Grads Embraced Computers, Found Career Success

Eva Teng Marcus worked at David Taylor Naval Research and Development Center, where she used Fortran programming to aid research into the motion and noise of Navy ships. She stayed home while her three daughters were young, then updated her computer skills through community college classes and resumed her career. She created computerized systems to capture and archive inspection reports for the Maryland Department of the Environment. Marcus passed away in 2015.

Marilyn “Marty” Spigel Sedoff started her career with IBM in Richmond. She earned an MBA in 1980. Today she lives in Edina, Minnesota, where her career included computer programming, systems analysis, and computer consulting. She retired as an IT project director in the financial services industry.

Terry Caruthers started her career at a Bell Labs subsidiary, Bellcomm Inc., a company formed to advise NASA Headquarters in the mission of getting a man on the moon. There she learned to program computers using the Fortran language. She spent the rest of her career in the computer field, teaching and working other part-time jobs while she raised her family. She retired from Northrup Grumman after 22 years and formed a consulting and coaching business. She earned a master’s degree in 2001. She lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Cornelia “Cornie” Bowles Dexter went on to work full time for NASA. There, the math and physics she’d enjoyed at Mary Washington came together, “and so began my love affair with computers,” she said. She added that she married “one of the aerospace engineers who hung around that summer.” While working at NASA, she spent a year at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville earning a master’s degree in applied mathematics, focusing on computer science and numerical methods. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Mary Kathryn Rowell Horner worked at IBM, where she first laid eyes on the IBM 360, a room-size computer that she said “could do marvelous things.” Having a logical mind proved more important than her math skills, she said, and IBM taught her the programming language COBOL. She later worked for a computer company that developed software for the banking and finance industry. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Alice Ann “Sann” Moore Forry remembers that in their graduation year of 1966, “anybody with a math degree was worth their weight in gold.” She went into the defense and aerospace consulting industry, where she used probability theory. Eventually she entered management, where she found her Mary Washington-instilled writing skills as important as her math background. She lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

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