“I have always had an idea that if you want to do a thing, there is no particular reason why you shouldn't do it,”
Cornelia Marie Clapp, circa 1900
My daughter just thinks that all moms fly the space shuttle
Air Force Col. Eileen Collins, first female Space Shuttle commander, 1999.
Cornelia Maria Clapp
Cornelia Maria Clapp (1849-1934) was a pioneering research zoologist who inspired women to seek careers in the natural sciences. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1871, Clapp followed a conventional path for educated women of her time, teaching. But a college lecturer, recognizing Clapp’s potential as a scientist invited her to professional meetings and field trips. “I had an opening of doors,” Clapp said. Clapp returned to Mount Holyoke to become a biology lecturer. But to engage in complex research, she needed a full faculty appointment, requiring a doctorate. She turned to Syracuse, one of the few universities admitting women to graduate programs in the sciences. With a Ph.D., Clapp returned to Mount Holyoke and emerged as a leading scholar in marine zoology, publishing her work in top journals and developing new teaching facilities, including a laboratory fish tank that allowed students to better observe animal behaviors. After 15 years of faculty debate, she was promoted to professor in 1904.
Sarah Loguen Fraser
Edith Marie Flanigen
Edith Marie Flanigen began her career in chemistry in the early 1950s, at a time when few women were working in the field. Flanigen received her master’s degree in inorganic-physical chemistry from SU in the spring of 1952. She was the first female corporate research fellow to become a senior research fellow in 1982 at Union Carbide, where she spent 42 years. Flanigen was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2004, and worked with a national team to create the science and math school inside the Hall of Fame, which opened in the winter of 2008. In 2004 Flanigen also won the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking achievements in zeolite and molecular sieve technology. In addition, in 1992 Flanigen became the first woman to win the Perkin Medal. She holds 108 patents in the United States, as well as many other awards and honors, including the Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society.