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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #938: Sykes, Marguerite (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (July 22, 2008)

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00:30:23 - 00:33:20 University Of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin, Forest Products Laboratory, relationship, Students, research, international researchers, summer employment, Hispanic, education, continuing education

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00:30:23

LB

I guess completely different, while you were working here did you feel any connection to the University? While working here, having worked in the lab there previously?

MS

Well, we took a forestry course---or I guess I did that on my own---there was a forest chem, chemistry of wood that several of us from the Lab walked over there to campus to take a class. But occasionally we had something to do with the forestry department. Yes, I guess the most direct link with the University was some of the graduate students who did some of their research here and that was always fun to hear their projects and to work with them. I think there maybe was only one that I can remember in our unit. But, I think the other thing was international researchers who were here that I think added an awful lot to the whole climate here at the Lab. And summer students, of course, they were often university students and even some high school minorities were given summer jobs that were paid for, like, by other institutions like Centro Hispano and those to give these kids a chance and we had just a marvelous young Hispanic woman one summer who I think did college-age [level] work with me that was just super.

LB

So you mentioned taking at least one class at the university, did you take more than one or pursue any graduate classes?

MS

I didn't. I guess that was the other thing, we were always encouraged to take engineering courses and get a degree, advanced degree in engineering and that was kind of a low priority in my life. Had it been something else they were pushing I think I would have been much more amenable. But I guess when I could have you know the opportunity to spend some time on my own, I got so involved with the research I was doing here that I spent my free time doing that or learning---I guess it was a lot of on the job learning that I was doing and it was informal. But we had a lot of good people here who shared their expertise very nicely [willingly].

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