Otello Desiderato, Lucretia L. Allyn Professor Emeritus of Psychology, passed away April 15. He was 89.
Otello was born in Buia, Udine, Italy, on Sept. 18, 1926. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1953. Otello attended Columbia University before earning his doctoral degree in psychology from New York University in 1953. He served with the U.S. Army Air Force in Japan after World War II, was a research psychologist with the Human Resources Research Office in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and held faculty positions at Brooklyn College and Adelphi University. In 1960, he joined Connecticut College as the department head for Psychology.
During his long research career in experimental/ physiological psychology, Otello published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications and co-authored a textbook that was used in many colleges and universities. He was awarded a number of fellowships and research grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Mental Health. Funded by NIMH grants, he completed research sabbaticals at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Connecticut. He was a member of many professional societies and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 1975, Otello began a private practice in Waterford, Connecticut, specializing in anxiety disorders and chronic pain management. He retired from Connecticut College in 1993.
Otello is survived by his wife, Chun Park Desiderato; his son, David, and his wife, Valerie Raggio, and their children; his daughter, Laurie Desiderato, and her husband, Richard Hook; and his brother, Robert Desiderato and his children. He also leaves two stepdaughters, Mary Tibbals, and her husband, Jonathan Tibbals, and Martha Davis, and their respective children. He was predeceased by two former wives, Dorothy Streng Desiderato and Valerie McGee Desiderato.