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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

SULLIVAN, Mary St. Clara (Sister)

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Sister Sullivan and James D. Carpenter (right), general manager of the Dubuque Broadcasting Company. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Kitchen of Tomorrow. WKBB-NBC Blue Network. Image courtesy: Joseph Jacobsmeier

SULLIVAN, Mary St. Clara (Sister) (Cherokee, IA,--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 16, 1985). Determined not to like home economics when she entered college, Sister St. Clara agreed with her parents and brother to try it for a year. So inspired was she with the spirit of her teacher that she went on to earn a master's degree at Columbia University and devote a lifetime to teaching and advising the community.

In 1939 after receiving permission from radio station WKBB, she approached the superior of Mt. Carmel about developing a radio program. Broadcasting from what became the Music Hall at CLARKE COLLEGE, the "Clarke Radio Kitchen of the Air" ran from 1939 to 1969. An audience of homemakers watched students prepare the food in the show's kitchen.

Sister St. Clara also co-authored a homemaker's column for the Telegraph Herald. In 1930 she became a member of the American Dietetic Association which qualified her to train students for dietetic internships in ADA-approved hospitals.

McCall's magazine in 1952 presented Sister St. Clara with one of the first "Mike" awards for being one of seven United States women RADIO executives performing "the greatest public service to women."



Wood, Sandy. "Home Ec Career Begins by Chance." Telegraph Herald, February 23, 1975, p. 55