Celebrate Women's History Month with ASU Global Explorer

This March join ASU Online as we recognize ASU’s Global Explorer in Residence, retired NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, who is doing her part every day to create a bolder and better society.

March rings in Women’s History Month and offers a reminder to celebrate how far women have advanced our country and to amplify their voices to honor the past, inform the present and inspire the future. This month, we are highlighting one of the inspiring women we are so lucky to call part of the ASU community -- Cady Coleman.

She is an incredibly inspirational woman who has contributed greatly to our country’s success, both in space and here on earth. Last year, Cady Coleman joined ASU following a three-decade career spanning roles including Air Force officer, NASA scientist and astronaut.  She flew in space twice on the Space Shuttle and spent almost 6 months living aboard the International Space Station. During that time, she served as everything from a polymer chemist, to an astronaut helping scientists make new discoveries, to the chief of robotics for the astronaut office at NASA -- just to name a few!

Upon retiring from her groundbreaking scientific work with NASA, she joined ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration’s Interplanetary Initiative as ASU’s “Global Explorer in Residence.” Tasked with catalyzing exciting space- and inclusion-related endeavors, Coleman proactively works towards building the future of humans in space, and thus creating a bolder and better society.

Now at ASU, she dedicates much of her time to encouraging continual learning: She is a firm believer that anyone can change the world, and she strives to positively impact and inspire a goal-oriented and success-driven mentality in other women.

“Everyone should pursue STEM, because it gives us the tools that all of us need to make decisions and our families” Coleman shared. “And in solving the challenges that face us around the globe today, as well as close to home, each and every voice is necessary and important.  Without all of our ideas, we’re not going to find those solutions – not the most effective ones.” Like many exceptional women, her ability to wear many hats (from wife and mother, to scientist and pilot) and energy to endlessly seek knowledge, molds her past and maps out her future.

She brings a very unique perspective to the table  (in fact, you can check out how six months aboard the International Space Station gave her a new perspective on sustainability and the more than 7 billion people back on the Earth here!.) Cady’s role with ASU gives her the opportunity to use her science expertise to add a unique perspective to ASU’s sustainability research, provide insight on student-led projects, and facilitate innovative school initiatives – all with the overarching goal of humanizing space. Both Coleman and ASU students agree that space will play an integral role in humanity’s future and that they want to play a large part when it does. Her dedication to inspiring all learners, especially women, is motivational for students at ASU and beyond: “It’s really true that individual people can make a difference. I’m glad to be a part of making this happen at ASU.”

A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Cady Coleman urges others to continue their education no matter their stage of life or circumstances. “Whatever your path is to learning, it is exactly the right path. It is a path that is just as valid as anyone else’s in terms of getting the education you need to change your world or THE world.”

Continue with ASU Online in this month-long celebration of remembering exceptional women of the past, learning from the knowledgeable women of the present, and inspiring the intellectual women of the future.

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