Joe Byers, 86, of Lansing, MI, passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2016. He was born in New York, New York on August 6, 1929, to Ruth and Marcus Byers. Joe was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the U.S. Army. He earned two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Agriculture and Education; as well his Master’s and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.
Joe dedicated his life to teaching, beginning as a social studies teacher at Middleton High School, in Middleton, Wisconsin. He then became an Associate Professor and Assistant Research Psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Joe spent the majority of his career as a tenured professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the Michigan State University, College of Education. While at MSU, he specialized in educational technology and the factors that influence the adoption of technology, the impact of technology on learning, and the applications of technology in teaching and learning. Joe was also a founding member of the Institute for Research Teaching (IRT), which supports and furthers the research interests and activities of the College of Education. After more than four decades of teaching, he became a professor emeritus in 1998.
After retirement Joe, and his wife Lucy Bates-Byers, established a first-of-its kind endowed gift in Technology and Curriculum at the College of Education. Awarded to a faculty member, the endowment provides support to the advancement of research related to technological applications and integration with curriculum spanning from primary to higher education. In 2003, Joe was honored — for his extraordinary contributions and commitment to education — with the College of Education’s Crystal Apple Award given to outstanding educators who inspire the next generation and beyond.
Joe is survived by his wife, Lucy Bates-Byers of Lansing; a sister, Deborah Bennett of San Antonio, TX; his daughter by his first marriage to Sue Byers, Bryonie Byers of Chevy Chase, MD; two stepchildren, Mary Jane Knappen of Lansing and Christopher Knappen of Orlando, FL; a son-in-law, Kevin Avery, and a grandson, J. Hudson Avery, both of Chevy Chase, MD.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Joe L. Byers and Lucy Bates-Byers Endowment for Technology and Curriculum at the Michigan State University College of Education, ?620 Farm Lane Room 513, East Lansing, MI 48824. Online condolences may be left for his family at www.EstesLeadley.com. No funeral services are planned.