Rachel Zimmerman Brachman Solar System Education Specialist
Since childhood, Rachel Zimmerman Brachman has looked to the heavens and studied the stars - not only for her own future, but also for the future of human society. Among Rachel's accomplishments is the 'Blissymbol Printer', a revolutionary software program she invented at the tender age of 12-years old, which enables severely disabled non-speaking people to communicate, and for which she is being given TheWIFTS 2011 Visionary Award.
After achieving a BA in physics from Brandeis University in 1995, she earned a Master of Space Studies degree, cum laude, from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.
In the intervening years, Rachel has applied herself to furthering space knowledge and educating youth to the wide-reaching potentials that off-planet exploration portends for the human race. Some of the positions she has held include: Education & Outreach Coordinator, Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; Space Education Projects Coordinator - The Planetary Society, Pasadena, CA; Space Systems Software Analyst & Space Vision System Engineer, Canadian Space Agency, St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada; Research Assistant, University of Western Ontario, Dept. Of Physics and Astronomy, Ontario, Canada; and Teaching Assistant - The University of Western Ontario, Cronyn Observatory, London, Ontario, Canada; and Research Assistant - Mathematical Learning Materials, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
Rachel's work has been published in The Planetary Report, the Journal of the National Space Society, and NASA's Ames Research Center Astrogram, among others. For outstanding performance and leadership in the field of space exploration, she has received numerous NASA/JPL awards, as well as many national and international awards for her work in Science and Technology.
Currently, Rachel holds the position of Solar System and Technology Education and Public Outreach Specialist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA where she continues her lifelong mission of broadening humanity's interest in and effort to reach the stars. Without question, Rachel Zimmerman Brachman epitomizes the 21st century woman who, in the words made part of the lexicon by the classic Star Trek franchise, boldly seeks to go where no one has gone before.
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