Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



February/March 2013

Diversity/Careers February/March 2013

Hispanic engineers
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National Hispanic engineering organization names Sandia manager Engineer of the Year

Albuquerque, NM – Steve Castillo, manager of Sandia National Laboratories’ Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems Engineering & Decision Support group, received the 2012 Engineer of the Year award from the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC).

Castillo received the award at the organization’s annual conference in Orlando, FL in October. HENAAC was established in 1989 to honor the contributions of outstanding Hispanic American science, engineering, technology and math professionals.

“We are pleased that Steve is being recognized for his outstanding technical and professional achievements. He exemplifies the innovation and skills that have made Sandia a place that provides solutions to the nation’s most pressing challenges,” president and labs director Paul Hommert said.

Castillo joined Sandia in 2011 following a twenty-four year career in academia. Prior to joining Sandia, Castillo was executive vice president of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and a professor and dean at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces.

Castillo has a BS in electrical engineering from NMSU. After working at the AT&T Bell Lab facility in Denver, he earned a masters degree and doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana.

“I tell any young person that a career in STEM will give them the opportunity to be involved in the creation of wealth and a better standard of living for our society or even provide for the security of our country, and at the same time, pay them well enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle,” he said.

Castillo serves on the engineering, math and science board of directors of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation advisory group.

Chrysler Group continues its commitment to future Hispanic business leaders

Auburn Hills, MI – Chrysler Group LLC (www.chryslergroupllc.com) sponsored the National Society of Hispanic MBAs’ twenty-third annual conference and career expo last fall at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The event provided a unique opportunity for companies to identify, engage and recruit talented Hispanic business leaders of the future.

As part of the conference, Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico delivered a stirring keynote address challenging young Hispanic leaders to get educated and engaged in what he called a “Latino leadership renaissance.”

“To get ahead in an ever more competitive job market you need an education. You need smarts. And to succeed and flourish you need a whole lot of heart; a burning passion that will drive you to reach your goals day after day for the rest of your lives,” Diaz said. “As we stand on the threshold of the Latino leadership renaissance, this is our time to make our mark, to make a difference, to become leaders who set a positive example and inspire others to follow in our footsteps. We have the opportunity to change the world. That’s what leaders do.”

Diaz also discussed what Chrysler Group looks for in future business leaders who can help sustain the company’s success. He challenged the young leaders in the audience to remain true to their values.

“Companies like Chrysler Group are looking for leaders who are engaged in their communities and in causes that make a difference,” he said. “Use your leadership skills to inspire others to make the world a better place, and to shape a diverse and inclusive society that reflects our Latino values for family and community.”

Chrysler Group has long been a supporter of Hispanic scholarship and achievement. Earlier this year, Diaz announced an award of a $50,000 grant from the Ram Truck Brand and the Chrysler Foundation to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the nation’s largest provider of college financial aid for Latino students.

The relationship between the Chrysler Foundation and HSF began in 1986. Since that time, HSF has received twenty-six grants from the Foundation totaling more than $800,000.

NREL names new executive

Golden, CO – In December, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, www.nrel.gov) named Barbara Goodman associate laboratory director for renewable fuels and vehicle systems. She replaces Dale Gardner who retired at the end of 2012.

Goodman becomes part of NREL’s executive leadership team. Her new responsibilities include the laboratory’s transportation and fuels research and development programs. In addition, she will oversee the National Bioenergy Center and the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium.

“Barb is an exceptional asset for the laboratory. Her leadership has been a major force behind NREL’s ability to bring vehicle and fuel technologies to the marketplace,” director Dan Arvizu said. “She has made sure that we are addressing and solving the right problems to reduce our country’s dependence on imported petroleum.”

Goodman, who has a bachelors degree in chemical and petroleum refining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, has served as NREL’s director of transportation technologies and systems R&D since 1996. In that position she was responsible for NREL’s research in advanced vehicles and fuels: evaluating advanced battery technologies and power electronics; measuring emissions; reducing energy requirements associated with heating and cooling vehicles; evaluating effectiveness of advanced fuels in current and future engines; and evaluating air quality impacts.

In her twenty-eight-year career at NREL, Goodman has been a staff engineer and program manager for the ethanol, municipal solid waste, and alternative fuels programs. She also served as the operations manager for the Alternative Fuels Division. She oversaw the design of the Alternative Fuels User Facility, developed a new research effort in lactic acid, drafted a comprehensive plan on municipal solid waste, and established the Renewable Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory.

She was the co-editor for the Proceedings of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Symposia on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals; co-authored a book chapter on “Opportunities for Innovation in Biotechnology” published by the U.S. Department of Commerce; and has published numerous scientific papers on a variety of biotechnology and fuels topics. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Goodman is also a committed community volunteer, serving as president of the board of directors for Community Shares of Colorado. She’s also president of the Lakewood High School Foundation, which she helped establish.

