Women’s History Month: Highlighting Women at JSC

March is Women’s History Month. To commemorate this month, NASA launched a new website, http://women.nasa.gov/, highlighting women at NASA and their past, present and continuing contributions to science and exploration. JSC has a vast number of women whose job descriptions and experience speak volumes. This week, five such women will be profiled so stay tuned for the series.

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Sophia LeCour stands (left) with Center Director Mike Coats at the STS-123 JSC Center Director Pre-launch reception on March 10, 2008 with her brother William Mao (right). Photo credit: Sophia LeCour.
Sophia LeCour - engineer

LeCour has had a wide spectrum of experience here at JSC. She is an engineer, currently in a one-year rotation from the International Space Station Program (ISSP) to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. She spent seven months working as the budget analyst supporting the External Relations Office, now working in the Space Station Resources Management Office Integration Team. Prior to LeCour’s rotation, she was representing the External Integration Office on the Source Evaluation Board (SEB) for the Mission Integration Contract (MIC).

“I have been working at JSC since receiving my B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1984,” LeCour said. “I also have a Master of Science in Technical Management. I worked for several large NASA contractors in the first 20 years of my professional career, supporting the Shuttle and Station Programs.”

LeCour became a civil servant in 2004 and was the Manifest Working Group (MWG) chair and oversaw the ISS crew provision and food requirements.

“I was fortunate to be selected as executive intern for Mr. Coats in 2008 and this experience has greatly expanded my horizons,” LeCour said. “I did four months rotation at NASA HQ supporting the Office of External Relations. I supported ISSP External Integration Office after my HQ rotation.”

Most recently, LeCour has been working in integration-related projects. As the MWG chair, she oversees all hardware requests going up, down and disposed from ISS for all launch vehicles. LeCour’s team tracked and coordinated with all International Partners and all NASA hardware owners for the manifest requests. As a technical team lead on the SEB, LeCour coordinated and integrated the technical team's requirements and evaluation on the proposal.

LeCour enjoys working with people across the ISSP in the forefront of planning and implementation of requirements. She learned from her work supporting Center Director Mik Coats that she needed to “add tools to my tool bag,” meaning to broaden her horizons by gaining knowledge in the procurement and financial world, a goal toward becoming a more well-rounded employee at JSC.

“I was born and raised in Taiwan and came to the U.S. when I was 14,” LeCour said. “I chose Industrial Engineering as my major because of my obstacle with the English language. Industrial Engineering's motto is maximizing profit and minimizes cost. I was looking at a field that doesn't require extensive English and utilizes math and science, which is a universal language. I came to JSC because of my husband's love for aerospace; he is an aerospace engineer.”

Neesha Hosein
Johnson Space Center, Houston

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Updated: 03/29/2011