March 15, 2007
Marni Goldman, associate director of science outreach, dead at 37
By Dawn Levy
Marni Goldman, associate director of the Office of Science Outreach, died of respiratory failure Feb. 23 while vacationing with her parents in Costa Rica. She was 37. She also served at Stanford as education director for the Center for Polymer Interfaces and Macromolecular Assemblies (CPIMA) and for the Nanofabrication Facility.
A memorial celebrating her life is scheduled for Friday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. in the Stanford Humanities Center.
"We can be grateful for having had her as a colleague, friend and source of inspiration," said Patricia Devaney, director of the Office of Science Outreach.
Goldman was born on Oct. 30, 1969, on Long Island, N.Y., with a severe form of muscular dystrophy that led doctors to predict she would not live beyond age 2. She never walked and got around strapped to a wheelchair with limited use of her arms.
Goldman was valedictorian of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, N.Y., in 1987 and was the recipient of a Newsday Inc. scholarship that year. She earned bachelor's degrees in psychology and in materials science and engineering in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in materials science in 1997 from the University of California-Berkeley, where she served as president of the student chapter of the Materials Research Society and was renowned for a love of chocolate and football.
After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she joined Stanford in 2000 as one of the university's first employees dedicated to designing and carrying out science outreach programs, according to Devaney. A resident of Oakland, Goldman commuted to Stanford every day in a van customized so she could drive it.
"Marni cared passionately about her goal of increasing undergraduate access to the research laboratory, with particular focus on female students, those with disabilities and those with little prior research experience," said Stanford Professor Curtis Frank, who directs CPIMA, a National Science Foundation-sponsored partnership among Stanford, IBM Almaden Research Center, the University of California-Davis and the University of California-Berkeley.
Goldman directed programs that brought undergraduates from other universities to Stanford during summers to gain research experience with faculty here. She helped local middle school students in underserved areas with their science fair projects and placed disadvantaged high school students in internship positions in Stanford labs. She also created an annual program that brought community college students, primarily underrepresented ethnic minorities, to Stanford for tours of labs and talks with faculty and students.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Marni Goldman Memorial Scholarship, open to Stanford undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who have declared majors in physical sciences, engineering or math. Preference will be given to underrepresented minorities, disabled students, women or those who represent the first generation of their family to attend college. To contribute to this fund, send checks to Stanford University c/o Jane Harrison, Associate Director of Development, Frances Arrillaga Center, 326 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305-6105. Givers may indicate if they'd like Goldman's family to be informed of the gift.
Goldman is survived by her father, Michael Goldman, mother, Marilyn Goldman, and sister, Melissa Goldman, all of Manhasset, N.Y.