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JSC salutes Women's History Month

Joyce Carpenter
Joyce Carpenter
Name: Joyce Carpenter
Time at JSC: 14 years
Organization: Exploration Systems Engineering Office
Position title: Manager, Exploration Analysis Branch
Education: Bachelorís and masterís of science, both in aerospace engineering, both from Georgia Tech
Place of birth: Atlanta
Heritage: Anglo-Saxon
Hobbies: yoga, gardening, computers, old-time music
What does Womenís History Month mean to you? It means a chance to reflect on how many more opportunities are available to women today, as compared to my mother's and my grandmother's generations.
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? Creating the future, even in a small way.
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I walked 60 miles in three days a few years ago and look forward to doing it again someday.
Favorite words of wisdom: 'Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but in getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.í --Garrison Keillor, quoted in Time magazine in 1986



Name: Noreen Khan-Mayberry
Time at JSC: 10 months
Organization: Space & Life Sciences Directorate, Environmental Factors Office
Position title: Space toxicologist
Education: Bachelorís and masterís degrees in biology; doctorate in environmental toxicology
Place of birth: New York City, but I grew up in Houston.
What is your heritage? Haitian and Pakistani
Hobbies: Volunteer service (lots of it!), reading, writing, shopping, horticulture, arts and crafts, decorative painting
What does Womenís History Month mean to you? It is an opportunity to recognize the countless contributions that women have made in shaping our world. Most of our greatest leaders, both male and female, were most influenced by a significant woman who helped to mold their character. Women have made awesome discoveries and advancements in education, science, athletics and technology. It is fitting to highlight the history of women so that we can understand where our world is today and where we are headed in the future.
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? I most enjoy that working at JSC is a career, not a job. I have relished all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me in such a short time. I have supported several important toxicological issues for Return to Flight and the International Space Station. The people in the Environmental Factors Office are a great group to work with. I truly believe they are what make my job so enjoyable!
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. Most people think that the most unusual thing about me is my unique heritage. I must admit I am unusual in that respect.
Favorite words of wisdom: ďNever compare yourself to others; you must only measure up to yourself. Once you embrace this fact, there is no one that can stop you from attaining your goals." --me "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." --Eleanor Roosevelt



Debbie Nguyen
Debbie Nguyen
Name: Debbie Vi-Vi Nguyen
Time at JSC: 2.5 years (I was hired on full-time in January, and was a contractor intern and a co-op before that.)
Organization: Public Affairs Office
Position title: Public Affairs Specialist
Education: Bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Houston
Place of birth: New Orleans
Heritage: Vietnamese
Hobbies: tennis
What does Womenís History Month mean to you? Today, women make up nearly half of the American workforce, but it didn't always used to be that way. There were many obstacles that had to be tackled for us to get here, and it's important that we remember that struggle because it makes us (women) stronger.
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? Being able to be a part of something that is a source of awe and inspiration to many people, including myself. Being in PAO, I get the opportunity to spread that awe and inspiration to others.
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college.
Favorite words of wisdom: It's not the size of the woman in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the woman.



Tamyra Martin
Tamyra Martin
Name: Tamyra R. Martin
Time at JSC: 21 years
Organization: Safety & Mission Assurance
Position title: Special Processes Group Lead
Education: Bachelor of science in mechanical engineering
Place of birth: Houston
Heritage: African-American
Hobbies: cycling, running, tennis, reading, traveling
What does Womenís History Month mean to you? Women are now being recognized for their achievements and successes in industries that were historically empowered by men.
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? When you tell someone outside of these gates that you work at NASA, they get so excited and want to know what you do here. That response wouldn't occur if I were working for some other corporation.
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I discovered at 40 years of age that I have the athletic ability to ride a bike 185-plus miles to Austin, Texas at 20 miles per hour, and to run and complete half marathons. These are now two events that I'll continue to participate in as long as I'm physically able.
Favorite words of wisdom: (1) Try not to be a person of success, but a person of value. (2) A woman working in a male-dominated field needs to think like a man, but carry herself like a woman.



Dalia Riojas
Dalia Riojas
Name: Dalia Quintanilla Riojas
Time at JSC: 18 years
Organization: System Engineering and Integration Office
Position title: Aerospace Engineer
Education: Bachelor of science in industrial engineering, master of business administration
Place of birth: Galveston, Texas
Heritage: Mexican
Hobbies: Traveling with my family and playing with my children, Andrea and Daniel
What does Womenís History Month mean to you? It serves as a reminder of how hard women have worked to achieve the professional workplace status they have today.
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? The people. It is really exciting to work with such an intelligent, hard-working and dedicated group of people. The System Engineering and Integration Office, headed by John Muratore and Rick Schmidgall, is a completely amazing group!
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I designed and manufactured a children's clothing line called "The Little Dollhouse," which was sold in 12 different states across the country.
Favorite words of wisdom: This is my favorite saying in Spanish: "Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres," which means "tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are."



Name: Penny Saunders
Time at JSC: 20
Organization: International Space Station Avionics and Software Office
Position title: Avionics Integration Manager
Education: Bachelor of science in physics from the University of West Florida, master of science in electro-optics from the University of Houston - Clear Lake
Place of birth: Pensacola, Florida
Heritage: My roots are in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle. My dad retired as a Navy master chief. My mom stayed home and raised us. I am one of four children.
Hobbies: sewing
What do you enjoy most about working at JSC? I enjoy the constant challenge and vast opportunities to learn and contribute.
Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I have four children (1, 4, 6 and 7 years old) and one husband who left his job at Lockheed as a design electronics engineer to stay at home with the children while I work. I am also a Girl Scout leader with a Brownie troop of 11 scouts.
Favorite words of wisdom: While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for. It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.


Pat Burke
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-0606

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Updated: 03/14/2005