Former Rocket Scientist to Speak at Calhoun


Local author and former rocket scientist Stephanie Osborn will speak at Calhoun Community College, Huntsville campus, on Thursday, October 6, 2011, from 5:30pm – 7:00pm in the Student Center.   Speaking on the subject “Reading, ‘Writing, and’ Rocket Science,” Osborn will give a frank and informal discussion about the benefits of literacy and reading on her career.

“There’s simply no way I would have achieved all I have without excellent communications skills, and that includes avid reading and writing,” Osborn declares. “Without the ability to read and write, to enjoy reading and writing, I’d never have achieved working for NASA as a payload flight controller, let alone a published author.”

Osborn, who has also been a tutor, substitute teacher, and former Space Camp instructor, has seen firsthand the decrease in students who voluntarily read.

“It’s sad to me,” she said. “Completely aside from my second career as a novelist, young people today are missing out on so much! Classic literature and classic themes! So many wonderful ‘worlds’ out there that they’ll never experience if they don’t read. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a print book or an ebook – I just think people need to read!” Osborn said.

“How else are we going to exercise our minds, our imaginations? Video games are wonderful – but the computer’s programming only allows certain possibilities. Films are great, too, but if the story can’t be crammed into two hours, it doesn’t get made, or it gets cut to fit. Only in books can our imaginations soar through new – and old – worlds for hours on end. Just think if I’d never had a book spur on my inspiration to work in the space program. Imagine if no one had. We likely wouldn’t have a space program,” Osborn added.

Osborn is being sponsored by Calhoun Language and Literature Department faculty member Lisa Callihan and Calhoun’s Head Librarian, Lucinda M. Beddow. The program is presented in conjunction with the College’s Academic Reading Comprehension (ARC) Quality Enhancement Plan. ARC is an intregal part of Calhoun’s 2011 reaffirmation by the Southern Association of College’s and Schools (SACS).

“Successful people read. We want our younger generation to be successful and well-rounded. We  want to introduce them to new ideas and new information, and so we want them to read,” commented Callihan.

Osborn’s presentation is free and open to the Calhoun community, the public and the press.  Copies of her books will be available for purchase,  and afterward there will be an autograph session.

For more information, go to or call (256) 890-4994 or email


Janet Kincherlow-Martin
Director of Public Relations
(256) 306-2561

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