2023 Nancy P. and Thaddeus E. Paup Lecture

The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership proudly presents the 2023 Nancy P. and Thaddeus E. Paup Lecture, “Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars,” 7 p.m., Oct. 18, 2023, at Texas Woman’s University’s Student Union at Hubbard Hall on the Denton campus and via livestream. The lecture is named after Col. Eileen Collins’ book Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission, in which she chronicled her quest for excellence as a test pilot, astronaut and space flight commander.

As this year’s speaker, Collins represents those who literally reach for the stars in the fields that inspire them. Collins is a NASA pioneer, the first female Space Shuttle pilot and first woman mission commander in NASA history. Drawing from her career experiences, Collins reveals valuable insights learned from both her successes and her failures. For audiences interested in space exploration, she can also provide insight into the future of space travel as the world turns to exciting new space frontiers.


About the Speaker

One of America’s most admired women, Collins became the first female to pilot a U.S. spacecraft with the Discovery shuttle flight in 1995, and the first female commander on the 1999 Columbia shuttle flight. In 2005, NASA tapped Collins to command the space shuttle Discovery’s historic “Return to Flight” mission, NASA’s first manned flight following the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

While logging 872 hours in space, Collins earned a reputation for coolness under pressure. With that same calm demeanor, she shares how her career as an astronaut took shape, from her early years in the U.S. Air Force to her ground-breaking experience with NASA. Her memoir was published in 2021, and in 2022, Collins was awarded the National Aeronautic Association’s Wright Brothers Award for her inspirational career as an astronaut, teacher and leader.

About the Moderator

Anngienetta Johnson

The Q&A following the lecture will be moderated by TWU alumna and Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award recipient Dr. Anngienetta Johnson '71 — NASA’s first Black woman payload officer for NASA’s second space shuttle flight in 1981.

About the Regents’ Scholarship Endowment

The Regents’ Scholarship Endowment was recently created to be awarded in conjunction with the Nancy P. and Thaddeus E. Paup Lecture Series. The Paups have established the first Regents’ Scholarship Endowment. Texas Woman’s University and the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership are challenging both current and former TWU Regents, alumni, and friends to join TWU in creating 10 named regents’ scholarship endowments by 2026. For more information, contact Lisa Rampy at 940-898-3860 or lrampy@twu.edu.

Page last updated 3:25 PM, September 13, 2023