In memory of Dr. Yvarra

In memory of Dr. Yvarra

Dan Meyer, Contributor

I was very saddened to hear about the passing of former U-W Whitewater staff member Paul Yvarra, as the university lost one of its finest instructors in its history.  I had Dr. Yvarra for many courses as I was completing my Masters Degree in Educational Administration back in the middle 90’s and early 2000.  

Dr. Yvarra was truly an outstanding human being at many different levels.  He made the world a better place and he was a man of high character and honor. He inspired myself and his students and people around him in the lives he touched.  I am trying to describe in words just what a remarkable person he was and the impact he had on many and in education.  Dr. Yvarra was a visionary and a man far ahead of his time.  He was not a man that was interested in maintaining and preserving the status quo, but rather lifting and elevating things that he believed in to higher levels.  His mark on education and learning is forever etched as we look back at the foundation he built to bring education and achievement to the 21st century model.  Dr. Yvarra dedicated his life to raising the bar in the classroom in how we measure learning and achievement.  Dr. Yvarra believed in brain research not necessarily from a behavior basis as in written and computer testing, but rather from an imaging monitor screen where brain activity is at work, and the ability to measure learning as it is occurring inside the classroom. He believed that we are currently driving a Model T in the classroom in measuring learning.  His vision would render current methods to measure learning and achievement obsolete as we would have the ability to attach words to brain activity, processing and storage.  I  will never forget what Dr. Yvarra once stated;  “Its not the answers we are looking for, but more importantly asking and wording the right questions”.

He was in contact with major universities around the country that specialize in brain research to promote this landmark and to someday bring this to fruition.  While we have made strides in brain research, much work needs to be done and we are still not able to correlate brain activity to words and subjects.  One day down the road, we will have the ability to monitor the human brain, as we are currently able to put an automotive ignition system unto an imaging screen, attach names to wavelengths and measure ignition operation of each separate cylinder as it is occurring inside an internal combustion engine.

I am forever grateful that my path in life crossed with his and like many who knew him will be forever changed for the better.

Dan Meyer

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