 and earned a graduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994.
She worked for nonprofit organizations and entered the doctorate program at Stanford in the late 1990s. After getting her doctorate, she joined SRI International in Menlo Park as an education researcher before returning to work at Stanford last year.
In her work at the Gardner Center, she focused on the developmental and social aspects of learning. At the time of her death, she was co-teaching an undergraduate course, Contexts That Promote Youth Development, in the School of Education.
"She was always interested in what opportunities youth have to learn," said education professor Shelley Goldman, who was her dissertation advisor. "She also looked for ways for undergraduates to get involved in the community," such as through the Haas Center for Public Service.
"Deb was calm, quiet and steady," Goldman added. "She was always there to help people along. It looked effortless, but a lot got done without her making a lot of noise. She had understated tenaciousness."
She is survived by her husband, Brian Emery, and their daughter, Kaia Kim Emery of Menlo Park; parents, James and Agnes Kim of Palo Alto; and sister, Jennifer Choi of New York.