Henrietta E. Hestick

Psychology Professor At Morgan State And Baltimore City Community College Was A Gifted Teacher And Researcher

November 04, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Henrietta E. Hestick, a practicing clinical psychologist specializing in developmental childhood and family issues who was also an associate professor at Baltimore City Community College, died Thursday of a stroke at Sinai Hospital.

The longtime Windsor Mill resident was 66.

Henrietta Eversley, whose parents were both African Methodist Episcopal ministers, was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana.

After graduating from high school in Georgetown, she taught elementary school from 1959 to 1970 in her hometown.

In 1970, she moved to Baltimore, settling in Lafayette Square with her parents, who became pastors of St. John AME Church on North Carrollton Avenue.

Dr. Hestick enrolled at what is now Morgan State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in 1974 in psychology. She earned a master's degree in 1980 and a doctorate in psychology in 1982 from George Washington University.

From 1978 to 1983, Dr. Hestick worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Constant Care Community Health Center in Baltimore. She was a supervising psychologist with the Maryland Correctional Educational Program of the Maryland State Department of Education from 1983 to 1991.

A licensed psychologist since 1986, Dr. Hestick joined the psychology department at Morgan as an assistant professor in 1993, where she remained until 2001, when she joined the faculty at Baltimore City Community College as an assistant professor in the behavioral and social sciences department.

In 2005, Dr. Hestick was appointed an associate professor in the college's public services, education and social sciences department.

"To me, she was the ultimate teacher, whether she was formally in front of a class or just dealing with people. She was just wonderful," said Carol S. Perrino, a Morgan experimental psychologist and longtime friend, who taught Dr. Hestick when she was an undergraduate.

"She always could see relationships that she wanted to explore or challenge, or phenomena she wanted to understand and convey. She was a passionate teacher," Dr. Perrino said.

"Her clients adored her. She was very much nuts-and-bolts, and she knew how to get to the basis of a problem and help them make the choices they needed to make so they could help themselves," she said.

James Moses Ballard, a Washington psychologist, had been Dr. Hestick's supervisor during an internship at George Washington University and later at the old Crownsville Hospital Center.

"Henrietta was a very complete person who was very eager to learn and share. She did lots of work in the community and much pro bono work," Dr. Ballard recalled.

"She was a very jovial and friendly person who at times had a very serious demeanor and then the next minute would tell you a little joke. She had a wonderfully wry sense of humor," Dr. Ballard said. "I have to say that the patients in the hospital just loved her."

Karen Shallenberger, a professor of psychology at Baltimore City Community College for the past decade, was also a longtime friend.

"The day she died, I went to her class to tell her students, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. She was an exquisite teacher, and her students just loved her," Dr. Shallenberger said.

"Henrietta was a pretty incredible person who was gifted in so many areas. She had both great teaching and people skills, and was very good at research," she said.

"We're all so heavy-hearted because of her passing," Dr. Shallenberger said. "She was always with us, in our joys and sadness."

Dr. Hestick was a prolific contributor to professional and research journals and was the author of "Parenting and Child Care: Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem" and "Pathways in Parenting: A Skill-Based Curriculum for Teaching Parents of Adolescents."

For more than 30 years, she had been a visiting lecturer at colleges and universities in Jamaica and Guyana.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Hestick maintained a private therapy and family counseling practice.

Dr. Hestick was an avid collector of mother-and-child artwork and other figurines she acquired in her world travels. She also enjoyed cooking traditional Guyanese foods and entertaining.

She was a longtime active member of Union Bethel AME Church, where she had been a Sunday school teacher.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at her church, 8615 Church Lane in Randallstown.

Surviving are her husband of 45 years, Gershom Hestick, a retired Maryland Port Authority crane operator; a son, Gershom Paul Hestick of Baltimore; two daughters, Mearys Hestick-Greene of Owings Mills and Gersha Porter of Reisterstown; four brothers, the Rev. Walter V. L. Eversley of Guilford, John Eversley of Rosedale, Thomas Eversley of Georgetown, Guyana, and the Rev. Walter Lloyd Eversley of Laurelton, N.Y.; three sisters, Eileen Batson, Elizabeth Best and Josephine Lambert, all of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren.

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