Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
NSU professor, resident from Wilton Manors missing since Monday
A Wilton Manors resident and Nova Southeastern University professor disappeared Monday, police say.
James Doan, 69, was last seen about 6 p.m. on Monday when he walked away from the 500 block of Northeast 27th Drive in Wilton Manors in an eastbound direction, according to a news release from the Wilton Manors Police Department.
Authorities continued to search for Doan as of 5:30 p.m. Friday, with “no new developments,” according to Darren Brodsky, Assistant Police Chief for the Wilton Manors Police Department.
He may be suffering from “some sort of mental health episode” and does not have his medications with him, according to the police department’s news release.
Doan is a professor at Nova Southeastern University as well as a board member of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Wilton Manors, one of the largest LGBTQ archives in the United States, according to Robert Kesten, the executive director of the museum. He also runs a small nonprofit that puts on Irish plays in Davie.
Doan is listed as a professor in Nova Southeastern University’s Department of Humanities and Politics, with research interests in folklore and mythology and literature, according to the university’s website.
Kesten described the news of Doan’s disappearance as “startling.”
“I think it makes us all question ourselves because here he is, 69 years old, going on 70, and a college professor, engaged in the community, and then one day he’s gone,” Kesten said. “I think that is something unnerving because it makes us realize how fragile each and every one of us are.”
Deborah Greenbaum, a former student of Doan’s at Nova Southeastern University, was also shocked by his disappearance. He was the reason she started taking classes at the university when she was in her 40s, she said. He made her feel comfortable and like she was a part of the class.
He was also “one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever encountered,” Greenbaum said.
“Sometimes people seem to have depth of knowledge and you pursue it and it’s very surface level,” she said, “but with him you could dive and dive and dive and you’re never going to hit the bottom.”
Police describe Doan as 6 feet and 150 pounds, and he was last seen wearing a teal long sleeve shirt, black jeans and white sneakers.