Get familiar with this name: Jeanette Epps. Why? Because she has officially become the first African-American crew member to join the International Space Station.
Late last week, NASA announced that Epps, a 46-year-old first-flight astronaut, will be assigned missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018. “Each space station crew brings something different to the table, and Drew [Andrew Feustel] and Jeanette both have a lot to offer,” Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. “The space station will benefit from having them on board.”
So who exactly is Jeanette? Here are five things we know.
Super Smart: According to NASA, “Epps earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 at LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She went on to complete a master’s of science in 1994 and a doctorate in 2000 in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.”
Per the organization, Epps was also a “NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she went on to work in a research laboratory for more than two years, co-authoring several patents, before being recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before being selected as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.”
Hobbies: Enjoys traveling, reading, running, mentoring, scuba diving and family. Last year, it looks like Epps spent some time in Ethiopia.
Wake Boarding Fanatic: Based Jeanette’s Twitter page, the astronaut enjoys a day of wake boarding with friends.
New York Pride: Jeanette is from Syracuse, New York, but currently resides in Houston, Texas.
Has a Slew Of Awards and Honors: NASA GSRP Fellowship 1996-1997, 1997 1998 and 1998-1999; Exceptional Performance Award 2003, 2004 and 2008; Inducted into the University of Maryland, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Academy of Distinguished Alumni 2012; JSC Director’s Innovation Group Achievement Award to Improving Efficiency on the ISS Team 2013, Recipient of the Glenn L. Martin Medal from the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, 2014. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from LeMoyne College.
Can Speak Multiple Languages:
5 Reasons You Need To Know Daveed Diggs
If you don’t know the name Daveed Diggs you will now! The Oakland native is definitely one to watch in Hollywood. Here are five reasons why.
1. He has already taken Broadway by storm.
In 2016 Diggs nabbed a Tony and a Grammy award for his role as Marquis de Lafayette/ Thomas Jefferson in “Hamilton.” Believe it or not Diggs didn’t even audition for the role. While substitute teaching in Marin County, CA he met Hamilton’s eventual star and creator Lin Manuel-Miranda and director, Thomas Kail who invited him to join their free-style rap group and later helped them craft the fast-rapping revolutionary.
2. He’s funny.
Diggs is proving he’s also got some amazing comedy chops with two memorable recurring sitcom roles: one as Perry, the crush du jour for Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the other on ABC’s black-ish as Johan, the free-spirited brother of Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross). In fact, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the role for Diggs after being “blown away” by his performance on stage.
3. His first feature film Wonder is in theaters now.
In the film based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, Diggs plays Mr. Browne the fifth grade teacher at the school where lead Jacob Tremblay attends. Diggs landed the role after wrapping his run in “Hamilton” and told HH it was like a crash course in film acting alongside Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.
4. He’s a rapper.
His experimental noise rap group Clipping has garnered a major cult following on Youtube. Their LP CLPPNG was an Album Of The Week back in 2014. And in 2016 the trio performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden to promote the release of their six-track EP Wriggle.
5. He is executive producer of ABC’s The Mayor.
The show about a struggling young rapper (Brandon Micheal Hall) who runs for local office (and wins) to boost his popularity, debuted this Fall and already is garnering wave reviews. Not surprisingly Diggs and his Clipping bandmates William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, also produce all the music for the show.
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