The MUST Report (December 2014)
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Happy Holidays!

As the end of the semester arrives, we want to take a moment to wish you a wonderful holiday season.
The HSFI Team
>>>CLICK HERE<<< The MUST Report is always looking for stories and professional opportunities to share with MUST scholars and alumni. If you would like to contribute, please email us. Suggestions and comments are also welcomed.

In We Need Space, Aida Yoguely Cortes Peña invited her college community of Georgia Tech students to share their vision on How Space, Science, and Technology will Benefit Humanity. With over 30 phenomenal responses, she produced this video as part of Humans in Space Art Challenge by NASA's International Space Station Program.  You can support Aida by clicking the like button, joining the global conversation and sharing the video with the hashtag #WeNeedSpace. To watch the video, click here.

MUST Project Updates

Travel Awards

The NASA MUST Project offers conference travel awards to MUST Scholars who wish to participate in STEM related conferences. A committee comprised of members from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute and NASA will collectively review applications and grant awards based on the selection criteria detailed in the application. The Travel Award is to be used for conference registration fees, travel costs, lodging, meals and/or presentation materials. Scholars can apply for more than one conference, but priority is given to those who have not previously received a travel award. Click here to download the application.


The MUST Project also offers financial assistance to current MUST scholars who wish to receive tutoring. Scholars are eligible to receive up to $500 per semester. Tutoring compensation is fixed at $10/hour for tutors who do not hold bachelor’s degrees, $20/hour for tutors who hold bachelor’s degrees in the subject(s) being studied, and $30/hour for tutors who hold master’s or PhDs in the subject(s) being studied.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To download the application, click here.

Did you miss the Orion launch last week? Not to worry, click here to check out the NASA Orion album on Flickr. To learn more about this mission, click here.

Good Reads

How NOT to Introduce Yourself
An article from

Do you introduce yourself properly? Or do you blurb out the first thing that comes out of your mind? Did you know that most people begin forming an opinion of you within 3 seconds of the conversation?  Get your professional relationship to a good start and avoid making these common mistakes. To read more click here.

MUST Alumni Spotlight:

Mario Rubio
Purdue University
Mechanical Engineering

Mario Rubio received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso and is currently finishing his master’s degree in Engineering at Purdue University. His thesis is on the ignition behavior and reaction dynamics of aluminum and fluorocarbon mixtures for propellants applications.  

Mario was a non-traditional student when he became part of the MUST program. He worked full-time in the service industry while going to school to cover living expenses and meet other family obligations. He was grateful that the MUST program was able to help him financially and allowed him to focus most of his time in school and getting a head start on his Engineering career. “The MUST scholarship plus the internship stipend allowed me to work less in the restaurant during the academic year and focus more on my class work.”  By working fewer hours, Mario was able to become more involved with student organizations on campus, which allowed him to develop his written and verbal communication skills, obtain a position as an undergraduate researcher and network with other students, professionals and mentors. He was able to serve as a mentor and student panelist at the High School Aerospace scholars at JSC, the Los Angeles Hispanic Youth Institute Hispanic Heroes (JPL), and the Latino Magazine’s National Leadership Conference on Education. He was also selected as a NASA Student Ambassador. For Mario, these experiences gave him the confidence and skills to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Upon completing his graduate degree, Mario will join the Delphi Corporation as a manufacturing engineer for their thermal systems-compressors area in their manufacturing site in El Paso, Texas. He plans to work in Texas for a few years and then move to one of Delphi’s global facilities to obtain more manufacturing experience or work in a research related position. 

Professional Development Opportunities

2015 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Deadline: December 19, 2014

NASA is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near-space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard the High-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility's remote site in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium. The Science Missions Directorate Astrophysics division manages the NASA scientific balloon program; Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia oversees Balloon Flight Operations. For application information and technical details about the program, click here.

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platform opportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik at

2015-2016 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program
Deadline: February 2, 2015

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program (NESSF) is soliciting applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, for the 2015-2016 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for the NESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate's four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics.

Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for up to two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflected in academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the faculty advisor) and the availability of funds. The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $30,000 per year. For more information about this solicitation, click here.

Questions about Earth Science Research NESSF opportunities should be directed to Claire Macaulay at

Questions about Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research and Astrophysics Research opportunities should be directed to Dolores Holland at

2020 Electric General Aviation NASA Aeronautics Design Challenge
Deadline (letters of intent): January 16, 2015
Deadline (final entries): May 8, 2015

Electric-powered aircraft have the potential to revolutionize the way we travel. NASA invites college teams to take part in the 2015 NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's 2020 Electric General Aviation Design Challenge. Student teams are invited to design an electric (i.e., no combustion) general aviation aircraft that meets performance requirements and is operational by 2020.

The contest is open to teams of full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions of the United States or its territories.  Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. For more information and a complete list of rules, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute, All rights reserved.

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