Mary (Good) Lawrence '01 was awarded the Penn State Behrend Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by the Behrend Alumni Society in 2023. She is the deputy manager of the International Space Station (ISS) Vehicle Office at the NASA Johnson Space Center. In this role, Lawrence is responsible for sustaining engineering, logistics, and program management associated with upgrading and maintaining the hardware and systems of the International Space Station to ensure the safety and functionality for the astronaut crew of seven to live and conduct science in this unique international laboratory orbiting 200 miles above the Earth.
Prior to this role, from 2015 to 2021, Lawrence served as one of approximately 30 NASA Flight Directors responsible for managing the operations for all human spaceflight programs, including the International Space Station.
From the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, flight directors lead teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts, and support personnel located around the globe. They also coordinate ISS cargo and crew-vehicle integration and help plan for future exploration missions. As a NASA Flight Director, Lawrence supported as lead Flight Director for cargo missions, software upgrades, and the battery upgrade project in which batteries supporting power systems were removed and replaced using a choreography of robotics operations and two spacewalks. She also received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for actions as the lead Flight Director for the 54th expedition to the space station.
Lawrence began her NASA career in the space program in 2002 as a member of the flight control team operating the ISS's command and data-handling system, moving into operations lead roles for ISS assembly and expedition missions before certifying in other flight control positions and being promoted to lead groups of instructors and flight controllers supporting ISS operations.
Lawrence was a member of Behrend's women's volleyball and the first-ever women's water polo teams and was inducted into the Penn State Behrend Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. She was the keynote speaker at Behrend's Richard J. Fasenmyer Engineering Design Conference in 2016. And in 2019, Mary served as the commencement speaker at Behrend's ceremony. A Wattsburg, PA, native, Lawrence holds a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State Behrend. She lives in League City, Texas, with her husband, Andrew Lawrence ʼ00, a Plastics Engineering Technology alumnus from Penn State Behrend, and they are the proud parents to their children Alene, 11, and Samuel, 9.