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The Keystone Honors Academy Hosts An Evening with Astronaut Joan Higginbotham

April 9, 2018

Astronaut Joan HigginbothamOn Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Cheyney University Campus Community is invited to join the Keystone Honors Academy for “Reach Towards the Stars.” This evening of motivation and inspiration will feature a keynote address from Astronaut Joan Higginbotham. Higginbotham’s address is designed to uplift the audience and encourage students, particularly minorities and women, to take interest in STEM field majors and pursue their dreams.

Higginbotham began her career with NASA in 1987 at the Kennedy Space Center as a Payload Electrical Engineer in the Electrical and Telecommunications Systems Division. During her nine-year tenure at the Kennedy Space Center, she supported 53 space shuttle launches. In 1996, Higginbotham was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA and later transitioned to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, which is the hub for all human spaceflight activity.

By 2006, Higginbotham became the third African-American women to travel to space following completion of a 12-day mission on the STS-116 space shuttle. She later went on to complete three additional missions before retiring from NASA in 2007 to pursue a career in the private sector.

Higginbotham obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She also earned a master’s degree in management and space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in aerospace science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Additionally, she has been recognized with a host of awards and citations including the NASA Space Medal, Distinguished Alumni awards from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and induction into the National Association of Negro Business and the Professional Women’s History Hall of Fame.

Higginbotham is also an active member of a number of civic and service organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, The Links Incorporated, and the Association of Space Explorers.

This free event will take place at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Marian Anderson Music Center. The event is also open to the public. 

For more information or to request group seating, please contact 610-399-2386.