Ethel Thompson was one of six children by Pirrie and Janet Thompson. She was a home economics professor at the University of Arizona, where she taught and did research in the field of nutrition. Ethel graduated from the University of Washington, BS; Columbia University graduate work, MS in 1929, and Phd in 1940. Dr. Thompson was elected to Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Lambda Theta (education honorary), Columbia U. Sigma Xi (science honorary), and was named Diplomate of the American Board of Nutrition in Human Nutritional Sciences. While at U. of Arizona, she worked with the Arizona Ag Experiment Station. Dr. Thompson opened the Home Economics Department to Doctoral level of study by offering a course in Advanced Study in the Chemistry and Metabolism of Lipids. She was a founding member of the Committee on Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition, 1950-51. She represented Arizona on the Western Regional Project on Cholesterol Problems 1962-1965. Ethel Thompson was a pioneer, a part of which was in being a female in a male dominated department of study at the University and gradually earning respect for her contributions. When she went to U. of Arizona, Tucson and the University were small and remote from other cities.