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Feb. 7, 2002

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-5026 or 604-9000

jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov



Dr. Josephine Hawkins


National Hispanic University, San Jose, Calif.

Phone: 408/273-2690

jhawkins@nhu.edu



RELEASE: 02-16AR

MOTIVATING HISPANIC YOUTH IS GOAL OF NASA-UNIVERSITY AGREEMENT

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 available for use in publications will be available in the near future on the World Wide Wed at:

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

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

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