Feature

2003 NASA Explorers Scholarship
10.20.03
Dr. Clifford Houston
Dr. Clifford W. Houston
Half a million dollars is nothing to NASA when it comes to helping to ensure the education of the next generation of explorers.

That is why, on October 22, Dr. Clifford W. Houston, NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Education, will present the first-ever 2003 NASA Explorers Scholarship to 10 outstanding Hispanic scholars from several universities representing the 127 national awardees competitively selected at the Hispanic College Fund's 10th Annual Scholarship Awards Banquet. In attendance at the event, to be held at the Washington Convention Center, will be more than 600 corporate and congressional leaders, invited to the event to honor the students.

Students receiving the NASA Explorers Scholarship worked hard to earn the honor. Susan Cabello, a senior pursuing her degree in geology at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, said she was "honored" and "humbled" to discover that she would be a recipient of the award. "It was a dream come true," she remarked. "It didn't matter what other scholarships I got because [the award from] NASA was my pride and joy." She went on to describe her future plans, which include pursuit of both Masters and doctoral degrees in planetary geology, and a possible career with NASA.

Jorge Perez, a senior studying electrical engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station and another recipient of the National Explorers Scholarship, shared similar sentiments with Cabello, expressing much appreciation of the award from NASA. "I've always wanted a job that makes me feel like someone is benefiting from what I do," commented Jorge regarding his plans for the future. "Whether I end up working on fighter jets or conducting research with NASA, I know I will be improving something for America. I will feel good about what I accomplish."

Among other recipients of Hispanic College Fund's NASA Explorers Scholarship are Angela Campbell, a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Deborah Cassanova, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Barry Barrios, a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Adriana Rico, a junior at the University of Georgia; Adrian Solis, a freshman at the University of California, San Diego; Roel Huerta, a freshman at the University of Houston; and Michelle Albanes, a sophomore at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

The 10 NASA Explorers Scholars will make their way to the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Maryland the morning after the gala to meet with Center Director Al Diaz and other NASA personnel. Students will also be given a tour of the Center, and then round off their day of exploration at NASA with lunch with Dan Krieger, the Hispanic Employment Program Manager, and other Hispanic GSFC employees.

Since 1993, Hispanic College Fund has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships to more than 1,600 Hispanic students in science, engineering, technology and business-related disciplines, 36 of whom attended Ivy League universities, from across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Through cooperation with organizations like the Hispanic College Fund, NASA works toward fulfillment of its goal to encourage all young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NASA reaches out to students. . . so students can reach for the stars.

For more information about Hispanic College Fund's NASA Explorers Scholars Program, visit:
http://www.hispanicfund.org