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Chemistry is a subject that scares a lot of people. But not Edith Hernandez. While her friends asked for dolls, clothes, and makeup from Santa Claus, Edith Hernandez, Corning Plant Manager in Monterrey, Mexico, requested a PYREX chemistry set. Thus began her love affair with chemistry—and the glass that’s always been a central part of it.

As a young girl in Mexico who suffered from allergies Edith Hernandez was always in the hospital lab giving blood sample after blood sample. What did they do with my blood, she wondered, and how did they learn so much from it?

A Childhood Gift Leads to a Lifelong Passion

“I started to get really curious about chemistry,” she recalls. So she wrote a letter to Santa Claus. While her friends asked for dolls, clothes and makeup, she asked for a PYREX chemistry set.

On Christmas morning, after a few agonizing days of waiting, she peeled the paper off her gift, Santa had delivered. “I was so happy,” says Edith. “I remember unwrapping the sparkling new test tubes as if I were looking at them right now.”

Edith studied chemistry at the prestigious Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the largest private universities in Latin America, where PYREX was the laboratory standard. Says Edith, “I remember my teacher telling us, ‘You need to take care of the product because it’s PYREX, and it’s the best.’ ”

Landing the Job and Crafting a Career Out of a Childhood Dream

After graduation, the freshly minted chemical engineer went straight to Corning and applied for a job. “I walked in the lobby of the Monterrey plant and saw all the samples of Corning products,” Edith says. “I spotted PYREX test tubes and was thrilled to learn I had a chance for a job in a company whose product I’d loved for as long as I could remember.”

She was hired that day as a project engineer. In the 15 years since, she has risen to project supervisor, head of production and manager of the plant, where Corning still makes a wide array of PYREX labware.

“It’s not easy to become a female business leader in Mexico,” says Edith. “I’m grateful Corning has provided me with that opportunity, and I’m proud that I seized it. I’m also proud of my lifelong connection to PYREX, which has been integral to so many important discoveries, products, and medicines—and to my life’s work since Christmas 1990.”

100 years of scientific breakthroughs….