Dr. Sian Proctor, a professor at the Maricopa County Community College District’s (MCCCD) South Mountain Community College, was announced recently as the final crew member to join Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to space. In celebration of National Astronaut Day, MCCCD is highlighting Dr. Proctor and her passion for space exploration.
“Dr. Proctor has been a professor with the Maricopa Community Colleges for decades and our students, staff, faculty, and community are better because of her excellent example of hard work, passion, and dedication,” said MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “We are overjoyed that she has been selected for this mission and cannot imagine a more deserving person to earn this opportunity. Everyone within our System is looking forward to the advancements her space exploration will bring to the STEM community.”
A long-time proponent of space exploration and notable member of the STEM community, Dr. Proctor is grateful for the opportunity to further serve as a role model to her students.
“One of the things that I always tell my students is that education is power,” said Dr. Proctor. “It gives you options and opportunities, and it doesn't stop with a degree. It’s about finding your unique strengths and passions, and being able to share them with the world. To all the community college students out there: Don’t give up, keep going, keep pursuing your dreams, and they will come true. You just have to believe in them.”
As Dr. Proctor prepares for her trip to the stars, she also reflects on her family’s roots in STEM and her father’s legacy.
“I became a scientist because of my father, a self-trained mathematician and scientist who never went to college or got a degree,” said Dr. Proctor. “He instilled a love of math and science in me and my siblings, and I’m so thankful he also helped unleash my inner explorer.”
Inspiration4 will take off to space this September. Dr. Proctor will serve as mission pilot and assist commander and benefactor Jared Isaacman alongside other crew members Hayley Arceneauxand Chris Sembroski. The mission aims to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help end childhood cancer.