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.

Connect with other San Diego State University alumni »

Photo credit: NASA Johnson Space Center

Notable CSU Graduates in Aerospace & Aviation
Yvonne Cagle
Yvonne
Cagle
Tracy Caldwell
Tracy
Caldwell
Gregory Chamitoff
Gregory
Chamitoff
Adriana Ocampo Uria
Adriana
Ocampo Uria
Ellen Ochoa
Ellen
Ochoa
Burt Rutan
Burt
Rutan
Frederick (Rick) Sturckow
Frederick (Rick)
Sturckow