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Steven J. Niven

zoologist, was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia, to parents whose names have not been recorded. When she was a child, Young's family moved to Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. In 1916, when she was seventeen, Young entered Howard University in Washington, D.C., to study music. In what would prove to be a recurrent pattern in Young's life, she studied hard and long but struggled to achieve high or even passing grades. In 1921, however, she took her first science course, with the head of Howard's zoology department Ernest Everett Just, who encouraged her to pursue a career in science after her graduation in 1923.

Young remained at Howard where she was appointed assistant professor of zoology and began working as a research assistant for Just while also studying on a part time basis in the summer for a master s degree at the University of Chicago In ...