First African-American Woman Astronaut Mae Jemison To Speak
at Wellesley College

CONTACT: Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Mae C. Jemison, right, blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on Sept. 12, 1992, the first woman of color to go into space. This historic event was one of a series of accomplishments for this dynamic African-American woman. Now she is coming to Wellesley College to inspire others with her story on Saturday, March 3, at 3 pm in Tishman Commons, Wang Campus Center, on the Wellesley, Mass., campus.

Dr. Jemison's lecture, "Becoming Who You Intend To Be," is sponsored by a student organization, the Hippocratic Society, which is marking its second annual Celebration of Women in Medicine and Public Health.

At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. Jemison was science mission specialist (a NASA first) on the STS-47 Space lab J flight, a U.S./Japan joint mission. She conducted experiments in life sciences and material sciences and was co-investigator in the Bone Cell Research experiment.

Chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and astronaut, she has a wide range of experience in technology, engineering and medical research. In addition to her extensive background in science, she is well-versed in African and African-American Studies and is trained in dance and choreography.
Prior to joining NASA in 1987, she worked as a general practitioner in Los Angeles with the INA/Ross Loos Medical Group. She then spent two and a half years (1983-85) as an area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. Returning to Los Angeles, she resumed her medical practice, working with CIGNA Health Plans of California.

Dr. Jemison is committed to ensuring that science and technology fields represent the full spectrum of gender, ethnic and social diversity; she has encouraged all people, especially women and minorities, to pursue careers in science and any other fields of their choice. She is the founder and president of two technology companies.
Born in Decatur, Ala., and raised in Chicago, she entered Stanford University at the age of 16 on a scholarship, graduating with a B.S. in chemical engineering and fulfilled the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American studies. She earned her doctorate in medicine at Cornell University Medical College. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, founder and chair of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, the A. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, a member of the board of directors for Scholastic Inc. and Valspar Corp., a member of the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, a United Nations committee member and more.

The event is co-sponsored by Wellesley's Astronomy Club, Africana Studies and Biology Departments, as well as numerous other departments, clubs and groups. For more information, contact Garen Wolff at

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to