Mae Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut, best known for becoming the first African-American woman to travel in space. She was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama.
Jemison’s early passion for science led her to study at Stanford University, where she earned dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and African and African-American Studies in 1977. She went on to earn a medical degree from Cornell University in 1981.
After practicing medicine for a few years, Jemison was selected by NASA in 1985 as an astronaut candidate, breaking barriers as the first African-American woman to join the program.
In 1992, she made history by flying aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-47 mission, becoming the first African-American woman in space. During the mission, she conducted scientific experiments and contributed to research in various fields.
Following her time at NASA, Jemison established The Jemison Group, a technology consulting company, and also remained active in education and science outreach.
Also Read: Mae Jemison Accomplishments
She served as a professor, founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence to promote science education, and contributed to educational materials.
Mae Jemison’s legacy extends beyond her pioneering spaceflight. She’s an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, and her story serves as an inspiration to individuals, particularly women and minorities, pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
|1956||Mae Carol Jemison is born in Decatur, Alabama, USA.|
|1973||Graduates from Morgan Park High School in Chicago.|
|1977||Receives B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and African and African-American Studies from Stanford University.|
|1981||Earns her M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College.|
|1983-1985||Works as a General Practitioner in Los Angeles and volunteers as a medical officer in a Cambodian refugee camp.|
|1985||Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA.|
|September 1992||First African-American woman in space as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-47).|
|1993||Establishes The Jemison Group, a technology consulting company.|
|1993-1995||Serves as a professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College.|
|1999||Founds the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, focusing on science literacy and education.|
|2012||Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.|
|2019||Contributes to the book “The Chemistry of Soils” as part of the “RSC Paperbacks” series.|
Timeline of Mae Jemison
1956 – Born in Decatur, Alabama, USA
Mae Carol Jemison is born on October 17th in Decatur, Alabama, USA. She grows up with a strong interest in science, space, and exploration.
1973 – Graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago
After completing her high school education at Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Mae Jemison goes on to pursue her higher education, setting the stage for her future accomplishments.
1977 – Received B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and African and African-American Studies from Stanford University
Jemison’s academic pursuits lead her to Stanford University. She not only excels in her studies but also demonstrates her versatility by earning two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Chemical Engineering and another in African and African-American Studies.
Also Read: Mae Jemison Facts
This unique combination of disciplines showcases her dedication to both technical and cultural understanding.
1981 – Earned her M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College
Building upon her academic achievements, Mae Jemison’s journey takes her to Cornell University Medical College, where she embarks on a path towards becoming a medical doctor.
In 1981, she completes her medical degree, earning her M.D. This achievement reflects her commitment to pursuing careers that challenge and inspire her, while also contributing to society’s well-being.
1983-1985 – Worked as a General Practitioner and volunteered as a medical officer in a Cambodian refugee camp
Following her medical training, Mae Jemison practices as a General Practitioner in Los Angeles. During this time, she gains practical experience in the medical field, working with patients and contributing to healthcare.
Her desire to make a positive impact extends beyond her medical practice, as she volunteers her medical expertise in a Cambodian refugee camp. This experience underscores her compassion and commitment to helping underserved communities on a global scale.
1985 – Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA
Mae Jemison’s trajectory takes a remarkable turn when she’s selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA. Her selection marks a significant milestone, as she becomes the first African-American woman admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program.
This achievement not only showcases her exceptional capabilities but also breaks down barriers for women and minorities in the field of space exploration.
September 1992 – Became the first African-American woman in space as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-47)
Jemison’s dedication and training culminate in a historic achievement. On the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-47 mission, she becomes the first African-American woman to travel in space.
Serving as a Mission Specialist, she participates in scientific experiments that contribute to our understanding of various fields, including material science, life sciences, and human adaptation to weightlessness.
Her presence in space inspires generations and exemplifies the potential for diversity and innovation in STEM fields.
1993 – Established The Jemison Group, a technology consulting company
Following her space mission, Mae Jemison makes another notable contribution by establishing The Jemison Group. This technology consulting company reflects her belief in the importance of fostering innovation and scientific advancements.
Through her company, she continues to promote the integration of science and technology in various industries.
1993-1995 – Served as a professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College
Jemison’s commitment to education and knowledge dissemination leads her to Dartmouth College. Here, she serves as a professor of Environmental Studies, sharing her expertise and inspiring students to engage with scientific and environmental issues.
This role highlights her dedication to nurturing the next generation of scientists and thinkers.
1999 – Founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, focusing on science literacy and education
Mae Jemison’s commitment to education takes a broader scope as she establishes the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence.
Named in honor of her mother, this foundation focuses on promoting science literacy and educational initiatives, particularly targeting underserved communities.
Through this foundation, she continues to advocate for equitable access to education and the empowerment of individuals through knowledge.
2012 – Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame
Mae Jemison’s impactful journey is recognized as she is inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. This prestigious honor underscores her significant contributions to science, education, and breaking gender and racial barriers.
Her induction serves as a testament to her enduring influence on society and her role as a trailblazer for women, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
2019 – Contributed to the book “The Chemistry of Soils” as part of the “RSC Paperbacks” series
Jemison’s commitment to science and education continues to shine as she contributes to the book “The Chemistry of Soils,” part of the “RSC Paperbacks” series.
This contribution showcases her expertise in scientific exploration and her dedication to sharing knowledge with the broader public. By contributing to educational resources, she furthers her mission to promote scientific literacy and engage people in the wonders of the natural world.