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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Former NASA astronaut named as LBJ Distinguished Lecturer


Jose Hernandez, the 2018 LBJ Distinguished Lecturer, will come to campus Sept. 25 as a part of the Common Experience program for 2018.


Photo courtesy of Texas State
Jose Hernandez, the 2018 LBJ Distinguished Lecturer, will come to campus Sept. 25 as a part of the Common Experience program for 2018. Photo courtesy of Texas State

Former NASA Astronaut José Hernández was named as the 2018 LBJ Distinguished Lecturer, following in the vein of this year’s Common Experience theme, Innovation.
As this year’s lecturer, Hernández will speak about innovation Sept. 25 in Evans Auditorium at 7 p.m. Hernández received his bachelors of science at the University of the Pacific and his masters of science in engineering at University of California at Santa Barbara.
He’s developed some of the technology for full-spectrum mammograms that detect breast cancer. From there, he applied to NASA 11 times before getting the job. He became the first person to tweet from space in both English and Spanish. Nowadays, Hernández runs his own company, Tierra Luna Engineering.
“I feel as though it is a great honor to have been chosen,” Hernández said. “I look at it as an opportunity to spread the message that anything is possible with hard work and a good education, including reaching for the stars.”
Assistant Director of Common Experience Erika Nielson said Hernández’s participation in Upward Bound, a federally funded outreach program put into place by President and Texas State alumnus Lyndon B. Johnson for low-income students, helped put him on his innovative path.
“LBJ is a distinguished alumnus and he was the one who signed in the higher education act which is also the umbrella for programs, such as Upward Bound,” Nielson said. “So basically, in a way, if it wasn’t for Johnson signing these, then there wouldn’t have been a program for Hernandez to go through and he might not be who he is today.”
Hernández said he hopes to leave the audience with the same piece of wisdom his father left him.
“I think I want to leave them with a sense of feeling empowered and that anything is possible,” Hernández said. “I want to give them the license to dream big, but I will also give them the license into reality. It’s a simple recipe that my father gave to me and I can’t wait to share it with the folks around me.”
Common Experience Director Twister Marquiss said ratifications have been made to this year’s lecture to allow as many students and faculty to attend.
“What we will be doing from now on is online ticketing,” Marquiss said. “Once we reach the end of online ticketing, if students still want to go they can either get a standby ticket or they can go to the standby line at the beginning of the event. If someone doesn’t use their ticket that means someone else gets a seat.”
For more information on José Hernández and the Common Experience visit the LBJ Distinguished Lecturer page on the Common Experience website.

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