Remembering the Challenger

February 02, 2011

January 28, 2011, marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Judith Resnik in the space shuttle Challenger explosion. Resnik was a member of the AAUW Clear Lake City (TX) Branch and an alumna who earned a 1975–76 American Fellowship to complete her dissertation in electrical engineering at a time when few women chose that path.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Resnik attended Carnegie Mellon University before she earned her doctorate at the University of Maryland and became a staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She joined NASA in 1978 and flew her first space mission on the orbiter Discovery in 1984. Tragically, she died two years later when the space shuttle Challenger exploded during its launch.

Resnik was the second woman to go into space and is remembered through several awards and scholarships for her contributions to the field of science. Like many other institutions and organizations, AAUW established a fund in her memory, the Dr. Judith Resnik American Fellowship, for female doctoral candidates so that other women may pursue their academic and professional aspirations. AAUW is honored to have supported Resnik and salutes her contributions in field of science and in the space program. We are proud to have this true trailblazer as an alumna of our American Fellowship program.

This blog post was written by Fellowships and Grants Fellow Mia Cakebread.

By:   |   February 02, 2011

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