NASA Space Science Education

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  October 21, 2003

Margie Yu
Public Affairs Specialist 
(323) 343-3047



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

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

Los Angeles, CA –– 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.”

California State University, Los Angeles, is a comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 21,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. The CSU: A leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education.

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