France A. C�rdova, former chief scientist at NASA and current president of Purdue University, will present this year’s Neil S. Bucklew lecture on higher education at West Virginia University.

The lecture, “Boilermakers and Mountaineers Look Ahead: Forging the Future,” will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 1:30 p.m. in The Erickson Alumni Center. C�rdova will also meet with various campus leaders, including promoters of women in higher education, during her time at WVU.

The oldest of 12 children, C�rdova is an accomplished astrophysicist who served as primary scientific adviser to the NASA administration from 1993 to 1996. Her research has primarily been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on X-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation. She co-led the telescope experiment that is currently flying on the satellite XMM-Newton, a mission of the European Space Agency. NASA has awarded her the agency’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.

She has been recognized as a 2000 Kilby Laureate for her contributions to science, technology, innovation, invention and education. She has been named one of “America’s 100 Brightest Scientists Under 40” by “Science Digest” magazine and was named one of the “101 Top Influential Leaders in Hispanic U.S.” by “Latino Leaders” magazine.

She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and is a national associate of the National Academies. She is currently serving a presidential appointment to the National Science Board and was elected chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. She serves on several other boards and associations.

Before serving as Purdue’s 11th president, C�rdova was chancellor and distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Riverside where she led the university to launch a medical school and community-university art museum complex. In her time as chancellor there, UC Riverside became a national model for promoting the academic success of underrepresented students.

C�rdova has a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and earned her Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

The Neil S. Bucklew Lecture Series in Higher Education Administration was endowed by Tom and Jean Clark in 1998, and has featured speakers such as University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg; former president of Major League Baseball’s American League and former WVU president Gene Budig; and Dr. Steven Beering, president emeritus of Purdue University.

Dr. Bucklew served as WVU president from 1986-1995. He is now a faculty member in WVU’s College of Business and Economics.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.