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Biographical background on 2006 Dartmouth honorary degree recipientsMAE C. JEMISON(Doctor of Science)

Posted 05/01/06 • Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Mae C. Jemison
Mae C. Jemison

Mae C. Jemison served as the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J from September 12-20, 1992, becoming the first woman of color to explore space. Today, she is the founder and president of two technology companies, BioSentient Corporation and The Jemison Group, Inc. Both companies work to integrate science and technology into our everyday lives.

Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama, and raised in Chicago. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in chemical engineering, from Stanford University, where she also fulfilled the requirements for an A.B. in African and Afro-American Studies. She earned her doctorate in medicine at Cornell University Medical College.

Prior to joining NASA in 1987, Jemison practiced medicine in Los Angeles, and then she served from 1983-1985 as the Area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. After her tenure with the Peace Corps, she returned to Los Angeles where she again worked as a general practitioner.

Aboard STS-47 Spacelab J flight, Jemison conducted experiments in life sciences, material sciences, and co-investigated the Bone Cell Research experiment. She resigned from NASA in March 1993 to start The Jemison Group, Inc., a research and consulting firm that has worked on such initiatives as helping implement a solar powered telecommunications system to facilitate health care delivery in West Africa.

Jemison is also the founder and president of BioSentient, established in 1999. This medical technology company develops and markets mobile equipment that monitors a person's vital signs during stressful situations. The goal is to train people to respond favorably in these situations.

In 1994, Dr. Jemison founded and currently chairs The Earth We Share (TEWS), an annual international science camp where students, ages 12 to 16, work together to solve current global dilemmas. The four-week residential program builds critical thinking and problem solving skills through an experiential curriculum. TEWS is a program of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. As a former professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College (1995-2002), she directed the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries.

She has received numerous awards and honors, including election to the National Academies' Institute of Medicine, induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, and selection to People magazine's list of the "World's 50 Most Beautiful People" in 1993. Jemison also holds a number of honorary doctorates, and she serves on several corporate boards of directors as well as on the Texas Governor's State Council for Science and BioTechnology Development. She is the author of Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life, published in 2001.

Jemison resides in Houston.

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