$1.75 Million Grant to Support College Students With Scholarships, Internships and Mentors Through NASA Initiative

MUST Consortium Selected to Administer NASA's Motivating Undergraduates in

Science and Technology Program

Jul 28, 2006, 01:00 ET from Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

    WASHINGTON, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A consortium led by the Hispanic
 College Fund (HCF) with the support of the Society of Hispanic Professional
 Engineers (SHPE) and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs
 Corporation (UNCFSP) was awarded a $1.75 million grant to administer NASA's
 Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program (MUST) and
 award scholarships and internships to undergraduate students pursuing
 degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, more widely known as
 STEM fields.
     NASA's MUST Program is designed to attract and retain students in STEM
 disciplines by providing them a framework of support. The MUST Program
 scholarship application is available online at http://www.hispanicfund.org
 . The application deadline is August 19, 2006.
     By this fall, the MUST Program will support approximately 100
 undergraduate students with a one-year competitive scholarship of up to
 one-half of tuition not to exceed $10,000, and a paid internship relevant
 to their chosen field. Additionally, students will benefit year-round from
 tutoring, lecture series and STEM faculty, industry, and peer mentors. The
 scholarships and internships will be renewable for up to three years
 provided the students continue to meet the academic requirements.
     "NASA's Office of Education is excited about providing opportunities
 that inspire, engage, educate, and employ our nation's next generation of
 explorers and innovators. We look forward to this partnership between NASA
 and the consortium," said NASA's acting Assistant Administrator for
 Education John Hairston.
     The MUST Program is open to all students and is particularly focused on
 engaging students from underserved and underrepresented groups to enter
 STEM fields. Applicants must be rising college freshmen, sophomores or
 juniors, be U.S. citizens, have a minimum cumulated grade average of 3.0 on
 a 4.0 scale, and be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline
 as a full-time student.
     The MUST Consortium is a dynamic collaboration of three qualified and
 experienced not-for-profit organizations with applicable expertise to
 manage all facets of the MUST Program. The HCF, SHPE and UNCFSP each have
 an established track record of providing education and support services to
 Minority Institutions, faculty, and students.
     "We are proud to have shown how non-profits can work together and pool
 their experience and resources to serve our communities," said Idalia
 Fernandez, the Hispanic College Fund's Vice President & COO.
     "Our combined portfolio of expertise, cultural competence, outreach,
 recruitment and professional development is made much stronger by the great
 working relationship we have with the HCF and UNCFSP," said Diana Gomez,
 national president of SHPE.
     "Working together, we can leverage our unsurpassed network of Minority
 Institutions, administrators, faculty, and students to ensure high
 competitive participation from a broad spectrum of targeted
 underrepresented and underserved minorities," said Aaron R. Andrews,
 President and CEO of UNCFSP.
     More information and details about the MUST Program will be available
 on each of the Consortium member websites: http://www.hispanicfund.org ,
 http://www.shpe.org or http://www.uncfsp.org . For information about NASA's
 education programs, visit http://www.education.nasa.gov .
     About HCF
     The Hispanic College Fund (HCF) is a private non-profit organization
 dedicated to developing the next generation of Hispanic professionals in
 America. The HCF mission is to provide Hispanic students with the vision,
 resources and mentorship needed to attain successful careers and become
 community leaders. Since its founding in 1993, HCF has supported the
 education of over 3,000 financially disadvantaged Hispanic students seeking
 careers in business, science, engineering and technology with over $6
 million in grants. For more information about the Hispanic College Fund,
 please visit http://www.HispanicFund.org .
     About SHPE
     SHPE, Inc. is the source for quality Hispanic engineers and technical
 talent, committed to enhancing America's position in math, science,
 engineering and technology with a strong and talented Hispanic workforce.
 The largest Hispanic engineering organization, SHPE serves its strong
 independent network of 51 professional chapters and 191 student chapters
 with national leadership training programs, educational programs, and
 professional development initiatives that include national conferences and
 career fairs. SHPE's education programs and opportunities are funded by
 over 44 companies and government agencies such as the Department of
 Defense, the Department of Energy and NASA. In addition, SHPE has a
 partnership with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
 (AISES), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), National GEM
 Consortium (GEM), and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native
 Americans (SACNAS). For more information about SHPE, please visit
 http://www.shpe.org .
     About UNCFSP
     An independently-established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, UNCFSP
 has a broad mandate of serving domestic and international Minority
 Institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities
 (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and
 Universities (TCUs), and Other Minority Institutions (OMIs). UNCFSP
 currently manages eighteen capacity building, workforce development, and
 technical assistance programs, including a robust portfolio of STEM
 programs sponsored by NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department
 of Energy. UNCFSP possesses strong expertise in recruitment; application
 receipt, review, and selection; internship placements, monitoring and
 tracking, evaluation, and dissemination. For more information about UNCFSP,
 please visit http://www.uncfsp.org .

SOURCE Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers