Aerospace Engineer, NASA
Aprille Ericsson was the first female to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University. She was the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in engineering at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She was born and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and earned her bachelor’s in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Giant Panda Curator, National Zoo
Lisa Stevens became a familiar face, manning the giant panda program in 2005 when panda cub Tai Shan was born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Before joining the zoo’s staff, she held positions as a field research assistant, in pet and aquarium retail, veterinary clinic operations and insect zoo husbandry and interpretation. She has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and pre-veterinary medicine from Michigan State University and attended the AZA School for Professional Management Development for Zoo and Aquarium Personnel.
Acoustician and Inventor
James West was born in 1931 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and studied physics at Temple University. After graduating, West worked in tech, specializing in microphones, and went on to author 200 patents. In 1962, with Gerhard Sessler, West developed the foil electret microphone. West was a research professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. West also founded the Association of Black Laboratory Employees.