Among women chemists who are now college presidents, perhaps the most prominent is Linda Wilson, president of Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass. Another name to add is Jane Margaret O'Brien, biochemist and president of Hollins College in Roanoke, Va. In July 1991, O'Brien--who received a B.S. in biochemistry from Vassar College in 1975 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1981--became the eighth president of the small, all-women's school. She says the rigorous and demanding schedule needed for scientific research has helped her successfully adapt to life as an administrator over 1,000 undergraduates and 94 faculty members. "There are a lot of chemists in administrative work in colleges and universities," she says, noting that her predecessor, Paula Brownlee, now president of the Association of American Colleges, was also a chemist. "The constant demands on you are the same. When doing research, [the demands are] more...
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