You always suspected those nuns were smart… and now they prove it, earning doctorates in electrical engineering. From the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist:
On April 21st, the feast of St. Anselm (a Doctor of the Church) we gained a new doctor among the ranks of the Dominican Sisters of Mary. Sister Mary Elizabeth Merriam, OP, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, to a lecture hall filled with her parents, fourteen other Dominican Sisters of Mary, and many of her professors and colleagues. Sister had begun her graduate studies in electrical engineering prior to entering religious life, but after completing her Masters’ degree and her PhD coursework, she heard the call of Our Lord to follow Him as a Dominican Sister of Mary, and so she left off her studies and entered the convent. After she completed her education certification, Mother Assumpta asked her if she would be interested in returning to the University to finish what she had begun. Three years later, she has done so!
Sister’s project was entitled “A Three-Dimensional Bidirectional Interface for Neural Mapping Studies”, and she worked in the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. She was involved in creating a neural array to stimulate and record neural (brain) signals. Some of the possible practical applications for this work in the future include potential treatments for a variety of afflictions, including hearing loss, blindness, and Parkinson’s disease.
H/T: The Anchoress
I’m a big advocate of the clergy getting more involved in the more secular academic pursuits, bringing their witness to the world. My education in science was completed in Nieuwland Science Hall at Notre Dame, and Fr. Nieuwland was an instrumental chemist in important discoveries of the early 20th century. It’s time for the Church to boldly embrace its intellectual power and send more missionaries like Sr. Mary and Fr. Nieuwland into the halls of science and elsewhere.