Roger Arliner Young:Why she kicks ass
- She was an American scientist of zoology,biology, and marine biology, and the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology, after years of juggling research and teaching with the burden of caring for her mother.
- In 1924 she entered the University of Chicago part-time. Her grades improved dramatically. She was asked to join Sigma Xi, an unusual honor for a master’s student. She also began publishing her research. Her first article, “On the Excretory Apparatus in Paramecium,” appeared in Science in September 1924. She obtained her master’s degree in 1926.
- She was invited to work with Ernest Everett Just, during the summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, starting in 1927. Young assisted him with research on the fertilization process in marine organisms. She also worked on the processes of hydration and dehydration in living cells. Her expertise grew, and Just called her a “real genius in zoology.”
- Ernest Everett Just then invited Young to work with him during summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts beginning in 1927. While there, they worked on researching the fertilization process in marine organisms, as well as the process of hydration and dehydration in living cells. In 1929, Young returned to Howard to be interim department head for the zoology department for the time while Just was in Europe seeking grant money.
- Young returned to the University of Chicago to begin her doctorate degree under the direction of Frank Rattray Lillie. Lillie had been a mentor of Just while both were involved with the Marine Biological Laboratory. However, in 1930 she failed to pass her qualifying exams, and for a time, disappeared from the scientific community. She returned to Howard University to teach and continued working with Just at the Marine Biological Laboratory during the summers.
- Young contributed a great deal of work to science. She studied the effects of direct and indirect radiation on sea urchin eggs, on the structures that control the salt concentration in paramecium, as well as hydration and dehydration of living cells. She published four papers between 1935 and 1938 and also wrote several books.