Press Release

$1.75 Million Grant to Support College Students With Scholarships, Internships and Mentors Through NASA Initiative

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2006
Filed under , ,

MUST Consortium Selected to Administer NASA’s Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program

A consortium led by the Hispanic College Fund (HCF) with the support of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP) was awarded a $1.75 million grant to administer NASA’s Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program (MUST) and award scholarships and internships to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, more widely known as STEM fields.

NASA’s MUST Program is designed to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines by providing them a framework of support. The MUST Program scholarship application is available online at . The application deadline is August 19, 2006.

By this fall, the MUST Program will support approximately 100 undergraduate students with a one-year competitive scholarship of up to one-half of tuition not to exceed $10,000, and a paid internship relevant to their chosen field. Additionally, students will benefit year-round from tutoring, lecture series and STEM faculty, industry, and peer mentors. The scholarships and internships will be renewable for up to three years provided the students continue to meet the academic requirements.

“NASA’s Office of Education is excited about providing opportunities that inspire, engage, educate, and employ our nation’s next generation of explorers and innovators. We look forward to this partnership between NASA and the consortium,” said NASA’s acting Assistant Administrator for Education John Hairston.

The MUST Program is open to all students and is particularly focused on engaging students from underserved and underrepresented groups to enter STEM fields. Applicants must be rising college freshmen, sophomores or juniors, be U.S. citizens, have a minimum cumulated grade average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline as a full-time student.

The MUST Consortium is a dynamic collaboration of three qualified and experienced not-for-profit organizations with applicable expertise to manage all facets of the MUST Program. The HCF, SHPE and UNCFSP each have an established track record of providing education and support services to Minority Institutions, faculty, and students.

“We are proud to have shown how non-profits can work together and pool their experience and resources to serve our communities,” said Idalia Fernandez, the Hispanic College Fund’s Vice President & COO.

“Our combined portfolio of expertise, cultural competence, outreach, recruitment and professional development is made much stronger by the great working relationship we have with the HCF and UNCFSP,” said Diana Gomez, national president of SHPE.

“Working together, we can leverage our unsurpassed network of Minority Institutions, administrators, faculty, and students to ensure high competitive participation from a broad spectrum of targeted underrepresented and underserved minorities,” said Aaron R. Andrews, President and CEO of UNCFSP.

More information and details about the MUST Program will be available on each of the Consortium member websites: , or . For information about NASA’s education programs, visit .

About HCF

The Hispanic College Fund (HCF) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of Hispanic professionals in America. The HCF mission is to provide Hispanic students with the vision, resources and mentorship needed to attain successful careers and become community leaders. Since its founding in 1993, HCF has supported the education of over 3,000 financially disadvantaged Hispanic students seeking careers in business, science, engineering and technology with over $6 million in grants. For more information about the Hispanic College Fund, please visit .

About SHPE

SHPE, Inc. is the source for quality Hispanic engineers and technical talent, committed to enhancing America’s position in math, science, engineering and technology with a strong and talented Hispanic workforce. The largest Hispanic engineering organization, SHPE serves its strong independent network of 51 professional chapters and 191 student chapters with national leadership training programs, educational programs, and professional development initiatives that include national conferences and career fairs. SHPE’s education programs and opportunities are funded by over 44 companies and government agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and NASA. In addition, SHPE has a partnership with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), National GEM Consortium (GEM), and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS). For more information about SHPE, please visit .


An independently-established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, UNCFSP has a broad mandate of serving domestic and international Minority Institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Other Minority Institutions (OMIs). UNCFSP currently manages eighteen capacity building, workforce development, and technical assistance programs, including a robust portfolio of STEM programs sponsored by NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. UNCFSP possesses strong expertise in recruitment; application receipt, review, and selection; internship placements, monitoring and tracking, evaluation, and dissemination. For more information about UNCFSP, please visit .

SpaceRef staff editor.