Astronaut Joan Elizabeth Higginbotham 

Joan Higginbotham
Astronaut Joan Higginbotham
NASA astronaut and engineer Joan Elizabeth Higginbotham was born August 3, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Cabondale in 1987 and she received  her Masters of Management Science in 1992 and Masters in Space Systems in 1996 from Florida Institute of Technology.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and The Links, Incorporated.  In April of 1996 she was selected as a candidate in the astronaut program by NASA.  Higginbotham became a member of the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-116 Crew and flew as a mission specialist.  She made a decision in November of 2007 to leave NASA for the private sector.

Astronauts Joan Higginbotham (STS-116) and Sunita Williams (Expedition 14) on the International Space Station
Astronauts Joan E. Higginbotham (foreground), STS-116 mission specialist, and Sunita L. Williams, Expedition 14 flight engineer, refer to a procedures checklist as they work the controls of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) or Canadarm2 in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station during flight day four activities.