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Chiscon, Martha Oakley



  • Existence: August 27, 1935 -

Biographical Information

Martha Oakley Chiscon was born August 27, 1935. After earning her BS in Science Education from Western Illinois University, Chiscon taught as a high school science teacher before returning to school and receiving her doctorate in Immunobiology from Purdue. Upon graduation, Chiscon joined Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences as an instructor in 1964. She continued to teach and worked as both a professor and the Associate Dean of the College of Science. Throughout her time at Purdue, Chiscon worked to encourage her students, especially her female students. As she stated, "Very few women were in science when I started teaching. I let them know that a woman could be educated, married, and have children and still be normal." She was instrumental in organizing the Women in Science program, and designed and taught Women and the Science Disciplines, the first course of its kind in the nation to be taught at a college of science. She also served as the Chairman of the Athletic Affairs Committee, a position she used to help bring women's collegiate sports under the same national organizations as the men's. Chiscon worked at Purdue for 35 years before retiring as a Professor Emerita. Martha Chiscon has received numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding work as an educator, including the National Ohaus Innovation in Teaching Award, the Indiana Professor of the Year Award, and the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion Award.