Academic Shares Washington Experience at A&M International's A.R. Sánchez Lecture

Those curious to hear about the experiences of a tenacious woman who has worked in both academic and political worlds during a near 40 year career, are invited to attend the first of Texas A&M International University's 2000-2001 A.R. Sánchez Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series scheduled Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library (319).

Dr. Sheila Widnall, Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will open the first of six lectures, hosted by the University's College of Arts and Humanities.

During her lecture, titled, "An Academic Goes to Washington," Dr. Widnall will share her experiences as both an academic and as Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, a position she held for four years.

She received her Sc.D., M.S., and B.Sc. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. She was appointed Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1986. She served as MIT's associate provost from 1992 to 1993 and as Secretary of the Air Force from 1993 to 1997.

Widnall stepped down from her Air Force position to return to her faculty position at MIT. As Secretary of the Air Force, she was responsible for the Department of the Air Force recruitment, organization, training, administration, logistical support, maintenance and welfare of personnel. During this time, the Air Force issued its long-range vision statement titled "Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force."

She was also responsible for research and development and other activities prescribed by the President or the Secretary of Defense. She also co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination.

She has served as Trustee of the Carnegie Corporation and Vice Chair of its Board, and as a consultant to the MacArthur Foundation. In addition, she has occupied the position of director for the Aerospace Corporation, Draper Laboratories, ANSER Corporation and Chemical Fabrics Incorporated. She has also served as a Trustee of the Boston Museum of Science and as a member of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington Council. Furthermore, she has served as a member of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government. She is a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a director of the Atlantic Council.

She is the winner of numerous awards and recognitions including the 1998 Goddard Award from the National Space Club, was selected as 1996 "New Englander of the Year" by the New England Council, inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame (1996), and was recipient of the 1996 Durand Lectureship for Public Service from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the 1995 Maxwell A. Kriendler Memorial Award from the Air Force Association.

The next Sánchez Lecture will feature Dr. John Silber, Chancellor of Boston University, on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., in the Great Room. Dr. Silber's lecture topic will be "Cowboys, Oil Tycoons, and Buffalo Chips: An Exploration of the Texas Character."

For further information, please call the College of Arts and Humanities at 326-2460. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu