Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Astronaut says sky not the limit

NEW ORLEANS -- Joan Higginbotham wanted to be an engineer, and thought she might work for IBM. What she didn’t expect was to travel in space. "Always have a plan, but don’t be afraid to alter that plan for the right opportunity,” Higginbotham told University of New Orleans graduates at their recent commencement. She shared her journey from a college graduate with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering to one of only three African-American women to travel into space. She tried first tried to become an astronaut in 1995 at the urging of a co-worker when she worked at Kennedy Space Center. She was one of 122 out of 3,000 qualified applicants invited back for an interview, but she was ultimately cut. She got an additional degree and tried again, becoming an astronaut in 1996. She traveled on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station in 2006. “The sky is absolutely no longer the limit,” Higginbotham told graduates. “I am challenging you to aim high.” (Source: The Advocate, 12/18/17)