In From The Cold
Published in TC Today - Volume 31, No. 2
But Sparberg says that she and her four male colleagues, who each received a $4,000 fellowship --a lot of money in the 1950s--to study various scientific breakthroughs, had always wondered about the source of their funding, as well as the unusual requirement that their dissertations remain unpublished. She says she remembers a man in a naval uniform coming to meet with them regularly and that she and her colleagues suspected they might be involved in naval research.
Sparberg says she enjoyed her time at TC a great deal and she put her fellowship and her TC education to good use: after graduating she became a part-time instructor and eventually a full professor in the chemistry department at Hofstra University. She taught the physical sciences to non-science majors as well as chemistry and the history of science, co-authored several textbooks and published papers on the history of science. She retired in 2000.
To commemorate her fond memories of her time at TC, she recently created the $50,000 Sparberg, Braun, Alexiou Fellow-ship for students at TC in need of financial support "who want to go on and have full professional lives." The fellowship also honors her father (Braun was her maiden name), who she says always encouraged her and her sister to seek careers, and her daughter (whose married name is Alexiou). Her daughter and son-in-law also hold various Columbia degrees.
Of course no recipient of a Sparberg fellowship need worry about receiving a phone call from the Spectator in 25 years about the source of their funding. "You're correct there," Sparberg says. "That's certainly part of it."