Margaret Mead ’23, a cultural anthropologist, writer, educator, and influential thinker in the social sciences, was renowned for changing the way we study human cultures. She earned her PhD from Columbia University in 1929, based on field work in the Pacific. There she studied the development of girls in Samoan society, and published the results in her famous "Coming of Age in Samoa." Mead applied the principles and techniques of anthropology to global human problems and often said that a small group of committed people had the power to change the world. She taught at Columbia and Fordham University and held a number of visiting professorships. From 1926, Mead was on staff at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, retiring as a curator emeritus of ethnology in 1969. She received Barnard’s Distinguished Alumnae Award in 1971 and died of cancer in 1978.