Linda was featured in a UW Tacoma news story as part of publicizing her Yuri’s Night talk at the Musuem of Flight. Excerpt:
UW Tacoma Senior Lecturer Linda Dawson has helped launch space shuttles and a university. She’s embarking on a new adventure as a professional author.
It’s more than a turn of phrase to say that Linda Dawson kept her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground. The UW Tacoma lecturer has spent a lifetime looking to the sky. “No matter where I lived I’d go to the airport and watch fighter jets or commercial planes,” said Dawson.
Flight, specifically the science behind it, has been an interest of Dawson’s since childhood. The youngest of three girls, Dawson grew up in Boston during the transformative 1960s. Her parents, both first-generation Americans, felt strongly about education and encouraged their children to attend college. “They wanted us to be independent and to have our own careers,” said Dawson.
In October of 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite—Sputnik—into space. “My family and I went to an observatory in New Hampshire where you could actually hear transmissions from Sputnik,” said Dawson. “You could hear the beep beep.”
Sputnik helped spark the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. It also fueled Dawson’s love of math and science. “There was a certain amount of danger and excitement involved that intrigued me,” she said.