Mae Jemison

Published: Jan. 25, 2001 at 3:23 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2003 at 10:54 AM CST
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Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to enter space. Dr. Jemison has a chemical engineering degree from Stanford and a M.D. from Cornell.

Jemison spent two years in Africa with the Peace Corps and then returned to private practice in the states. She was accepted into the NASA training program in 1987 and selected from nearly 2,000 applicants. In September 1992, Jemison served as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Endeavor.

In 1993 she founded the Jemison Group, Inc., a private company that focuses on projects that integrate social science issues into the design, development and implementation of technologies.

Her company as worked on projects from satellite-based telecommunications and their use to facilitate health care delivery in the developing world to solar-thermal electricity generating systems. She introduced a science curriculum into South Africa as well as 3D simulations.

She has served as a professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College. She is the director of the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries. The mission of the Jemison Institute is to research, design, implement, and evaluate cutting-edge technology in a real-life context and ensure that such technology works to the benefit of developing countries.

The Institute seeks to partner with various agencies within and outside government and businesses to find and design programs to help the developing world.