NASA News Releases Featuring Hispanics

¡Bienvenidos!/Welcome!This page was created to recognize our NASA Hispanic Employees’ achievements and contributions throughout NASA centers that have been featured in NASA News Releases &/or other publications.

For other activities related to Hispanics working at NASA centers, please visit Hispanic Educational Outreach page

In addition, we hope that these featured NASA Hispanics help young students to visualize career opportunities in the science & technology fields.


2013

  1. From first Latina in space, to head of the Johnson Space Center – In January 2013, Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a four-time astronaut and the first Latina to go to space, launched into the next era of her stellar career. She became the first Hispanic and second female director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). “It’s really quite an honor,” says Ochoa who spent the last five years as deputy director. “I learned about being a senior leader and how the center operates, and I’ve had the opportunity to train for this role…There’s a wonderful history here, and I’m really excited about what we’re doing, and it’s an honor to lead them and represent them.”Kristina Puga – NBC Latino Online (NBCLatino.com)- Jan 24, 2013

2010

  1. NASA NAMES LUGO AS DIRECTOR OF NASA GRC – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Ramon “Ray” Lugo III as director of the agency’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, effective July 18. Lugo has been Glenn’s acting director since March. As Glenn’s director, Lugo is responsible for planning, organizing and leading the activities needed to accomplish the missions assigned to the center. Glenn has research, technology and systems development programs in space propulsion, space power, space communications, aeronautical propulsion and microgravity sciences. NASA News Release: 10-040
  2. NASA NAMES DEPUTY CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER – NASA Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton has announced the appointment of Deborah Diaz as the agency’s new deputy chief information officer. Diaz will be a key member of the office that provides information technology services to all staff. NASA News Release/Full Story: 05-2010

2009

  1. PODER360 Article – NASA’s Latino Pioneers For aspiring Hispanic astronauts, The sky is no longer the limit

2008

  1. NASA Marshall Center’s Hispanics Encourages Hispanic Community to Focus on Education
    10.06.08 – Jose Roman hopes to spread an important message to minority youth during the center’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month observance: Focus on education.
    NASA News Release: 08-149

2007

  1. NASA Hispanics in the NEWS [Boricuas en NASA]
    This month in “El Nuevo Dia”, one of Puerto Rico�s daily newspaper, there was an article entitled �La invasion boricua en la NASA�, “The boricua invasion at NASA”. Boricua is derived from Borinquen, the name the native indians had for Puerto Rico. So anyone from the island is referred as a �boricua�. Here are some of the highlights from the article:
    – Over 181 Puerto Ricans working at NASA, most in high ranking jobs
    – 75% of those are engineers mostly from the University of PR at Mayag�ez
    – Joseph Acab�, a teacher, will be the first Puerto Rican astronaut
    – Half a dozen Puerto Ricans are SESers
    – Orlando Figueroa, Pedro Rodr�guez, Miguel Rodr�guez, Olga Gonz�lez-Sanabria, Gilberto Col�n, Moserrate Rom�n
    – A number of Puerto Ricans are leaving the island looking for work in the US; this has been going on for the last 30 years – Highlight of Gilberto Colon and his wife who also works at NASA GSFC
    – Highlight and picture of the GSFC Puerto Rican community
    – Highlight of Olga and her career
    – Highlight of Miguel Rodr�guez and how he came from �El Colegio�, UPR at Mayag�ez in 1975; when asked if a Puerto Rican will ever be the NASA Administrator, his answer was: �Of course� The main graphic shows the number of Puerto Ricans at each of the NASA centers with highlights of the 6 SESers and Joseph Acaba, the first Puerto Rican astronaut.
    �Felicidades Boricuas!
    SOURCE: El Nuevo Dia -1
  2. LaRC Latino among nominee for 2007 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award
    The invention “Polyimide Foams” (AR-16615-1 and LAR-16615-2), by inventors Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen, and Erik Weiser (all from LaRC), and Juan Vazquez (PolyuMac TechnoCore, Inc.) has been granted U.S. Patent No. 6.956.066. The invention significantly reduces costs and increases production rates of durable polyimide foam materials. The products provide excellent insulation for sound, cryogenics, heat, or cold.
  3. 2007 HENAAC Winner – Executive Excellence Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria – Oct ’07
    HENAAC is proud to announce the 2007 HENAAC Award Winners in Engineering & Science. Winners in each category represent the nation�s best and brightest engineers and scientists. They were selected by the HENAAC Selection Committee, an independent group of representatives from industry, government, military and academia. The winners will be honored at the HENAAC Awards Show on October 12, 2007, and throughout other events at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, CA during the 19th Annual HENAAC Conference, October 11 � 13, 2007.
    Web site: HENAAC
  4. NASA Names Astronaut Ellen Ochoa Deputy Director of Johnson – 1st Hispanic woman astronaut – Oct ’07
    Veteran astronaut Ellen Ochoa has been named the next deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Ochoa is a four-time space flier who has served as director of flight crew operations at Johnson. She will succeed Bob Cabana, who was named director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Ochoa will assume duties as deputy director after the next space shuttle mission, STS-120.
    NASA News Release:http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2007/sep/HQ_07194_Ochoa_Named_JSC_Deputy_Director.html
  5. Hispanic Employees Contributions at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) – Nov ’07
    1) Dr. Ruben Del Rosario was selected as the Project Manager for the Subsonic Fixed Wing project within the Aeronautics Projects Implementation Office at NASA GRC, OH.
    2) Dr. Felix Miranda was a recognized for his contributions at the GRC 2007 R&D 100 Awards. He was among the GRC researchers who received three 2007 R&D 100 Awards. With three Glenn-developed technologies named among this year’s 100 most technically significant products of the year, the Center has earned 100 of the coveted “R&D 100 Awards.” Recipients were recognized during the R&D 100 Awards banquet, celebrating 45 Years of Innovation, on October 18, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. �Felicidades!
  6. NASA Langley’s [Latina} Cover Girl By: Denise Adams [article] – Jan ’07

