Sep 17, 2009    #110
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

First African-American female astronaut to speak at UMKC Starr Symposium

Mae C. Jemison will discuss the importance of women and minorities in science and technology fields

Dr. Mae C. Jemison – the first African-American female astronaut – will discuss her experiences at UMKC’s Starr Symposium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at the UMKC University Center’s Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Jemison also will address the importance of women and minorities pursuing careers in science and technology. The event is hosted by the UMKC Women’s Center and the UMKC Women’s Council.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for students. Tickets are required and can be reserved by contacting the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 or online at (tickets purchased online will incur a $2 service charge per ticket).

Jemison is founder and president of two medical technology companies. She entered Stanford University on a scholarship at the age of 16, went on to medical school and became the first female African-American astronaut when she joined the team of the shuttle Endeavour, which blasted off on Sept. 12, 1992. Jemison’s first book, “Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life,” was written for teenagers and offers autobiographical anecdotes about growing up, finding confidence, setting goals and dreaming big.

The annual UMKC Starr Symposium, named for philanthropist Martha Jane Starr, is funded by the Family Study Center Endowment and overseen by the UMKC Starr Education Committee. The symposium brings nationally-known experts in women's issues to work with community leaders to examine ways to eliminate barriers facing women. More information is available at

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TTY) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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