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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #982: Ralph, Sally A. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (September 8, 2008)

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00:00:00 - 00:02:31 Introduction

introduction, early years, education, background, student, internship, University of Wisconsin---Platteville,

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00:00:00

AP

Okay, good morning, today is Monday September 8, 2008. My name is Allison Page, I'm with UW-Madison Oral History Program and this morning I will be interviewing Ms. Sally Ralph about her experiences at the U.S. Forest Products Lab. Um, if you would like to maybe start telling us a little bit about um when and where you born, um some of your early education and background in wood products?

SR

I was born in 1957 in Waukesha (Wisconsin) and I was going down---I was at University of UW Platteville in the chemistry department and during the summer of 1978 I had started working at a psychiatric hospital on the geriatric floor and um not exactly my desired profession. When one of my chemistry professors called and told me that there was an internship and job available at the Forest Products Lab and he thought it would suit me and that I should go and apply. So I came down here to Madison, I had never even heard of the Forest Products Lab before that, and my background studies were chemistry so I didn't even think that there would be chemistry involved with forest products. But I came and I interviewed and got interested in the projects that they were working on and they apparently like me and hired me. And it was a special program whereby---it was a summer job---and then I also worked two semesters here at the Lab, which constituted a sort of a senior thesis for credit at the University of Platteville.  So when I finished my degree and as long as my grade point average was high enough and they had liked my previous work, I was guaranteed a job here. So I started---I graduated in 1980 from UW-Platteville and started here as a permanent employee.

AP

Your education at Platteville, was that a B.A., M.A., or a PhD?

SR

A B.S.

AP

B.S.

SR

In chemistry.

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