2006

  1. International Hispanic Association Names NASA’s Elia Ordonez Its Woman Of The Year
    The Worldwide Association of Mexicans Abroad � helping to build an international network of Hispanic business owners — has recognized NASA employee Elia Ordonez as the 2006 National Hispanic Woman of the Year for her support of Alabama’s Hispanic. community.
    NASA Press Release 06-116

2005

  1. First Hispanics On Duty Leading Mission Control Team
    Ms. Ginger Kerrick, the first person of Hispanic heritage to lead Mission Control is working shifts as a flight director for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston.
    NASA News RELEASE: 05-411 [11-18-05]
  2. NASA JSC Latina Being Recognized
    HENAAC’s Board of Directors and TECHNiCA™ Magazine proudly announce
    the 2005 HENAAC Award Winners. (http://www.henaac.org/). Among the winners were NASA’s own:
    – Alphonso V. Diaz, NASA HQ Associate Administrator Science Mission Directorate, selected as Hispanic Engineer of the Year. Full bio at http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/al_diaz_bio.html
    – Mark Leon, NASA Ames Research Center Director of Education, received the 2005 HENAAC’s Santiago Rodriguez Diversity Award.
    Article at HENAAC [10-05]
  3. NASA Official Honored as Federal Employee of the Year
    NASA’s Orlando Figueroa received the 2005 Service to America Federal Employee of the Year Medal during an award ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. This award recognizes a federal employee whose professional contributions exemplify the highest attributes of public service. The award recognizes his leadership in NASA’s successful Mars Exploration Rovers’ mission.
    Article at JSC Spaceref [09-05]
  4. NASA JSC Latina Being Recognized
    JSC Engineer Laurie Carrillo has been selected by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to receive the Past Presidents Award. This award is based on outstanding academic achievement as well as strong engineering potential. Carrillo will be recognized at the SWE National Convention in Anaheim, Calif., in November. This recognition comes with a $1,500 reward.
    Article at JSC Features [06-05]
  5. DREAMS ARE THE ROAD TO SPACE FOR NASA AEROSPACE ENGINEER
    Rosa Obregon didn’t realize it at the time, but the road from Monterrey, Mexico, to Corpus Christi, Texas, was the first leg of a long journey leading to NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss.
    Always interested in space, the 22-year-old aerospace technologist has gained hands-on experience in SSC’s E-Complex, where she was involved in a hybrid rocket motor test program. She was also one of five test conductors for the External Tank Foam Test (ETFT) Project. The ETFT team simulated Florida weather conditions typical of Space Shuttle launch days to see what kinds of ice and frost formed on the tank’s foam insulation.
    Obregon is working on another NASA team testing hybrid motors. She hopes to be a test conductor for part of the series. “I’m trying to explore different aspects of NASA,” she said. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing, but one day I want to be a test conductor, to push the button and see that beautiful flame,” Obregon added.
    RELEASE: MBO-05-079 [05-18-05]

