Lacey Okonski

I felt a great sense of sadness when I learned of Bruce Bridgeman’s passing.  Bruce was the type of intellectual who could put aside theoretical differences, as was often the case for us, and still give his full consideration to support your research or work.  He had an incredible mind as was evidenced by the sheer amount of content he presented in his behavioral neuroscience class.  Beyond his academic greatness, Bruce was also very kind with an amazing sense of humor.  I will always remember him fondly whizzing by me on his bicycle with incredible speed (and chuckling after he would successfully startle me), making South Park jokes at colloquium, casually hanging out in his lab talking about language research, and celebrating the end of the year with Martinelli’s sparkling cider at the Bridgeman home with Sabine and other labmates.  When Bob Bjork came to visit the campus and review our department I remember recounting to him how welcoming the professors at UCSC can be and in particular telling him of how earlier in the day Bruce helped me find some references in his office and even let me borrow a text on the subject marking the relevant pages.  Just before Bruce passed, we had a very fun conversation on Phil Tseng’s facebook thread where ultimately we all joked that Bruce was a Cognitive Lord and I confirmed that this was the case.  I am so glad we got to have this one last joke together and that I was able to pay that one last tribute to a man who I respect so much.  His memorial falls on my birthday but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Rest in Peace Bruce!