Astronaut to give virtual speech at OU on leadership, women in space

Published 4:21 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

ATHENS – Ohio University’s Frontiers in Science lecture series will host retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force Col. Eileen Collins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The virtual talk, “Leadership & Women in Space,” is open to all and participants can join in by visiting

Collins made history as the first female to pilot a U.S. spacecraft with the Discovery space shuttle flight in 1995. She also became the first female commander with the 1999 Columbia shuttle flight.

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NASA also tapped Collins as commander for Discovery’s historic “Return to Flight” mission in 2005, the first manned flight following the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and crew in 2003.

Collins has been recognized with numerous accolades, including being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame.

Logging 872 hours, or over 36 days, in space, Collins earned a reputation for coolness under pressure and she knows the leadership and personal qualities necessary for success.

During the talk, she will share how her career as an astronaut took shape, from the early years in the Air Force to her groundbreaking achievements with NASA, as well as give insight on key factors for successful leadership.

For three decades, OHIO’s Frontiers in Science lecture series has featured prominent scientists sharing their scientific knowledge and expertise with OHIO and community members. The series was established in 1991 by Jeanette Grasselli Brown, an OHIO alumna and former University trustee, along with her husband, Glenn R. Brown.