Dr. Mae Jemison, a former astronaut and professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College, will visit Cornell University March 25 to 30. It will be her first visit as an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large.
Jemison will give a free public talk, "S.E.E.ing the Future," on the topic of science, engineering and education, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, in Statler Auditorium. Free tickets for the lecture will be available beginning March 14 at the Willard Straight Hall ticket office and the service centers at Robert Purcell and Noyes student unions on campus. There is a limit of two tickets per person.
A chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and astronaut, Jemison, Cornell M.D. '81, blasted into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992 as the science mission specialist (and the first woman of color to go into space) on an eight-day flight, a joint venture between the United States and Japan. In 1993, Jemison left NASA to start her own company, The Jemison Group, which researches, develops and markets advanced technologies for developing countries with a special emphasis on technology and sustainable development. Her organization also sponsors The Earth We Share International Science Camp, an experiential residential program for youth designed to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills and science literacy. Jemison was inducted in the Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1993 and was selected for the White House Project in 1998 as one of 20 women with the possibility of becoming U.S. president.
While on campus, Jemison will attend a conference sponsored by the Cornell Africana Studies and Research Center and give a presentation to students in the College of Engineering and meet with associated student groups. In an astronomy class, she will discuss her thoughts on what space exploration means to the public and the application of space technologies to life science. Jemison also will meet with researchers at Cornell from the Nanobiotechnology Center, the Institute for African Development and the Institute for Public Affairs. She also will meet with members of the Tompkins County Board of Representatives at the Sciencenter, where a plaque in her honor is to be installed on the Wall of Inspiration.Jemison received her B.S. in chemical engineering in 1977 and fulfilled requirements for an A.B. in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University and she received her M.D. from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medical College) in 1981. She then spent three and a half years as a Peace Corps medical officer in West Africa.
She was appointed in 1999 to a six-year A.D. White Professorship, endowed by the President's Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) in 1993. Her previous visit to Cornell was in March 2000, as an invited speaker in a PCCW conference on women and leadership. The PCCW supports, in perpetuity, one A.D. White professorship, preferably for a woman; Jemison is the second after Juliet Mitchell, the Cambridge University psychoanalyst and feminist theorist.
Cornell's Andrew D. White Professors-at-Large Program was started in 1965 in honor of the university's first president. Participants are chosen for their prominence in diverse disciplines and are appointed for six-year terms. At any one time, up to 18 outstanding intellectuals from across the globe hold the title of Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large and are considered full members of the Cornell faculty.