Mae Jemison

Medical doctor, engineer, astronaut – Mae Jemison’s skills and expertise reflect a determined individual whose contributions to the nation and the world make a difference.

Jemison, determined from childhood to explore space, became the first Black American woman in space when she traveled on the Endeavor on September 12, 1992. Earlier, Jemison spent several years as a Peace Corps physician in West Africa and opened a private practice in Los Angeles.

After her space flight, Jemison took leave from NASA to lecture and teach at Dartmouth College, focusing on space-age technology and developing nations. She says that space “is the birthright of everyone who is on this planet. We need to get every group of people in the world involved because it is something that eventually we in the world community are going to have
to share.”

Jemison heads her own firm in Houston, and travels throughout the world. Jemison encourages women and minorities to enter scientific fields: “I want to make sure we use all our talent, not just 25 percent.” In 1999 Jemison accepted appointment as the President’s Council of Cornell Women Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1956 -
Achievements: Science