- A satellite based telecommunication system to improve health care in West Africa; and The Earth We Share
- First African American Woman in Space
- Dr. Jemison inspires and encourages audiences
Dr. Mae C. Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor, September 12, 1992, the first woman of color to go into space.
This historic event was only another in a series of accomplishments for this dynamic African-American women.
Dr. Jemison was Science Mission Specialist (a NASA first) on the STS-47 Space lab J flight, a US/Japan joint mission.
She conducted experiments in life sciences, material sciences, and was co-investigator in the Bone Cell Research experiment.
Chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and astronaut, she has a wide range of experience in technology, engineering, and medical research. In addition to her extensive background in science, she is well-versed in African and African-American Studies and is trained in dance and choreography.
Prior to joining the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1987, she worked as a General Practitioner, in Los Angeles with the INA/Ross Loos Medical Group.
She then spent two and a half years (1983-85) as an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. Returning to Los Angeles, she resumed her medical practice, working with CIGNA Health Plans of California.
Dr. Jemison, the youngest of three children, was born in Decatur, Alabama and raised in Chicago, Illinois.
She has always followed her dreams, undaunted by a lack of role models in her fields of endeavor, or roadblocks to women and minorities.
She is committed to ensuring that science and technology fields represent the full gender, ethnic, and social diversity of this United States, and encourages all people, especially women and minorities, to pursue careers in science and any other fields of their choice.
An advocate of science and technology, Dr. Jemison’s focus is on improving the status, quality, and image of the scientist. She offers something new and innovative to the scientific arena: a blend of social and “hard” sciences. In today’s technological world, it is imperative that the scientist is cognizant, concerned and active in social issues. It is also necessary for all people to have a “feel” for and knowledge of how science and technology affect their everyday world. Current projects include: Alpha, (TM) a satellite based telecommunication system to improve health care in West Africa; and The Earth We Share, (TM) an international science camp for students ages 12 to 16, that utilizes an experiential curriculum.
Her attitude and her high achievements in historically exclusionary fields led Dartmouth College to invite her to its Hanover campus in 1993 where she taught a course on Space Age Technology and Developing Countries. Researching and implementing advanced technologies that may be employed advantageously to the development of less industrialized nations.
Dr. Jemison is the host and a technical consultant to “World of Wonders” series produced by GRB Entertainment and seen weekly on the Discovery Channel. Because her excellent educational foundation was acquired in the Chicago public schools, Dr. Jemison strongly believes that US public schools must be kept viable.
Many of her interests and skills for what she has accomplished emerged during these early years. She feels very honored by the establishment (1992) of the MAE C. JEMISON ACADEMY, an alternative public school in Detroit.
At sixteen, she entered Stanford University on scholarship where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, and fulfilled the requirements for an A.B. in African and Afro-American Studies. She attended Cornell Medical College where she earned her Doctorate in Medicine in 1981. In medical school, her interest and knowledge in Third World countries evolved into a commitment to effectively contribute.
She traveled to Cuba, rural Kenya, and spent a medical clerkship in Thailand at a Cambodian Refugee Camp. She completed her internship at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in 1982.
Awards and honors she has received include Essence Award (1988); Gamma Sigma Gamma Women of the Year (1989); Honorary Doctorate of Science, Lincoln College, PA (1991); Honorary Doctor of Letters, Winston-Salem, NC (1991); McCall’s 10 Outstanding Women for the 90’s (1991); Pumpkin Magazine’s (a Japanese Monthly) One of the Women for the Coming New Century (1991); Johnson Publications Black Achievement Trailblazers Award (1992); Mae C. Jemison Science and Space Museum, Wright Jr. College, Chicago, (dedicated 1992); Ebony’s 50 Most Influential women (1993); Turner Trumpet Award (1993); and Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth (1993); Kilby Science Award (1993); Induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1993); People magazine’s 1993 “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”; CORE Outstanding Achievement Award; National Medical Association Hall of Fame.
Dr. Jemison is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Science; Association of Space Explorers: Honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; board of Directors of Scholastic, Inc.; Board of Directors of Houston’s UNICEF; Board of Trustees Spelman College; Board of Directors Aspen Institute; board of Directors Keystone Center; and the National Research Council Space Station Review Committee. She has presented at the UN and internationally on the uses of space technology, was the subject of a PBS Documentary, THE NEW EXPLORERS; ENDEAVOUR by Kurtis Production and appeared in an episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.