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Press Release for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott Discusses Space Experiences at UNF

The University of North Florida's Center for Advancement of Women in Engineering celebrates International Women's Week with the fourth annual Women Leaders in STEM Conference, featuring keynote speaker Nicole Stott, a NASA astronaut and artist, at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Adam W. Herbert University Center, Building 43.


Stott will be sharing her incredible experiences in space, inspiring women and sharing the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and the inclusion of women in the field. Following the lecture, there will be a panel discussion of prominent engineering leaders at 10:15 a.m. and a networking event at 11:15 a.m. Panelists will share their experiences and how they have earned respect as women in a male-dominated discipline.


"We're excited that astronaut Stott, engineering leaders and so many members of the Jacksonville community are joining efforts with the Center to inspire more women to pursue engineering and help them advance," said Dr. Alexandra Schonning, director of The Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering. "We're better as a community, and companies thrive, when we're inclusive of diverse people. We need more women in engineering, so this is a step in the right direction."


A NASA veteran, Stott's experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days spent living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. She first joined NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in 1988 as an operations engineer in the Orbiter Processing Facility and later joined the Johnson Space Center team as a member of the NASA Aircraft Operations Division, where she served as a flight simulation engineer flying on the Shuttle Training Aircraft and helping train astronaut pilots to land the Space Shuttle.


In 2009, Stott launched on her first spaceflight to the International Space Station with the crew of Discovery STS128 and participated in the first spacewalk of that mission.While she was still living on the ISS during her first spaceflight, she was assigned to her second spaceflight, which became the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery.


A heavily decorated astronaut and engineer, Stott is the recipient of NASA Space Flight, Distinguished Service and Exceptional Achievement Medals; the Russian Medal of Merit for Space; Florida Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee; and distinguished excellence awards from her alma maters Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Central Florida.


Stott retired from her 27-year career with NASA in 2015 and has embarked on her next adventure as an artist. She combines her spaceflight experience and artwork to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art as well as to promote the work being done every day in space to improve life here on Earth.


The lecture is free; however registration and an e-ticket is required and can be obtained at For more information about this event, contact Jessica Russell, engineering administrative secretary, at (904) 620-1390 or email


The Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering focuses on increasing recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in Engineering though outreach activities in the K12 community, a coaching program for engineering students, and conferences for the engineering professionals. For more information, visit


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.