2004

  1. ALPHONSO V. DIAZ, GSFC DIRECTOR 1998 – 2004 – Mr. Diaz began his career at NASA in 1964. He became NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) Deputy Director in 1996, and was appointed GSFC’s Director in 1998. In 2005 Mr. Diaz, then Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was selected as Hispanic Engineer of the Year by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC).
    NASA LINK: Al Diaz
  2. Meet NASA’s Future Explorer – Jose Hernandez [10/14/04] & Joseph Acaba
    Hispanic NASA Astronaut Site
  3. NASA Marshall Center’s Wendell Colberg [UPR Alumni] selected for Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program
    NASA News RELEASE: 04-225 [09-03-04]
  4. HISPANIC ENGINEER HELPS SPACE STATION CREWS STAY FIT
    Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carlos Ortiz-Longo liked to take things apart. His father, a medical doctor, encouraged his young son’s curiosity, helping him learn the way things work, even teaching him to fix his own bicycle.Today, Ortiz-Longo is still fixing his bicycle. Only this one is more than 200 miles above the Earth, on the International Space Station. Ortiz-Longo manages a team of more than 30 people who keep the Station’s exercise equipment tuned. The Crew Health Care System and Exercise Countermeasures team is located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston.
    NASA News RELEASE : 04-141 [April 28, 2004] Media organizations interested in interviewing Ortiz-Longo should contact Julie Burt, JSC Public Affairs at: 281/483-5111.
  5. NASA SPACE MEDICINE CHIEF INDUCTED INTO HENAAC HALL OF FAME
    Dr. Nitza Margarita Cintron, chief of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) Space Medicine and Health Care Systems Office, is a long way from her native Puerto Rico. Her plan to stay at NASA for only two years resulted in a 26-year career. Cintron was inducted into the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Conference’s (HENAAC) Hall of Fame on October 7, 2004 during its 16th Annual Conference. The Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to recognize the contributions of Hispanics in science, engineering and technology. With Cintron, its membership numbers 25.
    NASA News Release: 04-346 [Oct. 15, 2004] Latina Women Of NASA Site: Dr. Nitza Margarita Cintron
    Media organizations interested in interviewing Cintron should contact John Ira Petty, JSC Office of Public Affairs, at: 281/483-5111.

2003

  1. NASA HONORS MINORITY CONTRACTORS
    Three firms were honored at NASA’s 13th Annual Minority Business and Advocates Awards ceremony in Washington. NASA named Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) as Minority Contractor of the Year. Crewstone Technologies was named Minority Subcontractor of the Year. Cimarron, Inc. was named the Women Owned Business of the Year. NASA also recognized outstanding advocates within the agency for their contributions and innovative approaches to using minority and women owned businesses. . . . NASA Headquarters and four NASA field centers were recognized for meeting or exceeding all negotiated socio-economic small business goals. The Glenn Research Center, Cleveland; Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.; and Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. were recognized.
    For information and list of winners on the Web, visit: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codek/
    NASA News Release: 03-300 [September 22, 2003] SpaceRef.Com: 15030
  2. PERSISTENCE & PASSION LEADS HISPANIC ENGINEER TO SUCCESS
    Growing up in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Miguel Rodriguez knew by age 17, he wanted to work in America’s space program. Little could he have known then staying focused on that goal would lead him to become director of the Operations Directorate at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss. As director of Stennis Operations, Rodriguez manages facility construction, maintenance, environmental programs, security, emergency services, utilities and other operations for about 4,600 Stennis personnel.
    NASA News Release: 03-210 [June 26, 2003]
  3. NASA – NASA’S FIRST FEMALE HISPANIC ASTRONAUT SHARES EXPERIENCES
    NASA’s First Female Hispanic Astronaut Shares Experiences Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to fly in space, has traveled the United States sharing her groundbreaking experience with students and educators.
    NASA News Release: 03-207 [June 26, 2003] Latina Women Of NASA Site: Dr. Ellen Ochoa
    Hispanic NASA Astronaut Site
  4. NASA – FIRST HISPANIC-AMERICAN ASTRONAUT LIVES CHILDHOOD DREAM
    First Hispanic-American Astronaut Lives Childhood Dream Few NASA astronauts have chalked up more than a decade in space, but Franklin Chang-Diaz says he’s been touring the cosmos for nearly half a century. His first spacecraft? An oversized cardboard box, fueled by the vivid imagination of a small boy who already knew what he wanted to do with his life and would meet every challenge to make it happen.
    NASA News Release: 03-205 [June 26, 2003] Hispanic NASA Astronaut Site
  5. NASA ASTRONAUT LEADS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING
    Astronaut Ronald Parise leads the first NASA sponsored, professional development training for the principal investigators of the Proyecto Access program starting May 15 at 1:00 p.m. EDT at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, Md.). During the professional development training, Parise, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Education Angela Phillips Diaz, and other agency staff will work closely with principal investigators to introduce the goals of NASA’s Education Enterprise. The NASA staff will work to enhance the way agency content and resources are released into classrooms serving a primarily Hispanic student population.
    NASA News Release: 03-170 [May 14, 2003]
  6. LATINA SCIENTIST KEEPS AN EYE ON SMALLEST INHABITANTS OF SPACE
    Monsi Roman, a Marshall Center microSitelogist, works to ensure safe water and air for the crew of the International Space Station. Roman studies microbes, living organisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites — only visible under a microscope. Her job is like a detective, checking the tiny beings to see how they will behave on the Space Station.
    To read more about Ms. Monsi Roman, visit Latina Women Of NASA
    NASA News RELEASE: 03-101 [June 26, 2003] Latina Women Of NASA Site: Ms. Monsi Roman
  7. LANGLEY ENGINEERS HELP LATEST MISSIONS LAND ON MARS
    Langley researchers also helped develop the parachute that will help slow the spacecraft during entry, descent and landing. “There are challenges to testing these parachutes because we can not test it at exactly the right conditions,” said Juan R. Cruz, Langley research engineer who worked on the MER parachute design.
    NASA News RELEASE: 03-039 [June 26, 2003]

