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Oct. 7, 2004

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111

Release: #J04-042


Nitza Margarita Cintron, chief of NASA Johnson Space Center's Space Medicine and Health Care Systems Office, will be inducted into the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Conference's (HENAAC) Hall of Fame Oct. 7.

The induction ceremony will be held during HENAAC's 16th Annual Conference Oct. 7 to 9 at the Pasadena (Calif.) Hilton Hotel.

"It's HENAAC’s purpose to work towards involving Hispanic school kids in science, math and engineering, and make it real to them -- to show them that it’s not such a faraway goal,” Cintron said. "Being involved in HENAAC is one way of being able to give back, and I think that’s very valuable.”

Cintron, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins and an M.D. degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She came to Johnson Space Center in 1978.

She has held increasingly responsible positions. She was originator of the center's biochemical laboratory in 1979 and 1980, and subsequently served for six years as project scientist for the Spacelab 2 Mission, launched aboard Challenger in July 1985.

She served as chief of the Biomedical Operations and Research Branch in the Medical Science Division and later held responsibility as director for managing the Life Sciences Research Laboratories in support of medical operations. She assumed her present position earlier this year.

She has published scores of papers and holds numerous awards. Among them is the JSC Director's Commendation and Innovation Award, the center's highest award for civil servants.

“NASA has provided me the opportunity to grow,” said Cintron. “And of course I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in what we do.”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Corp.'s vice president for technology and strategy, also will be inducted into the HENAAC Hall of Fame during the Oct. 7 ceremony

The Hall of Fame was established by in 1998 to recognize the contributions of Hispanics in science, engineering and technology. With Cintron and Wladawsky-Berger, its membership will number 25.


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