Texas A&M’s fall semester “Reflecting, Engaging and Envisioning: Celebrating 50 Years of Inclusion” program kicks off Tuesday (Sept. 10) with its first “hallmark” event, an address by Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the nation’s first female African-American astronaut and who is now a successful executive and entrepreneur.
The semester-long program is being held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the admission of women and the enrollment of the first African-American students at Texas A&M.
In the process of commemorating those milestone events, the university will acknowledge the key visionary leadership role of Gen. Earl Rudder, who served as president of Texas A&M from 1959 until his death in 1970.
Dr. Jemison will present a public address at 9:30 a.m. at no charge in Rudder Auditorium. The program is titled, “The Sky Is Not the Limit: A Conversation with Dr. Mae Jemison, the First African-American Woman Astronaut.”
In addition to being a former astronaut and founder of two technology companies, she is a physician and a scientist. Dr. Jemison served as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut for six years. As the science mission specialist on the STS-47 Spacelab J flight, a US/Japan joint mission, she conducted experiments in life sciences and material sciences, and was a co-investigator of the Bone Cell Research experiment. She went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, Sept. 12, 1992 – the first woman of color to go into space.
Prior to joining NASA in 1987, Dr. Jemison worked in both engineering and medicine. She was a general practitioner in Los Angeles with the INA/Ross Loos Medical Group. She then spent two-and-a-half years (1983-1985) as an area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. On her return to Los Angeles, she worked as a general practitioner with CIGNA Health Plans of California, while updating her engineering skills.
She resigned from NASA in March 1993 and founded The Jemison Group, Inc., which was established to focus on the beneficial integration of science and technology into everyday lives.
Born in Decatur, Alabama and raised in Chicago, she entered Stanford University at the age of 16 on a scholarship. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering. She earned her doctorate in medicine at Cornell University Medical College.
For more information about Dr. Jemison and the “Reflecting, Engaging and Envisioning: Celebrating 50 Years of Inclusion” program, go to http://inclusion.tamu.edu/.