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Astronaut Barbara Morgan: First Teacher in Space to Speak at NDNU Commencement

Belmont, CA, April 30, 2009 — Former astronaut Barbara Morgan, who has seen the earth from a point of view shared by few others, will share her unique perspective with the Notre Dame de Namur University graduating class during commencement ceremonies at NDNU’s Koret Field on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m.

Morgan, who received her teaching credential from NDNU (then CND) in 1974 and who is best known for her contributions to the NASA Endeavor flight in 2007, will speak about “The Power of Perspective” in her keynote address.
A 1973 Stanford University graduate, Morgan became the first teacher to fly in space in 2007, 21 years after her original selection as backup for Christa McAuliffe who lost her life in the explosion of the Challenger in 1986. Following the Challenger incident, Morgan returned to her teaching career while performing her duties as Teacher in Space Designee, which included public speaking, educational consulting, and curriculum design. She also served National Science Foundation’s Federal Task Force for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. She was chosen by NASA to train as a mission specialist in 1998, and was assigned in 2002 to a supply mission to the International Space Station, which she completed in 2007 on the shuttle Endeavor.

“We are absolutely honored that Barbara Morgan will be joining us to share her experience with our students,” said Dr. Judith Maxwell Greig, NDNU President. “Her life is a testament to persistence and seizing opportunities, lessons that will prove valuable to our graduates.”

Barbara Morgan’s honors include Phi Beta Kappa, NASA Headquarters Special Service Award, NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award, Center for Space Science Education Challenger 7 Award, National Space Society Space Pioneer Award for Education, Women in Aerospace Education Award, National PTA Honorary Lifetime Member, and USA Today Citizens of the Year. She is currently at Boise State University in Idaho as Distinguished Educator in Residence.