Disney’s “Fantasia” may not have been about space, but it sparked within Claudia Alexander, PhD’93, a journey of scientific discovery. She became an expert in the study of geophysics, planetary science, and other astronomic fields. After joining NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1986, Alexander went on to serve as the last project manager on NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter and the U.S. coordinator for the international Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After her death from breast cancer in July 2015, a “gate”-like formation on comet 67P was named in her honor.

For a list of notable U-M grads, visit alumnus.alumni.umich.edu/notable-alumni.