Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering,, (612) 626-7959

Kristin Anderson, University News Services,, (612) 624-1690

Media note: To schedule an interview with Jeannette Brown, contact Rhonda Zurn at or (612) 626-7959.

Jeannette Brown was the first African American to receive a degree from the University’s chemistry graduate program

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (01/13/2012)— University of Minnesota chemistry alumna Jeannette Brown will present a brief lecture and sign her book “African American Women Chemists” at a special book signing event 4-5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 18, University Bookstore, Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis.

Two meet-and-greet events are also planned with Brown at 2:30-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17 in Kolthoff Hall, Room 568A, 225 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis and 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Black Student Union, located on the second floor of Coffman Memorial Union.

Brown was the first African American to receive a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry’s graduate program in 1958.

In her book, Brown profiles the lives and accomplishments of 25 chemists, from the earliest pioneers to the late 1960s—a time when an explosion of career opportunities opened up to African Americans due to the passage of the Civil Rights Acts. Each mini-biography is a thorough account of the chemist’s passion for the field, what inspired her, and what she accomplished in her career. Brown rounds out this study with the inclusion of a narrative of her own life story and achievements and a look at what’s in store for the future of African American women chemists.

For 25 years, Brown worked as a research chemist at Merck & Co., Inc. She is an advocate for science education, and is passionate about serving as a mentor to and role model for underrepresented students. She was honored by the University of Minnesota with an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005.