Cambridge, Mass. (April 25) -- Three-sport standout and four-time Academic All-America honoree Louise Jandura `84 has been announced as a member of the 2019 CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class, as announced by CoSIDA.
Jandura, along with fellow inductees Willie Bloomquist (Arizona State), Nicole Mann (U.S. Naval Academy) and Greg Meredith (Notre Dame) will be honored at the Google Cloud Academic All-America Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, June 10th in Orlando, Florida.
MIT's only four-time Academic All-America honoree, Jandura was a three-sport athlete in field hockey, basketball and softball for the Engineers and also served as the field hockey coach during her time in Cambridge. She is now a noted engineer in the NASA Mars Exploration Program and the Mars 2020 Sampling and Caching Subsystem Chief Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
In her role, she leads a team of 120 to design and build the sampling and caching system for the Mars 2020 Rover. The goal is for this sampling system to acquire scientific samples of soil and rock from Mars, package those samples, and leave them on the surface of Mars for a future mission for retrieval and transport back to Earth.
At MIT, Jandura was a First Team Academic All-American twice in softball in 1983 and 1984 and a Second Team honoree in basketball and field hockey (at-large) in 1984. A 1984 graduate, she earned her undergraduate degree in Course 2 (mechanical engineering) and her Masters degree in mechanical engineering in 1986.
On the field, she was the Team MVP and captain of the field hockey and softball teams while leading the softball team to the Massachusetts AIAW Championship in her sophomore year.
Academically, she was inducted into Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma, which are the engineering and mechanical engineering honor societies. In addition, in 1984 she was the recipient of the Malcolm G. Kispert Award as the MIT Scholar-Athlete of the Year and also was an MIT Alumnae Senior Academic Award Honorable Mention recipient.
At NASA's JPL, Jandura received the 2013 Individual NASA Honor Award Medal for Exceptional Engineering Achievement for her work on the Mars Curiosity rover, earned the 2015 JPL People Leadership Award and received the 2003 Individual NASA Honor Award for Exceptional Achievement for her work on the Genesis Payload Mechanisms.
In addition to her work at the JPL, Jandura also does classroom outreach and educates young children about the Mars missions and the space program. She has also served as a robotics mentor at The Archer School for Girls, volunteers to serve the homeless in Pasadena (Calif.) and works with USA Field Hockey as an Umpire Manager training other umpires.
The June 10th Hall of Fame induction ceremony will feature ESPN's Rece Davis as emcee. The AAA Hall of Fame event, which will be held from 5:30-7 p.m., is free and open to all attendees of the CoSIDA and NACDA convention.
"On behalf of the CoSIDA Board of Directors and leadership, we are elated to welcome this distinguished quartet of student-athletes into our CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America Hall of Fame," noted CoSIDA President Rob Knox of Towson University. "This is another tremendous Hall of Fame class with Willie Bloomquist, Louise Jandura, Nicole Mann and Greg Meredith. These student-athletes have distinguished themselves beyond their amazing athletic and academic accomplishments to make a true impact in society. They are dynamic, phenomenal leaders. I salute the Academic All-America Hall of Fame Committee for selecting a terrific class. We are excited to celebrate and recognize them during the Academic All-America Hall of Fame induction ceremony in June."