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JoAnn H. Morgan at Kennedy Space Center
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Alumnus Honored with Scholarship by NASA Trailblazer

As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, the College of Engineering recognizes the legacy of one of its loyal donors, JoAnn H. Morgan, the first female engineer at the Kennedy Space Center, whose endowed scholarship honors her colleague Hugo M. Delgado Jr., BSEE ’83, for being an ally to women in the workforce.

During the historic lift-off, Morgan was the first and, at the time, only female system engineer in the control room at the launch of Apollo 11. As a 28-year old instrumentation controller, she was responsible for the guidance computers at the Central Instrumentation Facility. She went on to spend 40 years at the agency, where she served as director of the External Relations and Business Development Directorate. She developed a friendship with Delgado, who was born in Cuba and came to the United States in 1964. As a graduate of the University of Miami, Hugo had many NASA accomplishments, from his co-op assignment in the College of Engineering Shuttle Program to his various leadership positions at the Kennedy Space Center, including serving as chief of the Electrical Division of the Engineering Directorate. Delgado passed away in 2009 and is survived by his wife, Judith, and son, Kevin.

In 2013, JoAnn established the Hugo M. Delgado, Jr. Women in Engineering Endowed Scholarship to assist Florida women residents pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at the University of Miami College of Engineering. Hugo was regarded by JoAnn and others as a major proponent of hiring and supporting women engineers at NASA, in addition to being a trailblazer himself as the first Hispanic branch chief at Kennedy Space Center.

Helena Solo-Gabriele, associate dean of research for the College, reflected on Morgan’s generosity and Delgado’s legacy, saying, “It was an inspiring story that caused me to reflect on the people who helped me get to where I am today, including the men in my life.”

Support the next generation of women engineers at the University of Miami by making a gift to the Hugo M. Delgado Women in Engineering Endowed Scholarship here.

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