By Carmel U. Chiswick

Without Cynthia, I might never have become an economist.

I first met her at AID when I was just out of college.  I was a research assistant, and she was a visitor working in the office next to mine.  Cynthia was constructing a body of data that would generate several books and many articles in collaboration with Irma Adelman.  During our many lunchtime conversations I learned that economics was not only useful but also accessible to a mere mortal like me, that accurate data need not involve false precision, and that a female economist could devise a career path compatible with marriage and family.  She encouraged me to join the profession, and wrote a reference that helped me get into graduate school. 

Cynthia and I remained in touch throughout my graduate-school years.  In addition to our friendship, she mentored me professionally in various ways.  I am especially grateful for her succinct lesson on how to write a dissertation, advice that was so helpful that I made a point of sharing with a decades-long succession of grateful graduate students. 

If I had to characterize Cynthia with one word, it would be “enthusiastic.”  She greeted you eagerly, discussed ideas cheerfully, and pursued her research interests with care and persistence.  She never ceased to be a good colleague, mentor, and positive role model.

–Carmel Chiswick, George Washington University


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