University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM hosts the first American woman to walk in space

Kathy Sullivan will deliver the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in Natural Sciences.

By - Sep 22nd, 2017 10:36 am

MILWAUKEE _ Kathy Sullivan, a decorated Naval Reserve veteran, astronaut and earth scientist, will deliver the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in Natural Sciences at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the UWM Student Union Ballroom, 2900 E. Kenwood Blvd.

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture series is sponsored by the College of Letters & Science at UWM to provide a look at current issues in science from leaders in the field. The 2017 Dean’s Lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved online and in advance. UWM Physics Professor Emeritus Robert Greenler helped underwrite this year’s event, which is one of several Alumni Homecoming Week events at UWM from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7.

Sullivan’s lecture, “Looking at Earth,” will be a stunning tour of our planet as seen by astronauts. Audiences will develop a basic understanding of how Earth-observing satellites improve everyday life on the planet. Before and after the presentation, Boswell Book Company will be selling copies of Sullivan’s children’s book, “To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space,” which she co-authored with Carmella Van Vleet.

Currently the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Sullivan served as under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014 to 2017.

In addition to her NOAA and NASA roles, she was also president and CEO of the Center of Science & Industry in Columbus, Ohio; inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University; and chief scientist at NOAA, where she oversaw research and technology for projects ranging from climate change to satellites and marine biodiversity.

In addition to her keynote address, Sullivan will meet privately with groups of UWM student researchers and with a contingent of Milwaukee Public Schools students on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Six hundred MPS seventh- and eighth-graders, as well as some high school students, will convene in UWM’s Union Ballroom at 10 a.m. that day to meet with Sullivan and learn more about space exploration, satellites and related STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) topics. Schools that were selected to participate have a STEM focus, and participants were part of the same group of students who saw the film “Hidden Figures” last year as part of a grant-funded project. Themes from the movie were integrated into the classroom as part of the curriculum last year, and themes from Sullivan’s presentation will also be built on in MPS classrooms this year.

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 89 countries on a budget of $667 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2018 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, and the Sierra Club has recognized it as Wisconsin’s leading sustainable university.

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