Ellen Ochoa | Aerospace & Aviation | Working for California | Alumni | CSU
CSU Alumni

Aerospace & Aviation

Ellen Ochoa
Ellen Ochoa
Director, NASA Johnson Space Center
San Diego State University
B.S. Physics (1980)
  • NASA astronaut. First U.S. Hispanic woman to go into space. Veteran of four American space flights with 978 hours in space.
  • Retired from spacecraft operations and currently director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. Recognized with several NASA awards, including Exceptional Service Medal in 1997 and Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1995.
  • Earned Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford. Took flying lessons and earned private pilot's license. Noted as a creative technical leader.
  • Pioneer of spacecraft technology. Inventor and coauthor of three patents for optical analysis systems.
  • Recipient of many industry awards, including 2008 Engineer of the Year Award; 1994 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Engineering Achievement Award; 1990 National Hispanic Quincentennial Commission Pride Award; Hispanic magazine's 1991 Hispanic Achievement Science Award; 1993 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Medallion of Excellence Role Model Award; and the first woman to receive the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award.
  • Effective ambassador for NASA, delivering more than 300 speeches to various national and student groups. Promotes science careers during visits at youth centers and schools. Two schools bear her name: Ellen Ochoa Middle School in Pasco, WA, and the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center School in Cudahy, CA.

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Photo credit: NASA Johnson Space Center

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