Dr. Mae Jemison

  • First African American Woman in Space
  • Founder and President, The Jemison Group and BioSentient Corp (Medical Technology Companies)
  • Leading 100 Year Starship to assure human travel to another star within the next century
  • Inductee, National Women's Hall of Fame and International Space Hall of Fame 

10 a.m., Friday, March 27 - Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

Dr. Mae C. Jemison leads 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a bold, far reaching nonprofit initiative to assure the capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next 100 years.  Jemison is building a multi-faceted global community to foster the cultural, scientific, social and technical commitment, support and financial framework to accomplish the 100YSS vision-An Inclusive, Audacious Journey (that) Transforms Life Here on Earth and Beyond.  100YSS programs include: Annual public conference NEXUS- Pathway to the Stars: Footprints on Earth; the Canopus Awards for Excellence in Interstellar Writing; the 100YSS Crucibles-Invitation only, transdisciplinary workshops to generate new disciplines to disrupt technological and systemic hurdles; and 100YSS True Books to engage elementary students.  The 100YSS Way Research Institute seeks to generate the radical leaps that accelerate knowledge, technology, design, and thinking not just for space travel, but to enhance life on Earth. Jemison led the team that won the competitive, single awardee seed funding grant in February 2012 from premiere research agency DARPA.

Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut.  Aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J mission in September 1992, she performed experiments in material science, life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Jemison started The Jemison Group, Inc. (JG) a technology consulting firm integrating critical socio-cultural issues into the design of engineering and science projects, such as satellite technology for health care delivery and solar dish Stirling engine electricity in developing countries. JG researches and develops stand-alone science and technology companies.  BioSentient Corporation, a medical devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance is such a company. An Environmental Studies professor at Dartmouth College, Jemison worked on sustainable development and technology design particularly for the developing world. Before joining NASA she was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia and a general practice physician in Los Angeles.

In 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ (TEWS) for 12-16 year old students from around the world, a program of the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (DJF).  From 2011 to 2014, DJF held TEWS-Space Race in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District training hundreds of middle school teachers in experiential science education and over thousands of middle school students.  Other foundation programs include Reality Leads Fantasy-Celebrating Women of Color in Flight that highlighted women in aviation and space from around the world.  EXPO Inspire is a hands-on public STEM fair. LOOK UP™ announced in September 2017 an international movement to galvanize people worldwide, on a single day, to acknowledge that we are Earthlings.

Jemison is Bayer Corporation USA’s national science literacy ambassador. She is one of the series hosts for National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock” and space operations advisor for its global miniseries MARS.

Jemison is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and is on the boards of directors of Kimberly–Clark, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Medical Center.  She was the Founding Chair of the Texas state Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board, Chair the Texas State Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Cluster, Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force, and served on the board of Scholastic, Inc. and Valspar Corporation.  Jemison is a inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame, International Space Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, The Kilby Science Award and National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship 100 most influential people in the boardroom in 2014, Honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the New York Academy of Sciences, among many honors. She was a featured panelist on the CNBC special “The Business of Science” (9/2011) and was one of the teachers on “The Dream School.”  Jemison is an author including Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My LifeTrue Books series on space exploration.  She was the first real astronaut to appear on Star Trek TV series and is a LEGO figurine in the LEGO Women of NASA kit.

B.S., Chemical Engineering; Fulfilled requirements A.B., African and Afro-American Studies-Stanford University M.D., Cornell University.


Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero 

Chief, Intramural Diversity Workforce Branch, Center for Cancer Training
10 a.m., Saturday, March 28, Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero obtained her PhD in cytogenetics in Argentina and subsequently joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where she has worked since 1987. Together with her colleagues, she showed for the first time that the nucleoside analog used in the earliest AIDS therapy was a transplacental carcinogen in mice. She pioneered the discovery of nucleoside analogs induced centrosomal amplification and aneuploidy working as a Senior Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics at NCI. She is the author and co-author of more than 75 scientific articles, book chapters and her book entitled, Interdisciplinary Mentoring in Science: Strategies for Success.

Her dedication to empower and inspire young females to choose scientific careers was recognized by the US State Department in her selection to be part of a delegation of female scientists to visit Brazil and Colombia to favor the participation of women in science. Dr. Olivero is the recipient of the Leading Diversity Award given by the NCI Director in appreciation of efforts furthering diversity and equal employment opportunity. She has received a Mentor award from AWIS in the year 2013 because of her commitment to mentoring young minority females a mentoring award from the National Cancer Institute in 2016 and was recognized as a “Game Changer” from the office of Equality Diversity and Inclusion from NIH.

As the current Chief of the Diversity Intramural Workforce Branch she is leading the efforts of NCI to increase diversity in the workforce. The IDWB coordinates efforts to attract, recruit, and foster a community of scientists from diverse backgrounds at NCI, supports trainees onboarding and mentoring and implements activities to create a lasting culture of inclusion.