Top NASA Scientist Shares Vision at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - NASA chief scientist Kathie Olsen will visit the University of Massachusetts Oct. 5-6 for a series of meetings with University administrators, students, and visiting scientists. While on campus, Olsen will share her view of current trends in research with University officials, urge women to pursue careers in science, and encourage scientists attending a symposium to continue their pivotal research on the effects of hormones on behavior. The noted neuroscientist and former senior scientist for the National Science Foundation is responsible for scientific research at all of NASA''s installations.

On Thurs. Oct. 5, Olsen will address Trends for Women in Science and Technology (TWIST), a networking organization recently formed for undergraduates, graduate students, and new faculty. The TWIST event is free, open to the public, and will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 150 of the Computer Science Research Center. Refreshments will follow. Students and faculty from UMass, Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Amherst colleges are encouraged to attend.

In her talk, Olsen will discuss the many opportunities available to women in science and technology today, and will recount what life was like for her when she launched her own career in 1974 with an undergraduate degree, and a dream. "With TWIST, we hope to provide women at UMass and other Five College campuses the support and information they need to help them complete degree programs and start careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. We''re sure Kathie Olsen will be an inspiration to many of our women students and faculty, when they meet her and hear about what she has accomplished in her own career," said Marla Michel, executive director of the UMass Electronic Enterprise Institute.

On Fri. Oct. 6, Olsen will speak at the banquet following the Third Annual Center for Neuroendocrine Studies Symposium on Fertility, to be held in the UMass Campus Center. Symposium speakers include Kim Wallen of Emory University, and Louis J. Gillette Jr., of the University of Florida, both experts on hormonal influences on behavior and fertility.

"Kathie Olsen is the ''patron saint'' of neuroendocrinology," said Geert DeVries, UMass psychology professor. "Our field is fairly new, and we''re often confused with endocrinology or neuroscience. Dr. Olsen understands the importance of research in neuroendocrinology, and has been a great help to us."

NOTE: For more information on Kathie Olsen, contact Margaret Burggren, 413/545-3428.

For information on TWIST, contact Marla Michel at 413/545-3651.

For information on the neuroendocrine symposium, contact Center for Neuroendocrine Studies Director Jeffrey Blaustein, 413/545-1524.