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Former Astronaut Rhea Seddon Keynote Speaker for Annual Wu Competition

Rhea Seddon

Former NASA astronaut Rhea Seddon, MD, a graduate of the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), will present “A Different Kind of Research,” Wednesday, March 28, as part of the 1st Wu’s Student Presentation Competition Lecture Series.  Seddon will speak at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI).

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in physiology, Seddon received her M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, where she completed her residency in General Surgery. She was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005, the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2016, she was awarded the National Football Foundation Nashville Chapter’s Fred Russell Distinguished American Award, the Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Gold Award for Best Autobiography/Memoir – “Go For Orbit” and the Athena International Leadership Award (Rutherford County) and a University of Tennessee Centennial Top 100 Alumni Award.

Seddon is a veteran of three space shuttle flights and spent 19 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1978, she was selected as one of the first six women to enter the Astronaut Program. She served as a Mission Specialist on flights in 1985 and 1991 and as Payload Commander in charge of all science activities on her final flight in 1993 bringing her total time in space to 30 days.

After leaving NASA in 1997, Seddon was the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville for 11 years. There she led an initiative aimed at improving patient safety, quality of care, and team effectiveness by the use of an aviation-based model of Crew Resource Management. She worked with LifeWings Partners, LLC which teaches this concept to healthcare institutions across the United States.

A dedication of a NASA mural featuring Astronaut Seddon will take place before the lecture at 2:30 p.m. Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the lobby where Seddon will be available for guests to purchase an autographed copy of her autobiography/memoir “Go for Orbit”. The lecture and reception is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Meghan Morris at (931) 393-7318.

*Excerpts taken from Bio of Rhea Seddon – Rhea Seddon’s Website