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Hartnell College Scores High with NASA

February 16th, 2005

Three Hartnell College staff members were recognized recently by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for their work on a NASA grant that has significantly upgraded the college’s astronomy, physics and engineering programs.

A NASA panel awarded Hartnell a perfect score of 100 and called the project "an outstanding success."

Honored by NASA were Charlene Frontiera, math/science dean; Jesse Cude, physics instructor; and Andy Newton, planetarium director.

The federal agency cited the threesome’s outstanding work on a $300,000 grant that involved developing and updating Hartnell’s astronomy and physics curriculum, funding new laboratory equipment and transforming the college’s 42-year-old planetarium into a cutting-edge digital facility.

NASA also praised the team for involving community college students in scientific research areas traditionally reserved for four-year colleges and universities.

"For the level of funding received, our outcomes were just phenomenal" said project manager Andy Newton. "Through lots of hard work, excellent institutional support and strong partnerships with Konica Minolta and the Center for Adaptive Optics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, our project exceeded our original vision and is now a model for other institutions," Newton said.

The grant was made possible through NASA’s Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award (CIPA) Program, which is designed to help small undergraduate schools attract more underrepresented students to the sciences while exposing them to NASA related topics.

For more information, contact Newton at (831) 755-6803.