San Bernardino Valley College welcomes first Latino astronaut for Hispanic Heritage Month celebration

San Bernardino, Calif., Oct. 3, 2023) — As part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) is hosting Hasta La Raiz: Rooted in Excellence featuring guest speaker José Hernández, the first Latino astronaut, on October 12 on the college campus.

This event is open to the public. Those who attend can engage with Hernández during a discussion and gain insights into space exploration, engineering and perseverance.

Hernandez’s space exploration journey began in 2001 as a materials research engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He was selected by NASA in 2004 to become an astronaut, setting him up for the significant milestone of serving as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle’s STS-128 mission in 2009.

Throughout his career, he was recognized for his many achievements, including receiving the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists’ 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award for his professional and community contributions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of the Pacific and a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Santa Barbara. 

Hernández’s accomplishments continue beyond his time with NASA. After leaving the agency, he served as the Executive Director of Strategic Operations at MEI Technologies in Texas and ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. Currently, as the CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering, LLC, he continues to contribute to the fields of engineering and space exploration.

Event details:

What: Hasta La Raiz: Rooted in Excellence

When: Thursday, October 12, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: SBVC Campus, SBVC Auditorium

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