Mae C. Jemison

Mae C. Jemison
Astronaut, Physician
Born: October 17, 1956
Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama

It's easy to see how Komo could confuse Mae C. Jemison up with Imhotep. The multi-talented, multi-disciplined (medicine, aeronautics, history, chemical engineering) Dr. Jemison also just happens to be the first African American woman to go into space when she blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor, September 12, 1992.

Mae C. Jemison served as mission specialist on STS-47 (Endeavor) in 1992. Astronauts on this cooperative mission between the United States and Japan conducted experiments in life sciences and materials processing. 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, material sciences, and was a co-investigator of the Bone Cell Research experiment. Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA in March, 1993.

Growing Up
Mae C. Jemison was born the youngest of three children of Charlie and Dorothy Jemison, a maintenance worker and schoolteacher. Raised in Chicago, Illinois, she graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1973. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 1977, while also fulfilling the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies. She attended medical school and received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University in 1981.

The Peace Corps
After medical school, Dr. Jemison served in the Peace Corps, from January 1983 to June 1985. She was stationed in Sierra Leone and Liberia, West Africa as the area Peace Corps medical officer. There she supervised the pharmacy, laboratory, medical staff. She provided medical care, wrote self-care manuals, developed and implemented guidelines for health and safety issues, and worked with the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Dr. Jemison
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 (1983-85) as Area Peace Corps medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. On her return to Los Angeles, she worked as a GP with CIGNA Health Plans for California, while updating her engineering skills.

Honors, Awards and Post NASA
Dr. Jemison has earned numerous honors and awards including induction into the Women´s Hall of Fame; selection as one of the People magazines´ 1993 "World´s 50 Most Beautiful People" Johnson Publications Black Achievement Trailblazers Award; the Kilby Science Award; selection as a Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College; and a number of honorary doctorates. Dr. Jemison has presented at the UN on the uses of space technology, appeared weekly as the host and technical consultant of the "World of Wonder" series on the Discovery Channel in 1994-95, appeared in an episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and was the subject of the PBS documentary THE NEW EXPLORERS.

She is on the Board of Directors of Scholastic, Inc., The Aspen Institute and Spelman College, is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a member of the Association of Space Explorers, and has an alternative public school in Detroit named after her. A noted lecturer, Dr. Jemison speaks nationally and internationally on topics such as science literacy, the need for increased women and minority participation in math and sciences, education, achieving excellence and investing in the present to secure the future.

Dr. Jemison Today
Dr. Jemison focuses on the beneficial integration of science and technology into our everyday lives - culture, health, environment and education - for all on this planet. To pursue these ideas, she formed The Jemison Group, Inc. Current Company projects include: Alafiyaª a satellite based telecommunication system to facilitate health care delivery in West Africa and The Earth We Shareª, an international science camp for students, ages 12-16, that utilizes an experiential curriculum. Although she was born in Decatur, Alabama, Dr. Jemison calls Chicago, Illinois, her hometown. She is currently resides in Houston, Texas with her cats Sneeze, Mac and Little Mama.

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