HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Rice University confirmed the female bicyclist who was struck and killed by a METRORail train Friday morning near Hermann Park was a professor that the university. Marjorie Corcoran was reportedly riding her bicycling across the tracks on Fannin Street around 8 a.m. when she was struck.
According to Houston's transportation authority, the cyclist died at the scene. There is a pending investigation on this crash.
Rice University released a statement, describing Marjorie as "a much-admired longtime professor." The full statement to the Rice community:
Dear Rice Community,
We write to share the very sad news that a beloved member of our faculty, Marjorie Corcoran, was killed today when a light-rail train struck her while she was bicycling across the tracks on Fannin Street.
Marjorie was a much-admired longtime professor of physics and astronomy, who worked tirelessly on behalf of her students, Rice, and STEM education. She served as the first speaker of Rice’s Faculty Senate when it was formed in 2005.
Marjorie studied experimental particle physics to better understand the most elementary constituents of matter. In an article in Rice Magazine in 2010, Marjorie said, “My field of research picked me. I became interested in particle physics when I was in the seventh or eighth grade. I was reading about it and said, ‘Wow! This is so amazing.’ It went on from there.”
Marjorie came to Rice in 1980, but she had already begun her research at Fermilab while a graduate student at Indiana University. In earlier work at Fermilab, she was part of the KTeV experiment, which searched for an explanation to the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe. In the B-Physics group she continued the theme of seeking an understanding to this asymmetry.
In recent years, she and her students made important contributions to the KTeV and D0 experiments at Fermilab and played a leading role in detector construction for the new muon-to-electron-conversion experiment (Mu2e), which seeks to understand how heavy leptons decay. Her research focused on CP violation, tests of fundamental symmetries and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics that has been successful in describing all known experimental results. She was a co-convener of the Fermilab physics group that studies particles containing the b-quark. Marjorie’s interest in physics beyond the Standard Model included a new initiative, the Mu2e experiment.
In 2012, Marjorie was among the faculty members who received a grant from the Faculty Initiatives Fund. Her proposal was to introduce students to medical physics through a collaboration with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The grant supported a summer internship program that allowed Rice students to gain hands-on experience in the rapidly growing field of medical physics, particularly in proton therapy for cancer patients.
An advocate for women in science, Marjorie supervised a number of our graduate students’ theses and dissertations. She was a fellow of the American Physical Society and served on its Division of Particles and Fields Executive Committee. She convened the sessions on heavy quark properties at the 2010 International Conference of High Energy Physics in Paris. Marjorie received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the University of Wisconsin Physics Department. She worked tirelessly with students and educators and created the ongoing Quarknet high school teacher program in 2004. Just this past month, she co-organized a Rice-hosted, APS-sponsored Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. In January 2015 the American Physical Society named Marjorie “Woman Physicist of the Month” and noted that she was “a leader in the particle physics community and a great role model for women in physics.”
Our hearts go out to Marjorie’s husband and their three children, one of whom received his degree at Rice, and to the students and faculty members who studied and worked with her. We have lost a truly gifted and dear member of the Rice community.
Students who wish to speak with a counselor can call the Wellbeing and Counseling Center. Faculty and staff can reach a counselor through our Employee Assistance Program.
We will share information about a memorial service when it becomes available.
David W. Leebron
Marie Lynn Miranda