Mae Jemison and Olaronke Olabisi, 2016

Mae Jemison and Olaronke Olabisi, 2016
Photo: Amanda Demme/Vanity Fair

Ronke Olabisi (right) and NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, December 2016

Olaronke "Ronke" Olabisi '93 holds a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She earned two Masters, one in Mechanical Engineering (1994) and another in Aeronautical Engineering (1999) at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005). Olabisi is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, where she heads the Ronke Olabisi Lab.

The first time I met [Dr. Jemison] was in the ‘90s, when she was giving a talk at the University of Michigan. She was such an inspiring speaker, and everybody kind of rushed to her at the end, including me. The second time, I was giving a talk at the University of Wisconsin in Madison about their amazing Graduate Engineering Research Scholars program for PhDs of color. Dr. Jemison was also speaking, and they arranged for me to sit at her table. She found out I was doing post-doc work at Rice in Houston, where she lived, and she told me to give her a call. I said ‘If you tell me that, you have to mean it.’ I kept pestering her until we connected and became friends.

Ronke Olabisi, Vanity Fair, December 2016

Timeline: 2010s
School: School of Engineering
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Career: EducationEngineeringHealth & Medicine
Object: Photograph
Collection: Fashion, Magazine features, Mentorship, NASA, Rising Voices 1995-Present, Women