“I learned some lessons in the hot and dusty fields of California: never quit on your dream. Never.”

Jose Hernández in an article for the Huffington Post, October 2011


Jose Hernández was raised in Stockton, California by a family of migrant workers from the Mexican state of Michoacan. He did not learn to speak English until he was 12 years old and took solace in his natural aptitude for the universal language of mathematics. 

Despite his humble beginnings, Hernández went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Pacific, and a Master's of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Between 1987-2001, he worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he, along with a colleague, developed the first full-field digital mammography system to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. In 2004, he was accepted in NASA’s space program and in 2009 he journeyed into space on the STS-128 mission. 

On Saturday, May 18th, 2013 Mr. Hernández will deliver the keynote speech at the School of Natural Sciences/School of Engineering commencement ceremony. To commemorate this event, the UC Merced Library is proud to present display in honor of Mr. Hernández’s achievements.

The display is located on the 4th floor of the UC Merced Library, just outside of the McFadden Willis Reading Room and will be available for viewing April 19-June 3, 2013.


For more information on Commencement 2013, visit http://commencement.ucmerced.edu