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    Remembering the Contributions and Legacy of Dr. Michael I. Loewy

    By Eduardo Morales, Ph.D.–

    Friday, February 7, 2023, marked the passing of Dr. Michael I. Loewy, a beloved member of the psychology community and advocate for LGBTQ+ individuals. He was known for his warmth, generosity, and dedication to social justice and equity. He made significant contributions as a scholar, activist, advocate, and educator.

    Most recently, Dr. Loewy served as an associate professor and was the program director of the Ph.D. clinical psychology program from 2009 to 2015 at Alliant International University’s San Francisco Campus. Earlier in his career, he taught multicultural counseling at San Diego State University (1995–2001) and counseling psychology at the University of Missouri (2001–2002) before he went to the University of North Dakota, where he served as the program director of the doctoral program and then became chair of the department of Counseling and Community Services (2002–2009).

    Born in 1952 in Los Angeles, he earned his B.A. in sociology from the University of Las Vegas (1987) before moving to Santa Barbara to obtain his Ph.D. degree in counseling psychology in 1994. His professional interests included health at every body size, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race, gender, and gender expression as well as religion, age, and social class. Dr. Loewy enjoyed telling personal stories complementing his expertise in qualitative research and scholarship. For example, he would recount his experiences, which happened before he decided to become a psychologist, about working in casinos.

    He attracted students within marginalized communities, including those who are LGBTQ+, to pursue research on a wide array of topics, such as fat shaming, health at every body size, and social justice. As a leader, he had a major role in developing the careers of numerous students; he embraced their intersectionality as developing clinical psychologists. Dr. Loewy was a true activist with a heart of gold. He possessed the gift of humility, and his genuine compassion toward his students, colleagues, friends, and family will live on through his legacy.

    He was honored by the American Psychological Association’s Society of Counseling Psychologist for his work as one of the co-authors of the Counseling Psychology Model Training Values Statement Addressing Diversity. Dr. Loewy was also recognized for his outstanding service to the Southern Nevada community, receiving the Community Foundation Award and Congressional Recognition for being one of the 25 most influential LGBTQ leaders of that region. He was also one of the founders of the More Pie Initiative, which brought together counseling psychologists across identities to engage in dialogue about current events, controversial topics, and community building.

    Dr. Loewy will be greatly missed, not only as a friend and colleague, but also for the warm, kind, and loving person that he was. With his husband Dr. Nat Pyle and friends by his side, he transitioned peacefully and without pain. The last song he heard before his passing was Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” Tributes continue to be posted at this CaringBridge page:

    In addition to his husband, Dr. Loewy is survived by his daughter Hannah and numerous members of his chosen family who miss him dearly. A celebration of his life will take place on March 25, 2023, from 12–4 pm at The Sea Star, 2289 3rd Street, San Francisco. Another celebration of his life is currently being planned for April 1, 2023, in Santa Barbara. Additionally, friends of Dr. Loewy are planning to gather during the 2023 APA Convention in Washington, D.C., in August at a date and time to be determined to celebrate his life and to share loving stories.

    I was surprised when I learned of Dr. Loewy’s passing and will miss his humor, warmth, and collegial spirit as a fellow psychologist. I could always count on him to address LGBTQ+ issues and to advocate for our community as well as to fight for all those who are marginalized and impacted by racial and social injustice. He holds a special place in my heart due to our long collaboration on common issues of interest.

    Eduardo Morales, Ph.D. is a Professor Emeritus, retired Distinguished Professor, and current adjunct professor at Alliant International University. He is also a licensed psychologist and a founder and current Executive Director of AGUILAS, an award-winning program for Latinx LGBTQ+. Of Puerto Rican decent, he has received numerous distinguished awards and citations, including being named a Fellow of 12 divisions of the American Psychological Association.

    Nuestra Voz
    Published on March 9, 2023