A Hispanic group at IBM recently presented a check for $5,000 to the UA student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE.
Michael Hernandez, president of the IBM networking group HispaNet, handed the $5,000 check to SHPE student chapter president Mario Valdez, and to Ray Umashankar, assistant dean and director of the UA College of Engineering's Multicultural Engineering Programs.
The donation to the UA student chapter of SHPE was one of six awarded across the country to support the Partnering with IBM in Education programs. The funding will help the UA student chapter establish an adopt-a-school program focused on encouraging students to study hard and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The school selected by the UA student chapter of SHPE is Aztec Middle College, an extension of Santa Rita High School based at Pima Community College campuses throughout Tucson, Ariz. Alison Ammon is the Aztec Middle College program coordinator working with SHPE.
Valdez said the SHPE student chapter had three main goals for the IBM donation. The first is to extend the adoption program to Pueblo High School, which already has a SHPE junior chapter. Second, SHPE will use the donation to buy engineering materials that can be used to conduct workshops. Third, the gift will help support SHPE's major events already scheduled for this year: Science Day, Young Latina Forum, and Advancing Latinos in Education.
These events, and others organized by SHPE, will include Aztec Middle College participation. The IBM HispaNet team will support the SHPE chapter's program through mentoring, workshop presenters, panel sessions, and through SHPE Shadow Day, an on-site tour of the IBM facility in Tucson.
Hernandez said the HispaNet funding will enable the SHPE student chapter to put more focus on the adopt-a-school program and increase the quality of the programs that SHPE provides. IBM has supported SHPE since 1988.