FEATURE: Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison

Dr. Jemison’s remarkable life, in addition to being a doctor, engineer, academic, and entrepreneur includes six years with NASA as an astronaut during which she became the first woman of color in the world to go into space.

Jemison resigned from NASA in 1993 and founded The Jemison Group, Inc., a technology and consulting firm to consider socio-cultural impacts when designing technologies. As an Environmental Studies professor at Dartmouth College from 1995 through 2001, she taught courses on sustainable development and technology design. Prior to joining NASA in 1987, she served as the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa and a general practitioner in Los Angeles. As an astronaut, Jemison had assignments as a liaison between the astronaut corps and launch operations at Kennedy Space Center, served on the human research protocol board, tested the software that operates the shuttle and flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour Spacelab Japan mission—the first joint mission with the Japanese Space Agency.

A strong, committed voice for science literacy, in 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ for students 12-16 years old, a program of the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. The foundation held Celebrating Women of Color in Flight™ to highlight that women are vitally involved in aviation and aerospace across the world, in all capacities—from astronauts to electricians to story tellers. Jemison is Bayer Corporation’s national science literacy advocate. In her book Find Where the Wind Goes, Jemison writes for teenagers about growing up on the south side of Chicago, cultivating her aspiration to be a scientist and professional dancer, her experiences as a medical student in Africa, and her history-making journey into space.

Dr. Jemison is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, an inductee of NationalWomen’s Hall of Fame and the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, and winner of the Kilby Science Award. Jemison was an A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and is a board member of Kimberly Clark, Scholastic, and Valspar. Jemison is Chair of the Texas state Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board, Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force, member MorehouseCollege Board of Trustees.

Dr. Jemison graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and completed the requirements for an A.B. in African and Afro-American studies from Stanford University and earned her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College.

Jemison hosted the television series “ World of Wonder” and has appeared in documentaries on space flight as well as her African-American roots. In 1993 Jemison was chosen one of People Magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People”. A Star Trek fan in her youth, Jemison appeared in an episode the series’ popular sequel, Star Trek: The Next Generation.



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