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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Paving the Way for the Next Generation

Physics major Margaret Brown ’23 often faces obstacles as she pursues a career historically dominated by men.

“One guy in my hometown told me I should ‘focus on my physique, not physics,’” she said.

These outdated views still exist in the world, but UD is working to combat them by promoting an environment where women feel at home studying STEM and encouraging more women to pursue careers in STEM fields — and UD donors are partners in this effort. One such example is the Marjorie Blasius Corcoran Scholarship, an award with first preference for female students majoring in physics.

Brown is currently receiving this scholarship — and extremely thankful for it.

“It relieves financial stress, and the story behind it inspires me,” she said.

Marjorie Blasius Corcoran ’72 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics from UD and acquired her Ph.D. in 1977. She went on to break barriers in the field and was a professor of physics for over 35 years at Rice University where she also served as department chair and first speaker of the Faculty Senate. She received numerous accolades for her research and tireless efforts to promote a place for women in STEM.

Sadly, Corcoran died in a tragic accident in 2017. Her husband, Chris, established the scholarship in 2018, honoring her expressed wish for its creation.

“Marjorie believed that all children are born physicists and she took every opportunity as a mentor and role model to inspire young people, particularly women, to pursue a career in the field she loved,” he said.

Brown is focused on a research-based career and with the help of the scholarship is well on her way, currently conducting research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and focusing on graduate school applications. Like Corcoran, she knows the importance of encouraging young women to pursue jobs in STEM fields — and also plans to incorporate that into her career. “Women in STEM need to expose science to young girls, so that they can relate to potential role models. Growing up, I didn’t see too many women scientists. I really want to help change that for the next generation.”

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