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Prominent Women in American Psychology The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by mans attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up than can woman Darwin Darwins professional assumption of the intelligence of women greatly exemplified the defining opinion of the day when psychology was in its developmental stages However many women went to great lengths to disprove and banish this thought One such woman was Mary Whiton Calkins Calkins is perhaps best known for becoming the first woman president of the American Psychological Association a feat unheard of in her time Unfortunately the road to achieving this feat was paved with many obstacles and discriminating persons Mary Whiton Calkins was born on March 30 1863 She was born in Buffalo New York to Wolcott Calkins a Presbyterian minister and was the eldest of five children The family moved to Newton Massachusetts when Mary was seventeen and built a home there that she would live in until her death Her father was fundamental to Marys education designing and supervising her schooling well aware of the sparse opportunities available to women In 1882 she was allowed to enter into Smith College with advance standing as a sophomore Unfortunately her sisters death in 1883 permanently influenced her thinking and the following year she stayed at home and received private lessons She reentered Smith in the fall of 1884 as a senior and graduated with a concentration in classics and philosophy In 1886 her family moved to Europe for sixteen months Here she was able to broaden her knowledge of the classics After returning to Massachusetts her father arranged for an interview for her with the president of Wellesley College There she was a tutor in Greek beginning in the fall of 1887 and remained in that department for three years Fortunately a professor in the Philosophy department noted her talent for teaching and convinced
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