Press Release

Motivating Hispanic Youth is a Goal of NASA-University Agreement

By SpaceRef Editor
February 7, 2002
Filed under , ,

Motivating Hispanic youth to pursue science and engineering careers is one
of the main thrusts of a joint agreement signed Feb. 1 by NASA and the
National Hispanic University (NHU), San Jose, Calif.

Providing resources and career development for science and mathematics
teachers, field trips to NASA, and researching ‘distance learning’ by use
of Internet and other information technologies are several other objectives
of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by representatives of NHU
and NASA Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley.

“The NASA Ames and NHU partnership has been longstanding and demonstrates
how education and government can work closely to address the pressing needs
of our society,” said NHU Provost and Vice President, Monte E. Perez. “We
are proud to continue this important collaboration.”

“We are delighted to work with the National Hispanic University,” said Ames
Center Director Henry McDonald. “We look forward to sharing elements of our
world-class facilities, people and educational and technical resources with
NHU. For NASA Ames, it is an important priority to ensure that we reach out
to all of our citizens and inspire our youth to pursue careers in science,
mathematics and technology.”

“The NASA Ames partnership affords the NHU with the expertise, talent and
support of NASA Ames people,” Perez said. “It is a people-to-people
commitment. That is what makes it work. Educational excellence is
everybody’s business. This will greatly benefit our academic programs.
Student success will increase because of this partnership,” Perez said.

“We will perform joint research and educational outreach with the National
Hispanic University to develop information technology in support of
students of Hispanic background,” said Adriana Cardenas, Ames’ chief of the
Equal Opportunity Programs Office, who is the NASA Ames main point of
contact for the agreement.

“I am thrilled that this MOU will further strengthen the initiatives
between NASA and NHU,” said NHU Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Josephine
Hawkins, who is the point of contact for NHU in the performance of the MOU.

“The National Hispanic University is currently strengthening its science
curriculum by increasing its science course offerings, designing an
engineering program and garnering internship opportunities with
industries,” Hawkins said. “NASA has always been extremely helpful by
providing us with wonderful resources and an ‘executive-on-loan,’ Phil
Luna, to teach science courses at NHU.”

“The partnership with NASA and the signing of the MOU will be a ‘shot in
the arm’ to our science initiatives, and will continue to help us prepare
the pipeline of Hispanic and other minority students for the workforce gap,
particularly in science and technology,” Hawkins added.

According to the agreement, the parties recognize that their collaboration
may lead to significant scholastic advancement for Hispanic students as
well as technical, scientific and economic benefits.

High-resolution images related to this release and for use in news
publications will be available in the near future on the World Wide Web at:

http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2002/02images/national_univeristy/hispanicuniversity.html

More information about NHU can be found on the World Wide Web at:
http://www.NHU.EDU/

SpaceRef staff editor.