- Posted by Action Catalyst
- On July 31, 2019
- 0 Comments
- astronaut, Rhea Seddon, space, women in leadership
Dr. Rhea Seddon is a woman of many firsts. One of only six women in her medical school class of 100, she was the first woman ever accepted to the surgery residency program at her university. In 1978, she was one of the first six women accepted into the Astronaut Corps, and when she married fellow astronaut Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson, they became the first active astronauts to wed. Together they produced the first official “astrotots” (children born to two astronauts). In addition to her space career, Dr. Seddon’s life experiences have led her from surgeon to licensed private pilot, to healthcare executive, entrepreneur, author, president of a large women’s charity group and now, professional speaker.
Entering the Astronaut Corps in 1978, she served the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for nineteen years, spending thirty days in space aboard three Space Shuttle flights.
After leaving NASA in 1997, Dr. Seddon was appointed the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt University Medical Group in Nashville, where she focused on innovative systems and methodologies for improving teamwork in healthcare. Eleven years later, she continued that work as a founding partner of LifeWings Partners, LLC, which teaches those concepts to healthcare institutions across the United States.
She is a member of both the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame and Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame, and her significant contributions to aeronautics and science were recognized in 2015 when she became the eighth woman inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. That year, she also published her autobiography, Go For Orbit, and in 2016, she was awarded the Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Gold Award for Best Autobiography/Memoir.
Based on her diverse life experiences, Dr. Seddon enjoys sharing the wisdom gained and lessons learned as she speaks nationally and internationally about teamwork, leadership and inspiring others to recognize and act upon life’s many opportunities.
- I loved being able to have something important I wanted to do, and understand I may never get there, so what knowing I had to figure out Plan B. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- It’s an obstacle to overcome people’s biases about you. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- We had to prove ourselves and I think that’s something women will always have to do when they do something new or something people think they won’t be successful that. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- If I persevered and kept trying, I could do things that I never thought I could. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- When you have the confidence and have navigated problems in the past, you come out at the end. A lot of times, it has to do with mentors or a bucket list you might have. There are a lot of ways people can get past what, at the time, looks like an insurmountable barrier. But you have to give it time. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- When you’re having difficulty, you just put one foot in front of the other until you come out on the other side. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- It has never occurred to me to be mediocre. My father always encouraged me to do what I wanted but he also told me to be good at it. To do your best. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- I always tell fathers of daughters how important they are in their daughter’s lives. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
- I hope to be able to inspire people until I’m very old. —Dr. Rhea Seddon
Dr. Seddon’s final thoughts: When you’re discouraged, I think it’s really helpful to have other people to lift you up and remind you that everyone has a contribution in this world and talents. Sometimes you can’t walk that path all by yourself and you have to find people to help you get through it.
The Action Catalyst is presented by the Southwestern Family of Companies. With each episode, the podcast features some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Learn more at TheActionCatalyst.com, subscribe below or wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to leave a rating and review!
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