Janet Fender graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1974 with a degree in physics and astronomy. She credits an OU program at the time entitled "New Avenues for Women" that was funded by the National Science Foundation. Professor Betty Pollock led that program and taught a small group of women who were majors in the natural sciences. The teamwork skills she learned there Fender says helped her greatly in her career. (Would that be considered one of those "liberal affirmative action programs" Republicans want to abolish?)
Fender went on to earned a masters and doctorate degrees and today works as Chief Scientist with the Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in northern Virginia. She is also a member of the United Nations Space Surveillance Expert Group.
The University of Oklahoma's College of Arts & Sciences honored her recently as a Distinguished Alumni award winner. While she was in Oklahoma for the award ceremonies, The Oklahoman interviewed here. You can read the article and hear her speak by clicking here.