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In Memoriam: Beth Buchanan


Beth E. Buchanan was a 2nd year doctoral student in the I/O psychology program when her life was tragically taken by a drunk driver on February 13, 2023. Beth came to UGA by way of Fresno, CA, where she was born and raised. As a child, she was active in theater and choir, performing in many productions as a singer, dancer, and actor, including several leading roles. 

Even at a young age Beth showed a passion for helping others. For her Girl Scout Gold Award she planned, designed, and implemented a drought-friendly garden to grow culturally appropriate fresh herbs that were then stocked in a local food pantry. This was based on her research that determined that many of the pantry users missed having these herbs that were an important part of familiar foods. The pantry continues to add these fresh herbs to their food pantry bags, serving over 300 families a month. 

Beth then attended Rice University for her undergraduate degree, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a major in Psychology. Additional undergraduate honors included Honors in Psychology, Distinction in Research and Creative Works, William C. Howell Award for Undergraduate Research, President’s Honor Roll (8 semesters), Phi Beta Kappa, and Psi Chi. On top of her stellar academic achievements, Beth also managed to be active in the student events board and sing in a women’s a capella group. 

An apt way to describe Beth is as a “light.” She had a contagious laugh and an angelic singing voice that could warm a room. She was kind, fun-loving, witty, happy, and remarkably intelligent. Her desire to make the world a better place carried over to her research endeavors in her doctoral studies. She was interested in issues affecting lower-income workers, particularly those tied into the management of work and family roles. She was in the process of co-authoring a book chapter on the topic when the tragic accident occurred. Her thesis was also in the development stage; she planned to explore specific types of work-family conflict episodes and the unique coping responses that are most helpful with each. She was working on several other projects aimed at improving employee well-being, including the impact of infertility on women’s work experiences, how to foster remote worker belongingness, and gender differences in “invisible” household labor. She was excelling in graduate school and showed extraordinary potential as a scholar. 

Beth is missed and mourned by many friends and family members, including her parents Timothy J. Buchanan and Julie B. Olson-Buchanan, sister Claire Buchanan and partner and fellow UGA student Asa Julien.

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