|Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society|
Students, as part of an advanced seminar, examined and wrote about the lives of these women, their intellectual contributions, and the unique impact and special problems that being female had on their careers.
|For information about referencing this paper - Click Here|
Anna Roe was born in Denver, Colorado in 1904 to parents who were struggling financially. She was the second of four siblings and took on much of the housework while getting her education. This continued up until her Masters Program in Psychology and Education at the University of Denver. Even though she was much needed at home, her parents encouraged her to go away for graduate school. She stated, "My parents' support was as much understood as expressed, and perhaps particularly as their never having suggested that it might be helpful if I stayed home for a few more years." The most influential person in her life was her brother, who at the age of four, brought home a neighbor friend George Gaylord Simpson. Thus began the development of a close friendship which lasted until college and was later resumed, culminating into marriage and many co-professional endeavors. Even as a wife of an eminent paleontologist and functioning in many professional roles, Roe still provided an influential environment to raise four daughters who sought atypical occupational roles. Two daughters became Ph.D.'s, one daughter died shortly before gaining her degree in Library Science and the fourth became a writer, poet and oral historian.
Roe's ambitions weren't atypical when she entered the University of Denver, she wanted to be an English teacher of high school students. However, she happened to meet a psychologist named Thomas Garth. He offered this, whom he felt was a gifted woman, a graduate assistantship for the two years necessary to complete the Master's degree at the University of Denver. Even more, he used his influence with Thorndike at Columbia University Teachers College to obtain employment there for her. With it came the opportunity to study under Woodworth at Columbia's Division of Arts and Sciences and to earn a doctorate in Psychology.
During World War II, Roe's husband was in the Army and his pay was considerably less than it had been in civilian life. Thus, her financial contribution to the family became very important. As time went on she grew to love her profession and became very successful at it. She received the Award for Distinguished Service in 1972 by the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. She was made Professor Emerita at Harvard University, she was awarded the rank of full professor in 1963-the ninth woman to achieve it in the three-hundred years of Harvard's existence. Most of all, it "pleased her enormously" to find out both she and her husband were listed in the World Who's Who in Science.
Among her titles are researcher, mother, teacher and administrator. The main focus of her work have included the study of intellectual functions in normal, aphasic and mentally disordered adults; behavior of newborn infants; the status of foster children from different backgrounds; the effects of alcohol consumption; personalities of artists and scientists; the psychology of occupations and of creativity; and the relationship between behavior and evolution as well as that between early experience and career patterns.
In 1980, she suffered from bad heart trouble and was forced to bring her long and wide-ranging professional career to an end.