Dr. Mae Jemison, Space Shuttle Endeavor astronaut, chemical engineer and physician gave a keynote speech at the “Who is Chemistry” event September 28, a celebration of the international year of chemistry, at Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Ferguson Social Sciences Auditorium.
Dr. Jemison spoke about her experiences in the scientific and medical fields, and how she chose her path and overcame the obstacles she faced. She earned a medical degree from Cornell University, served in the Peace Corps and became the first African-American woman
“Chemistry is all of us,” Dr. Jemison said. “We’re all involved in what happens in the world and we all participate in chemistry every day, and so many of us go on to become professional chemists.”
To Dr. Jemison, it is important that society recognize how much of a contribution that women and minorities can make if given the opportunity. She spoke on how the biggest obstacles don’t come from society’s constraints on a person’s race or gender, but instead from inside each individual.
Though the event was held chiefly in support of STEM fields, Dr. Jemison encouraged students to pursue any creative dream that they are passionate about.
“This is my life and my journey,” Dr. Jemison said. “I had to learn very early never to limit myself because of the limited imaginations of others, and these days I’ve learned never to limit anyone else because of my limited imagination.”