NORMAN — Theresa M. Coffman Rodriguez departed this beautiful earth Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
She leaves behind a loving husband, family and many friends. Theresa felt that from childhood, her true calling was teaching. She taught for the OU College of Architecture Regional and City Planning program in the 1990s and, from 2003 to 2012, was a key contributor to the new major in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment (IPE) program in the College of Arts and Sciences at OU.
Theresa graduated from Norman High School, earned a Master of Science in environmental science and a Master in regional and city planning, both from the University of Oklahoma. She was a committed environmentalist and loved nature. Theresa was proud of the work she did to raise respect, awareness and passion for our beautiful world and instill in her students mankind’s role as stewards of the earth and our inherent responsibility to conserve and care deeply for its resources and all living creatures.
Her teaching for the IPE program at OU allowed her to explore and share her knowledge of a range of environmental issues. She developed courses in human health and the environment; food, agriculture and the environment; energy use and climate change; sprawl and environmentally conscious living. Her courses were very popular and filled early. Theresa had a powerful positive impact on many students as well as many of her colleagues.
She was an avid reader and gardener, had great affection for her cats and enjoyed foreign languages, travel and time spent with her husband and good friends.
In lieu of flowers, Theresa requested that donations be made to Second Chance Animal Sanctuary of Norman, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Wildlife Federation or The Environmental Working Group.