In Memoriam: Barbara Ferguson Harland, 1925-2020

Barbara F. Harland, who served on the faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C. for nearly three decades, died at a senior living center in Kensington, Maryland, on April 29. She was 95 years old.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Harland was a graduate of Iowa State University. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in nutrition at the University of Maryland.

Prior to joining the faculty at Howard University, Dr. Harland worked as a research biologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was licensed as a registered dietician and nutritionist by the State of Maryland. In 1984, Dr. Harland accepted a faculty position at Howard University. She served as a tenured graduate professor within the department of nutritional sciences in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences for 30 years.

Dr. Harland was committed to research on the chemical compound, phytate. She continued to conduct research in her lab at Howard until she was 90 years old. In 2010, she established the Dr. Barbara F. Harland Endowed Scholarship Fund for Nutrition, to support student aid, equipment and supplies for the nutritional sciences program.

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  1. Sadia Aden says:

    Good morning,

    My name is Sadia Aden, and with a heavy heart, I write to express my deepest condolences on the passing of one of the most influential figures in my life, Dr. Harland. Though years have passed, the news of her passing has deeply saddened me, and I felt compelled to reach out and share my condolences with those who held her dear.

    In 2005, under Dr. Harland’s guidance and mentorship, I graduated with my Master’s degree, a milestone made possible by her unwavering support and belief in my abilities. Beyond academia, her influence continued to shape my journey as I pursued further studies in medicine and embarked on a career managing projects in Sub-Saharan Africa & North America.

    Dr. Harland’s impact on my life cannot be overstated. Her kindness, compassion, and empathy were not just qualities she possessed; they were the pillars upon which she built relationships and inspired those around her. Her wisdom and encouragement were a constant source of strength, guiding me through both triumphs and challenges.

    Learning of Dr. Harland’s passing has left a void in my heart, knowing that the world has lost a beacon of light and compassion. Yet, as I reflect on her life and legacy, I am filled with gratitude for the time we shared and the lessons she taught. Her memory will live on in the countless lives she touched, mine included.

    To Dr. Harland’s family and friends, I offer my belated heartfelt condolences. May you find solace in the cherished memories you shared with her and take comfort in knowing that her spirit lives on in the lives she influenced and the hearts she touched.

    With deepest sympathy and warm regards. Sadia

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