Kathleen Jenkins-Mann watched on television from the Student Center as the space shuttle landed in the early-1980s. At the time, she didn’t realize that moment would propel her to a career in engineering and to her current position with NASA.
Now, the alumna who helped to establish the Temple chapter of the Society of Women Engineers is coming back to campus to speak at the spring commencement ceremony.
“Who knew?,” she laughed when asked to think back at her journey.
Jenkins-Mann started with NASA in 1991 and currently manages 70 employees as Associate Branch Head, Mission Systems Engineering at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
“When I went in for my first interview after college, they asked me what I knew about a topic, and I answered honestly: I had no idea, but I was willing to learn,” she said. Jenkins Mann has since worked on several projects that have left Earth’s atmosphere, including the Hubble Space Telescope.
See more about her journey below.