CSU Los Angeles -- October 22, 2003

Cal State L.A. Awarded Three-Year Grant from NASA for Space Science Education and Research

California State University, Los Angeles, was recently selected to receive a three-year grant totaling $795,000 to establish programs in space science education and research, in collaboration with Pasadena City College and University of Southern California, under NASA’s Minority University and College Education and Research Partnership Initiative (MUCERPI).

A goal of this program is to enhance 2- and 4-year college and university participation and collaboration in space science and engineering education and research programs. Its other aim is to increase the understanding of science, technology, and the role of research in contemporary society by a broad and diverse segment of the American population.

The CSULA MUCERPI program will be conducted mainly under technical support from Cal State L.A.’s Structures Pointing And Control Engineering (SPACE) Laboratory. The SPACE Lab has been sponsored by NASA since 1994, and since March, 2003, has been part of CSULA’s NASA-sponsored University Research Center (URC). The SPACE Lab focuses on the research that will be gathered by the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) that NASA will launch in 2011.

Charles Liu (South Pasadena resident), assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cal State L.A., is the principal investigator of this project. Liu will be responsible for integrating the programmatic educational and research components that will focus on the current scientific content and future direction of the NASA Space Science Enterprise. Helen Boussalis (Glendale resident), the SPACE Lab director and chair of electrical and computer engineering at Cal State L.A., serves as co-PI and senior mentor to the proposed program. Other co-PIs include CSULA faculty members Susan Terebey (La Canada resident), physics and astronomy, and Khosrow Rad (Alta Loma resident), electrical and computer engineering.

The MUCERPI program will enrich the research capability of the NASA-URC SPACE Laboratory in the area of space science, and the increased workforce from the MUCERPI program will benefit the SPACE Lab.

Liu explains, “The program will both expose participating students to areas of interest in space science and engineering, and inspire their future careers in space science-related research in the very early stage of their college education. Additionally, the collaboration of scientific and engineering research activities will aid in the development of curricula and educational tools for the MUCERPI program, as well as training of pre-college teachers participating in associated programs.”

CONTACT: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323) 343-3044

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