Women in Science Day

Sr. Mary Cornelia in November 1947 in the lab at Providence Hospital Moose Jaw, SK


February 11th was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science Day. Sr. Mary Cornelia Schauenberg worked in science her entire career, as the Director of the Clinical Laboratory at Providence Hospital in Moose Jaw from 1937 to 1979. Here is an extract from her obituary:

After receiving her laboratory technologist registration, R.T., in 1937, Sister took over the Providence Hospital laboratory in Moose Jaw in a basement room of the building with one student to assist her. In 1939 the laboratory was expanded to two rooms where Sister M. Cornelia continued to train one and two students at a time. In the following forty-two years, she saw the department develop until the present lab at Providence Hospital opened in 1951. She received her advance registered technologist, A.R.T., in 1952 and the School of Medical Technology of Providence Hospital was recognized nationally. Meanwhile, Sister M. Cornelia concluded her own studies and obtained her Licentiate [equivalent to a Masters degree] in 1961…

Sister M. Cornelia enjoyed her work, especially with students. She greatly impressed many generations of them who remember her as that redoubtable, indomitable, inflexible, all-knowing, awe-inspiring “essence” in their lives that still remains with them. She frequently challenged her students and the most rambunctious of them soon realized that they had come up against the “Mother of them all” when they tangled with her. Her various expostulative outbursts often caused as much a surprise effect as did the words themselves…

Over the years, Sister unselfishly devoted her life to the laboratory at Providence Hospital in both a working and teaching capacity. She also devoted much time and effort to the Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists, holding various offices locally, provincially and nationally.

In 1979, the year of her retirement as Director of the Providence Hospital Laboratory, she was given the Award of Merit from the Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists for making significant contributions to the field of medical technology.

Sr. Mary Cornelia and laboratory students in 1957 at Providence Hospital Moose Jaw, SK