Hispanic students from across the Intermountain West gathered at the Utah State University campus over the weekend to learn about how to get a career in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
These students are all members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE, a group that works to get students involved in STEM.
“We’re trying to build a STEM-talent pipeline that extends all the way from junior high, high school, college and moving on to the professional careers,” said SHPE Regional Vice President Oscar Marquina.
He said by the time SHPE students are in college, they’re already set on a career in STEM. At this point, his job is to connect them with potential future employers such as Logan’s Space Dynamics Laboratory and larger companies such as Chevron and Rio Tinto.
These companies and other groups, including the military, set up recruiting booths as part of this weekend’s regional conference. One hundred thirty students from as far away as Kansas and New Mexico took part in team building and problem solving activities, as well leadership and professional development workshops.
USU Freshman and mechanical engineering major Adrian Meza was one of 30 USU students who took part in the weekend’s activities.
“It’s definitely something that has made me even more interested than I already was, and it’s opened up some great opportunities, it’s been great,” Meza said.
The regional conference is held in different parts of the West each year, but Marquina said the community’s interest and support in this year’s meeting may lead the organization to hold the conference in Logan again next year.