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Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-0836)

Idalia Fernandez
Hispanic College Fund, Washington
(Phone: 202/296-5400)

October 21, 2003
RELEASE : 03-337
NASA Awards $500,000 To Hispanic Scholars
NASA will present an inaugural award of $500,000 in scholarship funds to recipients of the 2003 NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholarship at the 10th annual Hispanic College Fund (HCF) Scholarship Awards Banquet tomorrow in Washington.

During the gala at the Washington Convention Center, Dr. Clifford W. Houston, NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Education Programs, will present awards to 10 outstanding students from several universities representing the 127 national awardees competitively selected by HCF. More than 600 corporate and congressional leaders are expected at the event to honor the students.

"These students represent the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists, and their dreams of exploring new worlds should not go unrealized," Houston said. "By partnering with the Hispanic College Fund, NASA is reaching students who could very well become the next Ellen Ochoa or Franklin Chang-Diaz, astronauts who make our nation proud," he said.

The 2003 NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholars invited to attend the awards gala are: Susan Cabello and Jorge Perez, both seniors at Texas A&M University, Kingsville; 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, Cambridge; Adriana Rico, a junior at the University of Georgia, Athens; 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.

On Thursday, the 10 NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholars will meet with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Director Al Diaz. The students will receive a tour of the Greenbelt, Md., facility and then round off their day of exploration at the agency at a luncheon with Millie Mateu, University Program Manager for NASA's Hispanic Education Programs; Dan Krieger, Hispanic Employment Program Manager; and other officials of Hispanic descent.

Since 1993, HCF 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. HCF's mission is to develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders in America by awarding scholarships to deserving students who seek, but cannot afford, higher education. HCF administers the NASA Hispanic Explorers Scholarship on behalf of the agency.

The 2003 Hispanic College Fund recipients, Hispanic College Fund alumni, Corporation of the Year, and Trustee of the Year will also receive their awards and be recognized at the awards event.

For information about NASA on the Internet, visit:

For information about HCF and the NASA Explorers Scholars Program on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA's education programs on the Internet, visit:


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