Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Jeffers, Katherine Rosetta, 1907-1959
|Katherine Rosetta Jeffers (1907-59) was Dean of Jackson College and professor of Biology at Tufts from 1952 to 1959.|
Jeffers was born on March 19, 1907, in California, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1927, receiving her Master of Arts degree in Zoology from her alma mater the following year. Jeffers then studied as a Bryn Mawr Traveling Fellow at the University of Berlin, Germany for a year. In 1932, she obtained a Ph. D. in Biology and Biochemistry from Bryn Mawr. Jeffers also held a year-long National Research Council fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 1933.
Teaching zoology, Jeffers joined the faculty of University of Missouri, later moving on to Duke University, where she was an assistant professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy. From 1947 to 1952 she served as the Dean of Women and professor of Biology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Jeffers came to Tufts in 1952 as Dean of Jackson College and professor of Biology. She oversaw the admission of women to the college who were charged with upholding its high moral and academic standards. In the classroom, she taught courses including Animal Cytology and Invertebrate Zoology.
Jeffers committed suicide on May 15, 1959. She had submitted her resignation of the Dean's position, effective July 31, yet had made plans to continue teaching at Tufts and to develop an ecology course following a year-long sabbatical.
Jeffers was an honorary member Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and various other scholarly and scientific organizations. She also held the position of Director of the Massachusetts Society for the Education of Women.
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