Joan Higginbotham, who traveled into space as an astronaut aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, will serve as keynote speaker at the 25th annual CFES Brilliant Pathways National Conference on Nov. 1-2 at the Sagamore Resort on Lake George. 

A 20-year veteran of NASA, Higginbotham participated in 53 space shuttle launches. Her inspirational journey started with a fascination with math, science and electronics growing up in Chicago, leading to her becoming an electrical engineer and world-renowned astronaut. 

“As a black female astronaut, I hope my life shows other women of color they don’t need to be pigeonholed into a particular career, but they can pretty much do whatever they want,” Higginbotham said in a recent interview.

Higginbotham will share her story with over 400 K-16 education professionals, college representatives and corporate leaders at the Changing Life Trajectories in a Disruptive World conference on Friday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. in Bolton Landing, NY.

“We are honored to have Joan Higginbotham speaking at our national conference,” said CFES President Rick Dalton. “Her career path and message fits perfectly with the focus of our conference and ensuring that students are college and career ready.

Participants attending the Novice or Advanced workshops at the conference and selected conference sessions will receive a Level 1 or Level 2 College & Career Readiness Professional Development Certificate. 

Higginbotham is currently Director of Program Management at Collins Aerospace.