J. Ronald Gentile

Published June 15, 2022

J. Ronald Gentile, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, died April 20.

A native of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Gentile received a BS (1963), MS (1964) and PhD (1967) from The Pennsylvania State University. He joined the UB faculty in 1969 after serving as a captain in the Army Medical Service Corps at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1967-68.

Gentile’s research and teaching spanned a range of topics, from behavioral and emotional issues to cognitive processes, as well as improving testing and grading practices. He was a strong proponent of Mastery Learning, a personalized approach to learning that allows students to master course material at their own pace. Gentile was the author or co-author of 80 publications, including five books, almost all with direct implications for teaching.

His students call him “a consummate educator who was deeply committed to improving education for all students.” His legacy, they say, “is large and longstanding.”

UB’s annual Genteels’ Excellence in Teaching Seminar is presented through an endowment by Gentileand his former wife, Kay Johnson Gentile. The conference is named for the Genteels, the Gentiles’ stage name when they composed, performed and recorded music and conducted workshops promoting the integration of music into education curriculum.

A recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Gentile retired from UB in 2004, and moved to California in 2006. He was living in Murrieta at the time of his death.

After retiring, he continued his passion for music. With his current wife, Linda, he formed a 20-member chorus, Genteel Voices, with Ron Gentile serving as director/composer/arranger.

He co-authored his final book, “Learning from Video Games (and Everything Else),” in 2021 with his son, Douglas.