ceremony for grads on June 8
Morales, a Mission College graduate and astrophysics researcher
with the Spitzer Space Telescope project, will be the
featured speaker on June 8 when Los Angeles Mission College
awards diplomas to nearly 350 degree candidates.
Morales graduated magna cum laude from Mission College in
1999 with an Associates Degree in liberal arts, emphasis
in math. She continued her studies at UCLA, where last year
she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in astrophysics.
She is currently enrolled in the Masters program in
physics at California State University, Northridge.
Morales balances her studies with a busy schedule as a researcher
with the Spitzer Space Telescope project at the Jet Propulsion
Lab in Pasadena. The high-tech infrared eyes of this extraordinary
telescope in space observe galaxies, infant stars and newly
forming planetary systems that have escaped the view of other
observatories. Morales has been a researcher on various space
projects at JPL since 2000.
A mother of two young children and wife of a Sylmar businessman,
Morales is proud of the fact that she has achieved all of
her educational and professional goals as a working mom. A
typical day finds Morales preparing her young son and daughter
for school, driving to CSUN for classes, trekking to JPL for
work and meetings, and returning home to attend to family.
She also helps her husband run a small business.
"Mission College was the beginning of an exciting time
in my life, academically and professionally," said Morales.
"I look forward to encouraging the graduates to always
keep moving ahead."
Morales will speak to a class that will include 348 degree
candidates, 71 percent of them women. The ages of the graduates
range from 17 to 71, with the greatest number 61 percent
falling into the 21-30-year-old age bracket. Cindy
Schauer, a child development major, is the class valedictorian.
This years salutatorian is Iva Kremsa, who has earned
her degree in interior design.
Commencement will begin at 5 p.m. on the campus Quad.
BY EDUARDO PARDO / Photo: