Born on October 17, 1956, in Deactur Alabama, Mae C. Jemison graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University, where she also completed the requirements for a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies. She then got her MD at Cornell University. Jemison then worked as the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia.
NASA selected Jemison for the astronaut program in 1987. And in 1992, she was the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J, an 8-day long shared mission between the U.S. and Japan.
As if that’s not enough, she is a member of the American Chemical Society, Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Space Explorers; an honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; a board member of World Sickle Cell Foundation, American Express Geography Competition; and an honorary board member of the Center for the Prevention of Childhood Malnutrition. She is also a clinical Teaching Associate at the University of Texas Medical Center.
According to Jemison’s NASA page, Jemison’s, “recreational interests include traveling, graphic arts, photography, sewing, skiing, collecting African Art, languages (Russian, Swahili, Japanese), weight training,” and she has “an extensive dance and exercise background and is an avid reader.”