Astronaut Mae Jemison to Deliver King Address at UB

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: February 14, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mae C. Jemison, astronaut, physician, engineer and entrepreneur, will deliver the keynote address at the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Event at the University at Buffalo.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut for six years, Jemison became the first woman of color to go into space when she blasted into orbit as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on Sept. 12, 1992.

She will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The lecture is sponsored by the UB Minority Faculty & Staff Association.

After resigning from NASA in 1993, Jemison founded The Jemison Group, Inc., a Houston-based firm dedicated to researching, developing and implementing advanced technologies suited to the social, political, cultural and economic context of the individual, especially those living in the developing world. Current projects include a satellite-based telecommunication system to improve health care in West Africa and an international science camp for students ages 12-16 that features an experimental curriculum.

She also created BioSentient, 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.

Born in Decatur, Ala., and raised in Chicago, Jemison entered Stanford University at age 16 on a scholarship. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and fulfilled the requirements for a bachelor's degree in African and Afro-American studies. She earned her medical degree at Cornell University Medical College, and practiced medicine as a volunteer in a Cambodian refugee camp and as a medical officer with the Peace Corps in West Africa.

She was working as a general practitioner in Los Angeles when NASA selected her and 14 others for astronaut training.

An A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, Jemison serves on the board of directors for Scholastic Inc. and Valspar Corp. She was selected as one of the top seven women leaders in a 1999 Presidential Ballot national straw poll conducted by The White House. In 2001, she was elected into the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; she also has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the National Medical Association Hall of Fame.

Ticket prices for Mae Jemison range from $6 to $14 and may be purchased at the Center for the Arts box office from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at all Ticketmaster locations.

For more information, call 645-ARTS.