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Dr. Joel Emil Alexander, of Salem, Oregon, passed away on June 18 at his home of natural causes, with his loving wife Michelle by his side. He was 54 years old.

Joel was born on July 8, 1964, in Chicago, to Ronald and Virginia (Bonderson) Alexander. He grew up in Waverly, and graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School in 1982. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Wartburg College in 1986, an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Physiological Psychology from Iowa State University. He also held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute’s Department of Neuropharmacology in San Diego.

Joel joined the faculty at Western Oregon University in 1994, serving as a Professor of Psychology, Director of the WOU Neurocognitive Laboratory, and Department Head of the Psychological Sciences Department. Joel held posts on the editorial board of two scientific journals – Neuropsychologia and SOJ – Psychology. He also served as a reviewer for 20 additional journals. ResearchGate has rated Joel as being in the top 25 percent of all researchers across all scientific disciplines.

Joel is survived by his wife, Michelle; his children, Bryn Alexander, Ian Alexander, and Waverly Schmidt; his grandson, Parker Joel Brown; his father, Ronald Alexander; his sister, Amy Ramker (Brian); and his stepchildren, Josh (Jillian) Anderson-Slate, Jessica Slate, Ryan Slate, and Krysta Slate. He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Bonderson Alexander.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the Pacific Room at Western Oregon University on August 17 at 1 p.m. Memorials can be directed to the Wolves Annual Fund at Western Oregon University and to the American Cancer Society.

Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.