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The Women @ NASA

22 September 2012 9,517 views 5 Comments
Charlene Butler Goddard Space Flight Center When Charlene Butler was growing up, she, along with many other young people, thought that it would be cool to work for NASA one day. Little would she have guessed that her dream would begin to unfold during ninth grade for it was in Ms. Butler’s freshman year that she decided on a career in the Computer/Information Technology (IT) field. Judy Ballance Marshall Space Flight Center Judy Ballance grew up on a rural farm in northern Alabama, and like most kids around her, she never dreamed that she would work for NASA. Her only childhood experiences related to NASA were watching the moon landings on TV and looking at an exhibit of moon rocks that came to her school. Anne Mills Glenn Research Center To some, the way Anne Mills came to where she is today might seem like serendipity, but she would tell you that it was destiny. At age 16, she started her first day at NASA as a summer intern in the Procurement Division. Connie Snapp Langley Research Center Connie Snapp aspired to be an artist and a writer with the long-ago dream of writing and illustrating her own books. She would never have predicted that she would one day work for NASA.   Julie Williams-Byrd Langley Research Center Taking advantage of opportunities and challenges has been the mantra for Julie Williams-Byrd’s career at NASA. These opportunities have allowed Ms. Williams-Byrd the ability to excel and to experience the career of a lifetime by working on exciting projects and working with exceptionally talented people from a variety of disciplines.   Julie Kramer White Johnson Space Center Julie Kramer White demonstrated mechanical aptitude at a young age. She was the one who owned and treasured her toolbox; the one asked to fix the washer, the recliner or whatever was broken. Jennifer Eigenbrode Goddard Space Flight Center The opportunity to explore Mars for signs of life is what inspired Dr. Jennifer Eigenbrode to join NASA. She wants to answer the question that has been asked for thousands of years — is “life” unique to Earth.   Wendy Hollaway Stennis Space Center For Wendy Holladay, the trick has been to balance her large family of 6 with her fast moving career at NASA. To accomplish both, she spent 20 of her 29 years at NASA Stennis Space Center as a part-time employee. And, for Ms. Holladay, it has made all of the difference.   Tahani Amer NASA Headquarters Tahani Amer discovered her natural passion and inclination for engineering while watching her father fixing his car’s engine as she sat inside her small Egyptian apartment. While her love of math created a clear path for a mechanical and aerospace engineering future, it was great teachers and her father that encouraged and guided ] Dr. Amer.   Gwendolyn Young Dryden Flight Research Center Gwen Young was a military brat and moved a lot during her childhood. Making friends was difficult, but a young Gwen found solace in school, excelling in math and science.   Tiffaney Miller Alexander Kennedy Space Center Tiffaney Miller Alexander knew by the time she was in sixth grade that she wanted to become an electrical engineer. Sparked by her interest to know how electronic devices worked coupled with the inspiration of her mother becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree, overcome a battle with cancer, and her faith in God, Tiffaney believed she had a great motivational example of determination   Elia Ordóñez Marshall Space Flight Center For Elia Ordóñez, giving back to her native Hispanic community is paramount in her life. Ms. Ordóñez was born in Moctezuma, Chihuahua, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States in 1974.   Kathleen Howell Dryden Flight Research Center The daughter of an educator and an aeronautical engineer, Kathleen Howell grew up in southern California with varied influences, among them interests in dance, mathematics and aviation.   Catherine Bahm Dryden Flight Research Center Catherine’s road to NASA began at an early age when she declared, in front of her classmates, that she wanted to be the first female astronaut. A young male student rebutted that girls could not become astronauts. Her teacher would have nothing of it, immediately looking at Ms. Bahm and ensuring she knew she could be whatever she wanted to be.   Teresa Foley Batts Marshall Space Flight Center As a child, Teresa Foley-Batts really did not think about or plan her life toward any particular career. She was the oldest of five children, and after her parents divorced, the family moved from Nashville, Tenn. to Huntsville, Ala.   Misty Davies Ames Research Center For Misty Davies, it was all about making the world a better place. She grew up wanting to be a veterinarian, a writer, a mother, and a scientist. Corazon Millena Ames Research Center For Corazon Millena, NASA was an ocean away since she was born in the Philippines. Her family immigrated to the US in 1975 to San Jose, Calif., where she immediately secured a job as a customer service representative at J. C. Penny Co. Mia Siochi Langley Research Center Seeming coincidences may not be accidental. Giving a lab tour to a seminar speaker led to Mia Siochi coming to NASA Langley Research Center when that speaker happened to be the head of the Composites and Polymers Branch who was looking for someone to support its polymers characterization need of the branch.   