Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
A Tribute to our Founder
Share |

Harold R. Musiker, Ph.D.

April 29, 1921 - March 21, 2014

Hal Musiker, Ph.D.On Friday, March 21, 2014 the Rhode Island psychological community lost a beloved friend and colleague at the age of 92.  Harold R. "Hal" Musiker was a pioneering force with a distinguished career that among many things included being the co-founder of the Rhode Island Psychological Association as well as RIPA's first President.  As a testament to his commitment to moving psychology forward for many years, the RIPA Board of Directors established the "Musiker-Merenda Award" to be presented to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the practice of Psychology.  

His obituary can be viewed here.

Hal Musiker's life touched so many in our psychological community.  While his life with us has ended, his words and lessons, the mentoring he showed so many, and his passion and vision for psychology will remain.  A permanent marker like few others.

If you are one of those lives touched and would like to express your reflections, the RIPA has dedicated this page to commemorate the life of one of our founding fathers.  We encourage you to make a post or read what others have said. If you would like to add something to this page, please email your comments to Jack Hutson and we will post them as they arrive.

March 26, 2014
I was quite sad to read of Harold Musiker's passing in the ProJo. I recall him so fondly. At one time he was a wonderful mentor to me and really encouraged me to try private practice at a time when there were many fewer of us, and little insurance coverage. Harold was a wise, warm, caring and compassionate man who gave a lot to others and also cared about the profession of psychology. I recall when RIPA was started and also the licensing exam. I was really nervous about taking it -it was one of the first years and there were no study courses. I remember calling Harold after the test and hearing his reassurance that with all the studying I had done I would certainly have done well. Of course he was right.

I also recall that he had a mild heart attack when he was in his late 50's or early 60's and he changed his life -diet, exercise, etc. I guess it worked since he lived to be 92. I can hope I do as well and bring as much joy to others as he did.

We, who belong to RIPA will remember Harold Musiker as one of our founders, and our inspiration to the practice of psychology in RI.

Deirdre V. Lovecky

Deirdre V. Lovecky, Ph.D.
Gifted Resource Center of New England

March 28, 2014
When I read the obituaries for dedicated professionals such as Dr. Musiker, I am struck by the energies they give to their professional, academic and family communities. They don't make them like they used to, may our generation and the next even try to emulate them. As you may know, Dr. Musiker held RI psychologist license #1.

J. Michel Martineau
Board of Psychology
RI Department of Health

March 29, 2014
Tidbits on my longtime relationship with Harold Musiker.

Harold and I as well as both of our families knew (have known) each other for over 57 years going back to late Jan. 1957. We first met in Chicago when he and John Bennett were Clinical Associates in the Providence-based psychological management consulting firm, Walter V. Clarke Associates, Inc.

Thus began a 7-month series of meetings with them whenever they came to Chicago to service client companies. The purpose of these meetings was to recruit me to join the professional staff of Clarke Associates as research director. The reason for their interest in me lay in the fact that Walter had just been placed on 5-year probation -- not for failure to conduct the required research, but for not publishing the results in top-level APA journals. At the time, I was residing in Madison, Wisconsin, where I was a Research Associate on leave from my position in Illinois as the first Director of the Research Dept. of the U.S. Naval Examining Center. In July 1950, after doing 6 consecutive semesters post A.M. (Tufts), I completed my course work requirements at Harvard in Phil Rulon's doctoral program in psychometrics, and got appointed Research Psychologist in the Civil Service, GS-180 series at the Exam Center. Seven years later I had built the research unit from a Section to a whole Department (with 3 divisions and 3 research directors), so in 1957 I was ready to seek other challenges and in early January placed a notice of my availability in the APA Employment Bulletin. That's what set in motion Hal's and John's contact with me.

Finally, in the summer of '57, Hal convinced me to travel to R.I. and talk to Walter Clarke and review the firm's extensive research files (even though I already had a firm job offer from the University of Minnesota). The rest is history.

At Clarke Associates, Hal and I worked closely together, the same as we did as members and officers of RIPA. (For further details, please see the piece to be published soon in the RIPA Newsletter.)

Beyond our professional relationship, we both treasured the social life our two families shared (Hal & Barbara and their 3 children, Rose & I and our three daughters, with all the kids basically growing up together) over the span of five decades.

Hal and I used to attend and participate in all of the APA conventions, from 1957 to 1990 or so. While Hal stopped going after the convention in Boston, he and Barbara did come to Washington, D.C., in 2005 when I received the APA Div. 5 Samuel J. Messick Award and gave an invited address on psychometrics. Earlier, in 2003, URI President Carrothers expressly saw to it that Hal and Barbara were invited to attend the special luncheon in my honor on the occasion of the honorary doctoral degree awarded to me by the university.

But the best occasion of togetherness was the annual Christmas Eve fish dinner to which Hal and Barbara had a standing invitation. They always came, even after they had left Providence and moved to Arlington, Mass.
We shall all miss him!

Peter F. Merenda, Ph.D.