Podcast Episode 86 – Susan Edgell
This Is Purdue, the official podcast for Purdue University, highlights stories about Boilermakers from across all disciplines, who through research, innovation and determination, have persistently pursued their next giant leap.
Hosted by Purdue University alum, Brian Lamb School of Communication graduate, and Indiana native Kate Young, “This Is Purdue” aims to examine all of the incredible accomplishments of Boilermakers and their contributions to the world.
Below, you’ll find helpful information, stories, and social media content regarding this episode of This Is Purdue.
In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Susan Edgell, the daughter of Purdue University trailblazer Virginia Ferris.
Virginia was the first woman appointed to the College of Agriculture faculty and had a significant influence on the department’s teaching, research and culture. She was also one of the world’s leading experts on the soybean cyst nematode.
Susan shares stories about growing up in the Boilermaker community from her time at the Purdue nursery school to the memories she has of traveling for her parents’ nematode research.
She reflects on her mother’s journey navigating higher education as a woman in the 1950s, a time when academics were centered around the success of men, plus discusses her mom’s self-taught DNA research and the joy she had for mentoring Purdue students.
Listen as Susan shares her mother’s advice for women in male-dominated fields and how Virginia’s legacy of persistence helped pave the way for a new generation of women and diversity in STEM.
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Link to the podcast: https://stories.purdue.edu/podcast/purdue-agriculture-trailblazer-virginia-ferris
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SUGGESTED SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
LinkedIn + Facebook
- When Virginia Ferris first began her career in the 1950s, she was told by a professor to give up a fellowship at @Cornell so that a man could accept it instead … but she didn’t listen. Soon after, she moved to the Midwest and joined her husband, John Ferris, at #Purdue. Virginia later became the first woman appointed to @PurdueAg faculty. Her daughter, Susan Edgell, reflects on Virginia’s legacy of persistence that has helped pave the way for a new generation of women and diversity in STEM. Hear more on #ThisIsPurdue, the official university podcast. <link>
- ✅ Trailblazer. ✅ Professor. ✅ Researcher. ✅ Writer. ✅ Mother. 🚂 Boilermaker. On the latest episode of #ThisIsPurdue, Purdue trailblazer Virginia Ferris’ daughter, Susan Edgell, shares stories on her mom’s legacy within @PurdueAg. Susan discusses growing up within the #Purdue community and her mother’s journey to becoming the first woman appointed to Purdue agriculture faculty in 1965. <link>
- “In the late 1980s, when people stopped looking through microscopes and started looking at DNA, my mom decided she was going to teach herself about DNA.” Virginia Ferris was one of @PurdueAg’s longest-serving faculty members and one of the world’s leading experts on the soybean cyst nematode. Working with her husband, John, an entomologist at Purdue, and a team of fellow Purdue researchers, Virginia identified genes in soybeans that provided resistance to the cyst nematode, a destructive plant parasite that has cost producers millions of dollars in crop damage. Listen to #ThisIsPurdue as her daughter, Susan Edgell, shares stories of how her mom became a trailblazer for women within the agriculture world. <link>
Twitter + Instagram
- When Virginia Ferris first began her career in the 1950s, she was told by a professor to give up a fellowship at @Cornell so that a man could accept it … but she didn’t listen. She later became the first woman appointed to @PurdueAg faculty. Hear more on #ThisIsPurdue. <link>
- ✅ Trailblazer. ✅ Professor. ✅ Researcher. ✅ Writer. ✅ Mother. 🚂 Boilermaker. On the latest episode of #ThisIsPurdue, Purdue trailblazer Virginia Ferris’ daughter, Susan Edgell, shares stories on her mom’s legacy within @PurdueAg. <link>
- “In the late 1980s … my mom decided she was going to teach herself about DNA.” Virginia Ferris was one of @PurdueAg’s longest-serving faculty members and one of the world’s leading experts on the soybean cyst nematode. Hear more on the #ThisIsPurdue #podcast. <link>
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