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Women of Distinction


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mae C. Jemison

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992 and was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Dr. Jemison is currently leading 100 Year Starship (100YSS) an initiative seed funded by DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency ( DARPA) to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. She also is founder of the technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group, Inc. that integrates the critical impact of socio-cultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as their projects on using satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.

Started after she left NASA, The Jemison Group also explores and develops stand-alone science and technology programs and companies. BioSentient Corporation, a medical technology devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance through physiologic awareness and self-regulation is such a company.

Prior to NASA, Jemison was Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia for two and a half years overseeing the healthcare system for Peace Corps (and State Department in Sierra Leone). Throughout Jemison has worked internationally including in a Cambodian refugee camp and with the Flying Doctors of East Africa. A general practice doctor in Los Angeles, Jemison earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University and her M.D. from Cornell University.

She appeared on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted the Discovery Channel’s series World of Wonder and was chosen one of People magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People” in 1993. Dr. Jemison resides in Houston and loves cats.

Event Chairs

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing are excited to serve as co-chairs of the 2017 Women of Distinction Luncheon. Working moms of daughters, Laura and Susan are both active members of the Crystal Charity Ball and volunteer their time and talents at Highland Park ISD schools, CitySquare, and the Park Cities Chapter of the National Charity League.

Laura, a proud mother of three girls, is Managing Director of Talent at RGP and a CPA. She is involved with the United Way Women of Tocqueville, Park Cities Baptist Church, Genesis Women’s Shelter, and chaired the 2016 Ally’s Wish Boots and Blessings Gala.

Susan, a proud mother of two daughters, teaches yoga, leads the Confirmation Class at Highland Park United Methodist Church and volunteers with her daughter's Girl Scout Troop.  She serves on the Boards of the SMU Kappa Kappa Gamma Advisory Council, Hope Supply Co, Hunger Busters and New Friends New Life.