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Remembering incoming student Shane Colombo

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

Shane Colombo
Shane Colombo

We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death yesterday in Chicago of one of our incoming Northwestern Ph.D. students. Shane Colombo, 25, was waiting at a bus stop in the Rogers Park area of Chicago when he was shot and killed in the crossfire of an exchange of gunshots between two men. Many members of our Northwestern University community live in that area, and we condemn this awful and senseless act of violence and mourn the passing of Shane, a promising student who was to join our Psychology Ph.D. program this fall. We offer our condolences and kindest thoughts to his family and friends and all who knew him.

This is a terrible loss for our community, and we all feel grief and heartbreak for Shane and his loved ones. We also want to reassure our faculty, staff and students that Northwestern has no higher priority than the health and safety of our students. There is no justification for such violence. As a University community we remain more resolved than ever to identify the causes of violence in our larger community — and to work toward solutions that will create a better life for all those within it.  

We are forwarding a message from the deans of The Graduate School and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to the graduate community about the loss of Shane and assistance available to our community in the wake of this tragedy.

Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

Jonathan Holloway
Provost and Professor

From The Graduate School

Dear current and incoming members of our TGS community,

It is with great sadness that Dean Randolph and I write to inform you that Shane Colombo, one of our incoming PhD students, lost his life yesterday evening as a victim of gun violence in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Shane received his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and was in the process of moving to Chicago from New York City, where he was performing research in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Columbia University. He was planning to begin coursework in our Psychology PhD program this fall.

Our hearts and minds are with Shane’s loved ones during this difficult time. We extend our deepest condolences to Shane’s partner, Vincent, and all of his family members and friends. Grieving is normal when experiencing loss, and losing any one member of our community affects us all. Grieving also impacts us in different ways, and our friends and colleagues can be helpful in lending an ear or giving their time, particularly when we let them know it is needed.

For those who need support — either now or at any point — we urge you to reach out to the following resources:

For Graduate Students:

You can find additional services and resources at NUhelp or on the NUhelp app.

For Postdoctoral Fellows, Faculty and Staff Members:

In the face of this senseless tragedy, we would also like to remind all current and incoming members of our Northwestern community that your safety and well-being are our top priorities. Both of us live in or near Rogers Park, and it saddens us that this event occurred in the vibrant and caring community that we share with many of our fellow members of Northwestern. It also saddens us that the world will not one day be able to benefit from the research Shane was about to pursue.

We remain grateful to be part of our Northwestern community during times such as this. Let’s take care of each other and also ourselves in the days ahead.

Our thoughts are with you all.

Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD
Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education
Adrian Randolph, PhD
Dean of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences