MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Retired astronaut and Penn State alumnus Guion “Guy” Bluford Jr. will present “STEM Forward: Minorities in Engineering” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre in the Student Enrichment Center at Penn State Harrisburg. Bluford will discuss his space shuttle flights and the future of manned space flight, as well as the difficulties he faced as a minority in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field. He also will give insight on his journey to obtaining a degree, and persevering and advancing in a STEM career.
In 1983, Bluford became the first African-American to fly in space. He was also the first African-American to return to space for a second, third and fourth time, and to be awarded NASA’s coveted Astronaut Pin and the United States Air Force’s Command Pilot Astronaut Wings. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997 and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.
Bluford was born in Philadelphia and received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 1964, a master of science degree in aerospace engineering with distinction from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974, a doctor of philosophy degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978, and a master of business administration degree from the University of Houston, Clear Lake in 1987.
There will be a dinner in the theatre lobby area from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. Theatre doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets must be reserved in advance at guion-bluford-feb7.eventbrite.com.
This event is part of the TE Connectivity Lecture Series and is made possible by the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, in partnership with the National Society of Black Engineers’ Penn State Harrisburg chapter.