Major Changers

This Mentor feature offers profiles of now-famous people who changed their undergraduate majors, graduated, and went on to become successful in their professions.

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist whose literary works include The Poisonwood Bible (1998), The Lacuna (2009) and the non-fiction  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life (2007).  She is also an accomplished poet and essayist.  Her work often explores topics such as social justice, environmentalism, and biodiversity.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from DePaw University, Barbara worked as a  freelance writer and went on to earn a Master’s degree …

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Reatha Clark King

Reatha Clark King is an American chemist and businesswoman that previously held positions with prestigious companies such as General Mills, ExxonMobil, and Wells Fargo & Company.

Before immersing herself in the business world, Reatha was heavily involved in the world of higher education. After graduation, King served as a Research Chemist for the National Bureau of Standards, held various positions (Chemistry Professor and Associate Dean) at York College, City University of New York, and eventually …

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Jeff Gaspin

Jeff Gaspin was an American television executive, most recently for NBC Universal Television Entertainment before NBC was taken over by Comcast. During his tenure at NBC Universal, Gaspin was responsible for various high profile television shows, including Dateline NBC and the Today Show.

Jeff briefly left NBC Universal in the late 90s to head up program development at VH1. Upon his return to NBC in 2001, Gaspin was named the Executive Vice President of Program …

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George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was an American agricultural scientist, educator, and inventor. Carver is most famous for his research into and promotion of crops that could be alternatives to growing cotton. The alternative crop that gained the most exposure due to his research was the peanut. In fact, George was responsible for creating over 100 different products made from peanuts and shared various recipes for peanut-related food items.

In addition to Carver’s work on agricultural extension …

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Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist who was largely credited for advancing the global environmental movement. Rachel began her career as a biologist for the United States Bureau of Fisheries, but eventually became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s after the success of her 1951 bestseller, The Sea Around Us. That book, along with other bestsellers like The Edge of the Sea and Under the Sea Wind, helped to explore the …

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Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck is an American jazz pianist responsible for writing various jazz standards, including “In Your Own Sweet Way”, “The Duke”, and the highly regarded album Time Out, which is featured in the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. Brubeck is known for mixing his traditional training with his exceptional ability to improvise. Brubeck’s music is known for being experimental in many ways, including the use of unusual time signatures and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, …

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Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke is an American economist, the fourteenth Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Time magazine’s 2009 “Person of the Year”. During his two-term tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke has been responsible for overseeing the response to the economic crisis occurring in the United States (and around the world).

Before becoming involved with the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke held various positions in higher education and in the United States government. In higher …

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     ISSN: 1521-2211