NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Six university and college research projects sponsored by NASA's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs are being announced at an orientation meeting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory today.

"The purpose of these awards is to strengthen research in Hispanic-serving universities across the U. S.," said NASA Program Manager Millie Mateu. The program is one of many in NASA's minority and educational outreach, she said.

The research awards were initiated in May 1994; this meeting brings representatives of all six institutions together with their sponsors for the first time.

The six institutions are California State University, Los Angeles; City College of New York; Florida International University; University of Puerto Rico; University of Texas, San Antonio; and New Mexico Highlands University. The grants provide each university a total of $3.8 million over a five-year period. A NASA field center is associated with each university to monitor the program.

The research projects, described in preliminary reports at the meeting, range from Cal State's central control of a large segmented structure, such as an antenna dish or space station element, to University of Puerto Rico's study of the global effects of tropical land management.

"We are proud to be working with Cal State L.A. on their segmented-structure project," said Alfred Paiz of JPL's Minority Science and Engineering Initiatives Office. "There's potentially a lot of good engineering research as well as good graduate training in it."

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