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Shirley A. Jackson ’68, PhD ’73

MIT Corporation life member

Member, Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation

President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1999 - present

MIT Corporation life member

Member, Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation

President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1999 - present

Shirley A. Jackson ’68, PhD ’73
MIT Corporation life member
Member, Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation 1989 – 1991, 1992 – 1995
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1999 - Present

Shirley Jackson received her SB and PhD degrees in physics from MIT. Time Magazine described her as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science”, thanks to her senior leadership positions in government, education, and industry. Dr. Jackson was named the chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a position she held until becoming the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological institute in the United States. 

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Impacts of Brown v. Board of Education and Soviet Union launch of Sputnik on her education.
  • Experiences with racism during her undergraduate and graduate career at MIT.
  • Decision to stay at MIT for graduate work and her efforts to make it more open and accepting to minority students.
  • Research on subatomic particles, which earned her the position of chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

 

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