Maria Sippola-Thiele journeyed from her native Finland with the goal of obtaining her doctoral degree in biochemistry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and then returning home. But she met Dennis Thiele, a graduate student in microbiology, and her life took a different course. "He changed my plans to go back to Finland," Sippola-Thiele says. Her husband started his postdoctorate training at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Sippola-Thiele soon followed him there. But their next jobs would take them on separate paths, forcing her to make a decision. "Dennis was hired to begin an assistant professorship in University of Michigan," Sippola-Thiele relates. "I had slightly less postdoctoral training than Dennis."

Her decision was to stay with Thiele and change her career plans. Sippola-Thiele earned a master's degree at the University of Michigan School of Business Administration and she and her husband remained a...

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