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1995 University Scholars: Cynthia Jameson 1995-11-15

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When Cynthia Jameson applied to graduate schools in the United States in 1959 from her home in the Philippines, she discovered that most Ivy League schools did not accept women.

"It was really strange," says Jameson. "Where I grew up, things were very different."

In the Philippines, women were encouraged to go into science.

"I had very good science and math teachers in high school, and they were all women," says Jameson, professor of chemistry. Two of her sisters are chemists and another is a physicist.

Jameson earned her doctoral degree at UIUC, then joined the chemistry department at UIC in 1968. As the only woman on the research faculty here, she is a mentor to female students.

"I get to know them and try to see what problems they might have," she says.

Jameson is one of the world's leaders in studying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in gases. Her lab is one of only two in the world that does this kind of research.

She studies the adsorption and diffusion of molecules trapped inside zeolites, microscopically porous materials that are used as catalysts in the petroleum industry to make gasoline and separate mixtures.

The National Science Foundation has funded her work continually since 1974. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, editor of the journal Magnetic Resonance Review and has written more than 130 published articles and book chapters.

What motivates her after 27 years in chemistry at UIC?

"It's still a lot of fun," says Jameson.

"That's what keeps scientists going. We really enjoy what we do."

-- Carolyn Arden