Cristine Dundas Kennedy Space Center For Cristine Dundas, eight years of waitressing was all she could take. She knew it was time to make a change in her life and go to college. Ms. Dundas started her career with NASA as a management support assistant. While attending college for her two-year degree in the secretarial field, she came across a flier about NASA looking for cooperative education (co-op) students. Diane Sims Stennis Space Center For Diane Sims, Hurricane Katrina was a not only a moment of destruction and guilt but also of belief and compassion in the human spirit. She recalls, “I remember having a huge sense of guilt because my house survived, and I was the only one in my office that wasn’t displaced.”   Pamela Marcum Ames Research Center Pamela Marcum’s journey to becoming a NASA scientist began in a rural coal-mining community in eastern Kentucky. A public school system weak in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum, and a lack of mentors to provide career guidance resulted in her path being everything but a well-chartered course to a pre-defined destination.   Karen Rodriguez Johnson Space Center Karen Rodriguez is known as a talented project manager. But as a teenage mom, she was often told she would never amount to anything. With determination, dedication, and the support of her husband, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University.   Rhonda Baker Ames Research Center Rhonda Baker knew at an early age she wanted to work for the federal government. She just wasn’t sure in what capacity. She had a great deal of admiration and respect for the such occupations since many members of her family served in the military and worked as civil servants.   Darlene Y. Boykins NASA Headquarters For Darlene Y. Boykins, her path to NASA began as a cooperative education (co-op) student for NASA. Ms. Boykins was born in Washington, D.C. and is a native Washingtonian.   Annette Moore Johnson Space Center Growing up with six siblings, Annette Moore quickly grasped the appreciation for working as a team. Today she employs the principles she learned as a child in working with her NASA teammates in helping to accomplish the mission of the Agency.   Mary Ann Esfandiari Goddard Space Flight Center For Mary Ann, her path to NASA began as a cooperative education (co-op) student in 1974. She hailed from the University of Maryland in College Park as she found her place at NASA. Little did she know that she would lead two careers, one at NASA and one in the Navy Reserve.   Anita Douglas Stennis Space Center As the mother of three daughters and spouse to a NASA employee, Anita Douglas had to quickly learn how to balance work and family without compromising either. Today, in addition to having a rewarding home life, all three of her daughters are in college.   Karen Gundy-Burlet Ames Research Center For Karen Gundy-Burlet, Walter Cronkite’s broadcasts of the Apollo moon missions were particularly inspirational. The thrill of watching the moon landings and excursions extended her interest in aircraft to the aerospace field and a desire to work for NASA.   Meg Nazario Glenn Research Center Dr. Margaret Nazario began her journey into engineering when she was a senior in high school taking physics. While her love of inventing and problem solving provided an architectural roadmap for her future, it was the encouragement and guidance of the teachers who recognized her special talents that put her life on a trajectory that would land her at NASA, where she continues to be inspired   Amy Bower Glenn Research Center Being open to new opportunities has brought Amy Bower many great adventures. Growing up in a rural community in central Ohio, she explored the farm, the fields and the surrounding woods. She loved school, especially math and science.   Charmel Jones Kennedy Space Center For Charmel Jones, the journey to NASA was unexpected. Although she strived to be an engineer since the age of 10, she never imagined in a million years that she would be, or could ever be, a part of the NASA family. Growing up in a single-parent household in Palmetto, Fla., Ms. Jones was faced with the stereotypical persona that she would not amount to anything because of growing up in an “unbalanced” family.   Hashima Hasan NASA Headquarters Hashima Hasan’s love for space started when as a five-year old she stood in her grand parents’ backyard in India and watched Sputnik go by overhead. She had no idea how she would achieve her dream to become a scientist and attend Oxford University, as her uncle and grand uncles had done. But achieve it, she did. http://women.nasa.gov/
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