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Doris Gnauck White

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Doris Gnauck White (24 December 1926 – 19 November 2001) was a science educator and a researcher of the biochemical and biophysical foundations of agriculture. She won fame for her skill in curing sick chickens.[1]


Gnauck was born in Milwaukee.[2] Her parents had immigrated from Germany. The father, Paul Benjamin Gnauck, was an aviation pioneer[3] and the mother, Johanna born Syring was a teacher.[4] Gnauck grew up on a farm in Granville and graduated from Shorewood High School.[5][page needed]

In 1944, Gnauck won a University of Wisconsin scholarship. From her early years she cared for chickens. In 1946 she published the cartoon Chick Doctor.[6] Working on the university's poultry experimental farm, she came in touch with questions of genetics, vitamine deficiencies and hormones. In 1947, she was the only girl who graduated with honors from the agricultural school of the University of Wisconsin.[7][page needed] By her graduation, she was qualified to teach vocational agriculture, but she was not admitted to do so, supposedly because she was a woman.[8] In the same year the family's house burned down and her parents became ill. Gnauck had to contribute to the family's living. She raised a garden and cared for baby chicks.

Gnauck taught at a U.S. Army Military Prison and natural sciences at high schools in Wisconsin. For the United States Department of Agriculture she investigated genetic resistance of wheat. Gnauck wrote her first Ph.D. on horticulture, but then she turned to entomology.

In 1954, Gnauck married Donald Lawrence White.[9] She received her doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1956.[10] She and her husband moved to Hunterdon County, New Jersey.[when?] In 1960, she was appointed assistant professor for mathematics and science at the William Paterson University. She investigated AIDS transmission by insects and worked for the American Environmental Laboratory.[11]

She was an active member of the Methodist Church.[12] In 2001, she died in Annandale, New Jersey, aged 74.[13]



Since 1985, she was a New Jersey Science Teachers Association Fellow,[14] and in 2001 she got the citation scroll by this organization, which is awarded for outstanding contributions to science and/or science education.[15]

The New Jersey Science Teachers Association offers the Doris White Memorial Scholarship to students who are enrolled in a Teacher Education Program at a New Jersey institution of higher education.[16]


  1. ^ Luby Pollack: "The Little Doc". Collier's Weekly, February 23, 1946, pp. 32-39
  2. ^ Who's Who of American Women 1999-2000, p. 1108
  3. ^ Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame
  4. ^ The Milwaukee Journal, October 25, 1978
  5. ^ The Milwaukee Journal, August 30, 1944.
  6. ^ Davidson Educational Comics Reference
  7. ^ The Milwaukee Journal, July 29, 1948.
  8. ^ Floyd Doering: "Waunakee High School", 1994.
  9. ^ The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 3, 1954
  10. ^ Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus, Volume 56, Number 9, January 15, 1955.
  11. ^ Palm Beach Daily News, May 3, 1987.
  12. ^ Article on cancer in "Together" Magazine for Methodist Families, April 1967.
  13. ^ Obituary, The New York Times, November 22, 2001.
  14. ^ New Jersey Science Teachers Association Fellows
  15. ^ "New Jersey Science Teachers Association Citation Scroll recipients" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  16. ^ NJSTA Awards, njsta.org. Accessed March 6, 2024.

Further reading[edit]