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Chancellor Speaks at Caltech March 9

UC Riverside Chancellor France Córdova Speaks at Caltech March 9 in Presidential Lecture Series on Achieving Diversity

France Córdova Earned her Doctorate in Physics at Caltech in 1979

(February 25, 2005)

Chancellor CórdovaEnlarge

Chancellor Córdova

PASADENA, Calif. ( -- UC Riverside Chancellor France Córdova will speak at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 at the Beckman Institute Auditorium in Pasadena, as part of the California Institute of Technology Presidential Lecture Series on Achieving Diversity in Science, Math and Engineering.

The lecture series was established to bring to campus speakers who have had highly successful experiences in promoting women and underrepresented minorities in science and technology. It is free and open to the public. Free parking is available.

Chancellor Córdova assumed her current duties as the seventh chancellor of
UC Riverside in 2002. Prior to that, she was professor of physics and vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Barbara.

Chief scientist at NASA from 1993 to 1996, she served as the primary scientific advisor to the NASA administrator and the principal interface between NASA headquarters and the broader scientific community. Before coming to NASA, Córdova headed the department of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University and was deputy group leader of the Space Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multispectral research on X-ray and gamma-ray sources, and space-borne instrumentation. She has published nearly 140 scientific papers, is the winner of NASA's highest honor—the Distinguished Service Medal—and was recognized as a 2000 Kilby Laureate. Named for the internationally acclaimed inventor of the integrated circuit, Nobel Laureate Jack St. Clair Kilby, the honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention, and education.

The oldest of 12 children, Córdova attended high school in La Puente. She graduated cum laude from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in English and, as an undergraduate, conducted anthropology field work in a Zapotec Indian pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico. She earned a Ph.D. in physics from Caltech in 1979.

The Office of the President, the Office of Minority Student Education, Officers of the Faculty, the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, and the Women’s Center sponsor this lecture series.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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