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Leadership Institute Columbus State University The Forum

Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison

First African-American Woman in Space; Founder and President of the Jemison Group and BioSentient Corp.

In September 1992, Mae C. Jemison, MD, made history as the first woman of color in space. While aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J mission, she performed experiments in material science, life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness. She served as a NASA astronaut for six years.

In 1994, Jemison created The Earth We Share (TEWS), an international science camp for 12-16-year-old students from around the world. TEWS is a program of the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (DJF), which Jemison and her siblings established in honor of their late mother.

She founded The Jemison Group, Inc. (JG), a technology consulting firm, integrating critical socio-cultural issues into the design of engineering and science projects, and BioSentient Corporation, a medical devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance. She currently serves as president of BioSentient.

Jemison is at the forefront of integrating the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. She leads 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a global initiative seed funded through a competitive grant. 100YSS aims to ensure the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next 100 years.

She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors for Kimberly-Clark, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Medical Center.

Jemison is an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame; the National Medical Association Hall of Fame; the Texas Science Hall of Fame; and the International Space Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award and The Kilby Science Award; and was included in the 2014 National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship “100 Most Influential People in the Boardroom.” She is also an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the New York Academy of Sciences.

She has appeared on National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock;” the CNBC special “The Business of Science,” “The Dream School,” and “Star Trek.”

Jemison is the author of “Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life,” a series on space exploration. She is a LEGO figurine in the LEGO Women of NASA kit.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering (and fulfilled the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in African and Afro-American Studies) from Stanford University and a medical degree from Cornell University.