First African-American Woman
in Space Is the Keynote Speaker at UNH Commencement May 22
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
April 30, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire graduates will
share the celebration of their academic accomplishments with Dr.
Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, who is the
keynote speaker at the 134th Commencement Saturday, May 22, 2004.
Dr. Mae Jemison
The culmination of a student's academic career, commencement
begins at 10 a.m. at Cowell Stadium Field, rain or shine. The ceremony
is expected to run approximately
two hours, and tickets are not needed.
Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour Sept. 12, 1992,
the first woman of color to go into space. Now, founder and president of two
technology companies, the space flight was just one of a series of accomplishments
for this dynamic woman.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford
University in 1977, and a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University in 1981,
Jemison completed her internship at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in
July 1982 and worked as a general practitioner with INA/Ross Loos MedicalGroup
in Los Angeles until December 1982.
From January 1983 through June 1985, she was the Area Peace Corps
Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa where she managed
the health care delivery system for U.S. Peace Corps and U.S. Embassy
personnel. After returning to the United States, Jemison joined
CIGNA Health Plans of California and was working as a General Practitioner
and attending graduate engineering classes in Los Angeles when
selected to the astronaut program.
Jemison completed a one-year training and evaluation program in
August 1988. She is qualified for assignment as a mission specialist
on Space Shuttle flight crews and was assigned as a mission specialist
on STS-47, Spacelab-J. A cooperative mission between the United
States and Japan, the mission conducted experiments in life sciences
and materials processing.
Since returning to Earth, Jemison has founded two companies, The
Jemison Group and BioSentient. The Jemison Group is dedicated to
the research, development
and implementation of advanced technologies to alleviate the massive burdens
of developing nations in the areas of health care, food production and the
environment. BioSentient is a medical technology company that develops and
markets mobile equipment worn to monitor the body’s vital signs and train
people to respond favorably in stressful situations.
Commencement also will feature the awarding of an honorary doctor of humane
letters to Carol Etherington. An assistant professor of nursing at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center in Nashville, Etherington was the first nurse to
serve on the U.S. Board of Médecins sans Frontieres (MSF USA/Doctors
without Borders), and currently serves as the president of the U.S. Board.
Parking is available in Lots A, F, Mast Road and West Edge. Shuttles will provide
transportation from the Mast Road and West Edge lots. Special services parking
is available in B Lot for those candidates and guest with mobility impairments.