AlwaysCatholic.com loves a good news story when we can get it. This is it. Go meet Sister Mary Elizabeth, OP PhD (Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist) and see what is possible when Our Lord’s creativeness in His Love for His Religious is met with Love returned. Sister Mary Brainiac in a habit is our good news story in a month when we learned what real suffering means to be Roman Catholic.
Take a moment and read this story of triumph in Holy Mother Church.
Our New Dominican Doctor
POSTED APRIL 29, 2010
Professor Kensall Wise, Sister Mary Elizabeth, OP, her mother, Bernice Merriam, and her father, Daniel Merriam
On April 21st, the feast of St. Anselm (a Doctor of the Church) we gained a new doctor among the ranks of the Dominican Sisters of Mary. Sister Mary Elizabeth Merriam, OP, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, to a lecture hall filled with her parents, fourteen other Dominican Sisters of Mary, and many of her professors and colleagues. Sister had begun her graduate studies in electrical engineering prior to entering religious life, but after completing her Masters’ degree and her PhD coursework, she heard the call of Our Lord to follow Him as a Dominican Sister of Mary, and so she left off her studies and entered the convent. After she completed her education certification, Mother Assumpta asked her if she would be interested in returning to the University to finish what she had begun. Three years later, she has done so!
Sister’s project was entitled “A Three-Dimensional Bidirectional Interface for Neural Mapping Studies”, and she worked in the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center
. She was involved in creating a neural array to stimulate and record neural (brain) signals. Some of the possible practical applications for this work in the future include potential treatments for a variety of afflictions, including hearing loss, blindness, and Parkinson’s disease. Her research advisor was Professor Kensall D. Wise
, (Director of the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems) and she also worked quite closely with Professor Susan Shore
(Otolaryngology). Other close collaborators included Professor A. John Hart
(Mechanosynthesis), Professor Patrick A. Tresco
, (Bioengineering, University of Utah), and Professor Euisik Yoon
(Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).
As Dominicans, we seek to teach and preach the Truth, and while an electrical engineering program may not seem like a likely place to find a religious sister, Sister Mary Elizabeth has reminded us that Truth is to be found in many places. She has also shown us that God intends that we use our intellect to pursue that Truth, for His greater glory and for the good of our fellow mankind.
Congratulations, Sister! We are so proud of you!
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