Eileen Marie Collins (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) - Immediate Past Chair

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Eileen Marie Collins, retired Colonel in the United States Air Force and former NASA astronaut, has had an extensive career in the field of aviation.  During her Air Force career she was a T-38 Instructor Pilot and a C-141 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot.  While assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, she was an Assistant Professor in Mathematics and a T-41 Instructor Pilot.  Collins was only the second female to attend the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.  She has logged over 6,751 hours in 30 different types of aircraft.


Colonel Collins became as astronaut in 1991 and is a veteran of four space flights. She has the distinction of being the first female Commander of a U. S. spacecraft (STS-93).  She also commanded NASA’s “Return to Flight” mission (STS-114), following the Columbia accident.  She has logged over 872 hours in space.  She retired from NASA in 2006 to pursue other interests.


Eileen Marie Collins received an Associate in Science degree in Mathematics/Science from Corning Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from Syracuse University, a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from Stanford University and a Master of Arts degree in Space Systems Management from Webster University.


Colonel Collins is the recipient of many awards and honors from a variety of military, government and private entities.  She has received the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, just to name a few.