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Tribute To France A. Cordova, Chancellor Of The University Of California, Riverside

Rep. Ken Calvert

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Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to an individual whose dedication and contributions to the community of Riverside, California, are exceptional. Riverside has been fortunate to have dynamic and dedicated community leaders who willingly and unselfishly give their time and talent and make their communities a better place to live and work. Chancellor France Cordova is one of these individuals. On Wednesday, June 27, 2007, Chancellor Cordova will be honored at a farewell dinner in her honor.

Chancellor Cordova began her dynamic career conducting anthropological field work in a Zapotec Indian pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico, after graduating cum laude from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in English. She went on to obtain her Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology. For 10 years, Cordova worked as a staff member of the Space Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 1989, Cordova moved across the U.S. to serve as department head of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. In 1993, Cordova accepted a position as the Chief Scientist at NASA which she held until 1996. In this role, she served as the primary scientific advisor to the NASA Administrator and the principal interface between NASA headquarters and the broader scientific community.

In 1996, Cordova returned to her home state of California to serve as professor of physics and vice-chancellor for research at UC Santa Barbara. In 2002, Chancellor Cordova accepted the position of chancellor at the University of California, Riverside and the university has undergone dramatic changes under her leadership. The campus itself has been augmented and improved with the addition of new state-of-the-art buildings and parking for students. Academically, Chancellor Cordova has worked towards bringing a school of medicine to UCR which is expected to become a reality in the near future.

Chancellor Cordova's tireless passion for education has contributed immensely to the betterment of the University of California, Riverside. Many students, community leaders and residents are thankful for her service and leadership. I am proud to call Chancellor Cordova a fellow community member, American and friend. I know that many are grateful for her service and salute her as she moves to Indiana to lead Purdue University as their new chancellor.