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Small Chapter, Big Win

Pitt’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Wins Outstanding Small Chapter Award at Largest Hispanic STEM Conference in the Nation

KANSAS CITY, MO. (January 22, 2018) … The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) chose the University of Pittsburgh chapter as the National Outstanding Small Chapter of the Year for its efforts promoting diversity among students, advancing members academically and professionally, and encouraging students to engage with Hispanic culture.

“It’s great to get national attention for all the hard work the students have put into this amazing resource for—not only Hispanic students—but the University community as a whole,” said Simeon Saunders, academic counselor at Pitt and chapter advisor. “The chapter is a small, inspired group. They continue to impress us here at Pitt and those at the SHPE national conference.”

The SHPE determines the award recipient based on an annual assessment of the chapter’s activities called the National Reporting Program (NRP). The report summarizes the chapter’s progress and highlights in the categories of:

  • Professional Development
  • Academic Development
  • Leadership Development
  • Chapter Development
  • Outreach and Community Service

“A major contributor for this award was the strength of Pitt SHPE’s events, which included the annual Dia de le Raza, Noche de Ciencias, and Chocolate Night,” added Saunders.

Throughout the year, Pitt SHPE hosts speakers to encourage professional development for students, study groups to improve grades, and outreach programs to help the Pittsburgh community. They also offer a variety of events to get University of Pittsburgh students interested in Hispanic culture.

Current Pitt SHPE officers include:

  • President: Alexander Mangus
  • External Vice President: Joanna Rivero 
  • Internal Vice President: Edward Ledesma
  • Treasurer: Daniel Quiroga
  • Secretary: Charles Butler III
  • Outreach Chair: Mateus Pinho
  • Social Chair: Olivia Lazarchick
  • Academic Excellence Chair: Kaitlin Resendes
  • Freshman Chairs: Valeria Tupac Yupanqui and Alexandra Zaharan
  • Graduate Ambassador: Jorge Torres
  • Faculty Advisors: Simeon Saunders and Dr. Irene Mena

SHPE granted the award on November 4, 2017.

About SHPE
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers comprises a national network of more than 300 chapters. SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. SHPE provides a variety of programming, services, and resources including hosting the largest Hispanic STEM conference in the nation.

The SHPE University of Pittsburgh Student Chapter was established in 2001 by Dr. Sylvanus N. Wosu, Assistant Dean for Diversity. This group of dedicated undergraduate and graduate students works hard to promote diversity at Pitt, Hispanic culture, and the STEM fields.


Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Contact: Paul Kovach