2016 Dinner

The 2017 We Are Wylie Dinner featured guest speaker Jerri Stephenson, a 1999 graduate of Wylie High School and a STAR WARS theme. Attendees dressed up as Star Wars characters and enjoyed Stephenson’s talk about her experiences working for NASA. Below are the fun pictures from the event, as well as a video about the Foundation that was shown to attendees.

About Jerri Stephenson

After graduating ACU in 2003 with Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in Business Management and Marketing and having lived in Abilene for 22 years, Jerri decided it was time to see the world and she accepted a job as an office manager at a small hotel on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. While living in St. Martin, Jerri took sailing certification classes and was offered a position as crew on a private 112’ sailing yacht on the Northeast coast. She worked on private mega yachts for three years along the East coast of Canada and the US. Finally deciding that she could no longer stand the seasickness or homesickness, she returned to her first true love, Texas.

Photo by Tracy Barbour Photography

After a few years of working in Internet marketing and web development in Houston, Jerri enlisted as a combat medic in the Texas Army National Guard. Jerri attended Army basic training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and Advanced Training for combat medics at Ft. Sam Houston, in San Antonio. Upon returning home from Army training, she enrolled in the psychology graduate program at University of Houston, Clear Lake. After learning about engineering psychology also called human factors engineering in one of her classes, Jerri decided that she wanted to know more about it. She Googled “human factors jobs” and at the top of the search results was a job opening for human factors specialists at NASA Johnson Space Center and the deadline for application was that day. Jerri frantically put together a resume and cover letter and sent off her application to NASA. She now works as a human factors engineer in the Habitability and Human Factors Branch of the Human Systems Engineering and Development Division at NASA Johnson Space Center.  Her work at NASA includes evaluating innovative human-computer interaction technologies to assist crew on long-duration missions with a focus on smart habitats, virtual environments, and mobile computing. She received her MA in Applied Cognitive Psychology from University of Houston, Clear Lake in 2015.

*Photo of Stephenson by Tracy Barbour Photography

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