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Dr. Mae C. Jemison :
Transcript of Dr. Mae C. Jemison :
Dr. Mae C. Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama to Charlie and Dorthy Jemison (Creasman, 160). When Mae was a young child the family moved to Chicago, Illinois where she grew up in a middle class home. Jemison's father was a supervisor of maintenance for the United Charities of Chicago as well as a roofer and contractor, her mother was a teacher at the Beethoven School in Chicago (Creasman, 160).
Mae's parents were always encouraging her to become engaged in the world around her and to learn all that she could. When she was asked to describe her parents her response was
"Forward thinking: never having it in their minds that their children could not do" (Creasman, 160).
Dr. Mae Jemison on the pressures of being accepted into the NASA Space Program
Follow Your Dreams
Mae Jemison lives by the words "Don't be limited by others' limited imaginations" (Creasman, 161). Through this philosophy Jemison was able to overcome and persevere through anything that was in her way. Dr. Jemison has no animosity against those who try to discourage her from reaching her dreams, she's been happy to prove their theories wrong (Buchanan, 54).
Dr. Mae C. Jemison :
African American Women in the Field of Science and Technology
When Dr. Jemison was a young girl she would spend hours surrounded by books in the library studying and thinking about the world (Buchanan, 54). Mae began to see how science and technology could be used to help people far and wide (Buchanan, 54).
All of this studying and exciting ideas for her future allowed Mae to graduate high school well ahead of her peers. Mae C. Jemison graduated from Morgan Park High School at the age of 16 in 1973 (Creasman, 160).
After graduating from high school Jemison entered Stanford University in California on a full ride scholarship (Buchanan, 54). Mae had even rejected MIT to attend Stanford as a science major (Creasman, 160). She was also able to pursue a second major in Political Science African American Studies while attending Standford University (Creasman, 160).
Dr. Jemison graduated from Stanford University in 1977 and was accepted shortly after into Cornell University's medical program, where she would complete her studies in 1981 (Creasman, 161).
Dreams and Ambitions
Even though some discouraged her dreams, starting when she was a young girl, Mae Jemison never lost her drive. At one point Jemison told her kindergarten teacher that she hoped to be a scientist one day, her teacher responded that maybe she should become a nurse instead since more girls pursued that profession (Buchanan, 54).
Jemison later proclaimed that " I was stubborn" (Buchanan, 54). Mae's stuborness is one of the major qualities that would eventually propel her into success.
In 1992 Dr. Mae C. Jemison became the first African American Woman to go into space (Buchanan, 54)
At the age of 26 she became an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer in Sierra Leone (Creasman, 161)
By her 21st Birthday she had earned two degrees (Buchanan, 54)
In 1981 she received her doctorate from Cornell University (Creasman, 161)
In 1992 Jemison was awarded the Johnson Publications Company's Black Achievement Trailblazer Award, for becoming the first black woman in space (King)
In 1993 she Resigned from NASA; became a professor at Dartmouth College, where she teaches environmental studies; founds and became director of the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries (King)
In 1994 she founded and became director of the Jemison Group, Inc., in Houston, Texas, and The Earth We Share, an international science camp (King)
Above the Clouds...
In June 1985 Jemison was accepted into the NASA space program and would spend the next few years training for the shuttle Endeavor mission (Creasman, 161). She had been assigned as a mission specialist on the STS-47, spacelab-J, " a cooperative venture between the United States and Japan to perform experiments in life sciences and materials processing" (Creasman, 161).
Then on September 11, 1992 Dr. Mae C. Jemison became the first African American woman to enter into space, carrying with her:
In 1983 Dr. Jemison went to Sierra Leone in Africa as the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer, at the age of 26 she was the youngest person to sit in that position (Creasman, 161). While being a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone she had a long list of responsibilities. Some of these resposibilities were managing health care systems, writing manuals, and conducting research on Hepatitis B and rabies (Creasman, 161). Jemison also helped to doctor other Peace Corps volunteers so they could stay healthy while doing their jobs (Buchanan,54).
African American Women in the Field of Science and Technology
"There's a real disconnect between being concerned about having enough scientists in the future and seeing minorities and women as a source of that workforce," said Dr. Mae C. Jemison (McAleavy).
African American Women in the Field of Science and Technology Continued...
"Despite these role models, black female scientists are still a rarity. African Americans make up 12 per cent of the population in the Us, yet fewer than seven per cent of women who received doctorates in the Us in 2010 were black. Those in scientific academic posts are even fewer. According to research carried out by Donna Nelson of the University of Oklahoma, even in 2012 there are only four black female tenure-track physics professors employed at the top 100 research universities" (Blair, 48).
"So what can be done to attract more black women to the sciences? The National Academies recently held a conference on the topic, calling the lack of underrepresented minorities "urgent". Didion says it's important to study what historically black and other minority-serving institutions do to attract top black female faculty members; create platforms where new hires can voice concerns without fear of reprisal and ensure transparency in the promotion and tenure processes. Remedying high pre-college dropout rates among minority students is also crucial" (Blair, 48).
Creasman, Kim. “Black Birds In The Sky: The Legacies Of Bessie Coleman And Dr. Mae Jemison.” Journal Of Negro History 82.1 (1997): 158. America: History & Life. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Buchanan, Doug. “Chapter 6: MAE C. JEMISON.” Air & Space (1999): 54. Book Collection Nonfiction: High School Edition. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
“An Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater poster, an Alpha Kappa Alpha banner, a flag that had flown over the Organization of African Unity, and proclamations from Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African-American History and the Chicago public school system. I wanted everyone to know that space belongs to all of us. There is science in dance and art in science. It belongs to everyone.” (Creasman, 161)
Mae C. Jemison has also created a research corporation call the Jemison Group that has a vison of using science to help people in need all around the world ( Buchanan, 54). One of their hopes is to create a satellite system that would allow for patients in remote parts of Africa to speak with doctors all over the world (Buchanan, 54). This satellite system would be named "Alafiya" which is an African word meaning good health (Buchanan, 54).
Dr. Jemison shows us that by putting in the hard work and commitment behind our wildest dreams we can achieve anything. She was able to become the first African American woman to travel into space and paved the way for other African American women to modify what society believes they can achieve. There is a spot for women in the fields of science and technology and not only that there is a spot for African American women.
McAleavy, Teresa M. "Study finds execs unfazed by scarcity of women, minority scientists." Record, The (Hackensack, NJ) 10 May 2006: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
A new survey found that 100 executives of science and technology companies are untroubled by the low number of women and minorities in the sciences (McAleavy). They "found that two-thirds of CEOs, COOs or CFOs agreed that women and minorities aren't adequately represented in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) jobs. But, some 74 percent said they aren't "frustrated" about not being able to hire more women" (McAleavy).
Blair, Jenny. "Where Are All The Black Women In Science?." New Scientist 216.2888 (2012): 48-49. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
In order for us to remedy the lack of African American women in the field of science and technology we need more education in elementary schools and middle schools that highlight the achievements of those such a Dr. Mae C. Jemison. By showing young minority women that there are others who have gone before them and have been successful in this field and that they can do it too.
King, Coretta Scott, and LeeAnne Gelletly. "Mae Jemison." Mae Jemison (0-7910-6293-7) (2002): 8-30. Book Collection Nonfiction: High School Edition. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
...And the list goes on...