2002

  1. Alabama’s First Hispanic Youth Conference, Co-sponsored by Marshall Center, is Success
    NASA News RELEASE: 02-255 [10/10/02]
  2. GONZALEZ-SANABRIA APPOINTED TO SENIOR RANK
    Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria, director of the Systems Management Office at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, has been named a member of the U.S. government’s Senior Executive Service. As Director of Glenn’s Systems Management Office, Gonzalez-Sanabria supports the development of Center level strategic processes, implementation planning, and decision guidelines for program direction and resource allocation. She also ensures development and implementation of Center policies, processes and procedures that are consistent with NASA’s Program and Project Management Processes and Requirements and oversees the implementation of Glenn’s Business Management System.
    NASA News RELEASE: 02-049 [July 8, 2002] Latina Women Of NASA Site: Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria

2001

  1. LOCAL HISPANIC RESEARCHERS HONORED FOR CAREER SUCCESS
    “Success through Education” will be the theme when two NASA Glenn Research Center employees are honored at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) to be held October 13 in El Paso, Texas. They were Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis, chief, Electrochemistry Branch and Dr. Felix A. Miranda, chief, Applied RF Technology Branch.
    NASA News RELEASE: 01-078 [October 11, 2001] Latina Women Of NASA Site: Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis
  2. HISPANIC-AMERICAN ENJOYS THE HISTORY OF AMERICA’S SPACE PROGRAM FROM FRONT ROW SEAT AT NASA
    Pedro “Pete” Rodriguez never fully realized he’s had a front-row seat in the history of the space program — until a colleague casually pointed it out one day. Since Rodriguez began his NASA career at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., 25 years ago, he’s worked alongside Dr. Wernher von Braun’s original rocket team, and has been part of the teams building the Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, and X-34 technology demonstrator.
    NASA News RELEASE: 01-314 [Sept. 27, 2001]

SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS

  1. NASA NAMES LUGO AS DIRECTOR OF NASA GRC – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Ramon “Ray” Lugo III as director of the agency’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, effective July 18. Lugo has been Glenn’s acting director since March. As Glenn’s director, Lugo is responsible for planning, organizing and leading the activities needed to accomplish the missions assigned to the center. Glenn has research, technology and systems development programs in space propulsion, space power, space communications, aeronautical propulsion and microgravity sciences. NASA News Release: 10-040
  2. LINDA CURETON, DEPUTY CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER – NASA Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton has announced the appointment of Deborah Diaz as the agency’s new deputy chief information officer. Diaz will be a key member of the office that provides information technology services to all staff.
    NASA News Release/Full Story: 05-2010
  3. ALPHONSO V. DIAZ, GSFC DIRECTOR 1998 – 2004 – Mr.Al Diaz began his career at NASA in 1964. He became NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) Deputy Director in 1996, and was appointed GSFC’s Director in 1998. In 2005 Mr. Diaz, then Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was selected as Hispanic Engineer of the Year by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC).
    NASA LINK: Al Diaz

Other sites that outline NASA Hispanics’ Achievements

  1. Hispanic Astronauts
  2. Latina Women Of NASA (LWON)
  3. Hispanics@NASA LaRC – Achievements