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Jean C. Keating 

     Born in Georgia, Jean C. Keating finished her undergraduate degree five months after her twentieth birthday and moved to Virginia to join a budding federal agency called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] as one of its first female aeronautical engineers. In time she coauthored numerous NASA technical reports, incomprehensible to the untutored reader, but representing substantial work, including the determination of four star positions to greater accuracies than previously known. She received the NASA Special Service Award for her contributions. She combined professional efforts with community service, serving two terms as President of the Hampton Junior Woman's Club, one term as President of the Junior Council of Presidents, and four years as State Leadership Development Chairman for the Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1970 her professional and civic efforts led to her being chosen as Virginia's Outstanding Young Woman of the year, as one of the 10 most outstanding young women in the United States, and resulted in a presidential letter of commendation.

     She left NASA determined to enjoy a new home in Williamsburg, only to discover the need for more challenges once the home was decorated. She joined the staff of the College of William and Mary as its first Director of Special Programs and then Assistant Director of Institutional Research. In 1978 she accepted a position with the State Council of Higher Education [SCHEV] in Richmond as Research Coordinator, collecting, analyzing and reporting on the operations of the 87 institutions of higher education in Virginia

     In 1982 she began raising and showing a tiny breed of dog called a Papillon. Today she shares her life with 14 Papillons ranging in age from four months to 16 years. Along the way, two kittens abandoned during Hurricane Hugo joined the family.

     In 35 years of government service, she completed her graduate work and authored more than 50 scientific and data management reports and studies. She retired in June of 1998 and turned her attention to fulfilling another dream, writing and publishing fiction. She formed her own publishing company, drawing its name, Astra, from the kennel prefix under which she has bred and shown Papillons for 21 years. Her first published novel, Amorous Accident, was named for her first, home bred champion.

     Today she combines work on her third book with service as President of the Chesapeake Bay Writers Club, and writes a monthly column entitled Rescue Corner for the national magazine of the Papillon Club of America. She writes a monthly column for Chesapeake Style which appears under Animal Antics.


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