Mae Jemison | Omega

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison, MD, was the first African-American woman to go into space when she joined the crew aboard the shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

Before joining NASA in 1987, Jemison worked in engineering and medicine. Jemison received her doctor of medicine degree in 1981 from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medical College) at Cornell University. She interned at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and later worked as a general practitioner before becoming the Peace Corps' Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia, where she worked from 1983 to 1985. 

Since her retirement from NASA in 1993, Jemison founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which runs The Earth We Share, an annual international science camp where young students work together to solve current global dilemmas. She also founded BioSentient Corp. to explore bringing NASA biofeedback technology to public market. Jemison is also the first real astronaut to appear on Star Trek.

Jemison has received numerous awards and honors, including an induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the National Medical Association Hall of Fame; Johnson Publications’s Black Achievement Trailblazers Award; Audubon’s Rachel Carson Award; and a number of honorary doctorates, including Doctor of Humanities from Princeton University. She was also elected into the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 2001.

Jemison has presented to the United Nations 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 1994–1995, and was the subject of the PBS documentary The New Explorers. In 1999, she was selected as one of the top seven women leaders in a national straw poll conducted by The White House Project.

Jemison is currently the A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and serves as Bayer Corporation’s national science literacy advocate. She is author of the memoir Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life.


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