KBR engineer inducted into Society of Women Engineers College of Fellows

Houston, TX – Marie P. Laplante, chief technology engineer at KBR, was inducted as a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Fellow during the society’s annual national conference in Houston, TX in fall 2012.

Fellow-grade membership recognizes SWE members for “continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession.” Fellows make up less than one percent of the society’s membership; Laplante is one of seven to be inducted in 2012. Her citation reads: “For versatile and dedicated leadership at all levels of SWE and for serving as a role model and champion of diversity.”

Laplante is currently the chief technology engineer for utilities in KBR’s project definition group in Houston, TX. She is responsible for managing global guidelines used in the design of utilities for major petrochemical plants, and for ensuring that KBR offices throughout the world follow sound engineering practices. She also provides engineering oversight to specific projects.

A graduate of University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Laplante has been practicing chemical engineering for twenty-five years and has been active in SWE since college. She has earned her Houston stationary engineer license, and Six Sigma green belt and GE project management certifications.

Laplante has also worked with thousands of young girls, encouraging them to pursue their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In addition to SWE, she is active in other organizations including the Global Institute for Technology and Engineering, FIRST Robotics, MentorNet, and the Education Foundation of Harris County. For her efforts, Laplante has been recognized as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer, a Houston Woman of Excellence and a UMass Outstanding Engineering Alumni. In 2012, she received the SWE Gulf Coast Distinguished Service Award.

The Society of Women Engineers, founded in 1950, is a nonprofit educational and service organization. For more information about SWE, please visit www.swe.org.

Seed fund supports recruiting more women in computing

Boulder, CO – The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT, www.ncwit.org) and Symantec have announced the winners of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund, which provides university student groups with awards of $750 each to implement initiatives that recruit, retain, and support women in computing and IT.

The recipients of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund awards are Ball State University for “Women Working in Technology;” Fort Valley State University for its Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter; Loyola University Maryland for the university chapter of the Society of Women Engineers; Michigan State University for Women in Computing; Ohio State University for its ACM Committee on Women (ACM-W) chapter; Santa Clara University for its ACM-W Student Chapter; and the University of Delaware’s “CISters@UD” initiative.

The seed fund, sponsored by Symantec, has so far distributed $25,500 in funding to forty-four student-run programs at universities and colleges nationwide. The supported programs have provided outreach, mentoring, peer support, training and professional development opportunities to more than 1,750 elementary middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

“Symantec recognizes diversity as a business advantage and values the contributions of technical women,” said Ellen McLatchey, director of global diversity. “We’re pleased to support these student-run initiatives, which not only recruit and retain women students in computing but strengthen the system for women of the future.”

Raytheon achieves eighth consecutive 100 percent score on Corporate Equality Index

Waltham, MA – Raytheon Company has achieved a perfect 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2013 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the eighth consecutive time.

The HRC, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, uses the CEI to rate large U.S. companies on how they treat their LGBT employees, consumers and investors.

Raytheon is one of 250 companies to receive a perfect rating in what the HRC calls a banner year for the equality index.

“Leveraging diversity of talent and thought is paramount to Raytheon’s inclusive culture, which we consider to be a competitive advantage,” said Raytheon’s chief diversity officer Hayward Bell.

In 2005, Raytheon was the first aerospace and defense company to receive a perfect score on the CEI. The company was also among the first in its industry to adopt a domestic partner benefits policy, which it did in January 2002.

Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and approximately 71,000 employees worldwide, provides electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. For more info, visit www.raytheon.com.

RIT/NTID teacher honored for advancing diversity in chemical sciences

Rochester, NY – Annemarie Ross, an assistant professor in the laboratory science technology program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), has been given the Stanley C. Israel Award for advancing diversity in the chemical sciences. The national award was given by the American Chemical Society during its northeast regional meeting in Rochester.

Named for the late ACS leader and dean of the College of Science at Texas State University, the award recognizes individuals and/or institutions that have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.

“When I first received notice that I had won the award, I was both happily surprised and honored. It was an honor just to be nominated,” Ross said. “I was especially touched by the inscription on the plaque I received: ‘For her exceptional and inspirational leadership as a mentor, teacher, colleague and diversity champion in the chemical enterprise and beyond.’ To be referred to as a ‘diversity champion’ comes with high expectations, and I plan to embrace that title by my continued commitment to flood the chemistry field with diverse and talented individuals.”

Ross received a bachelors in biochemistry from RIT in 2005, and a masters in professional studies with concentrations in chemistry and biotechnology from RIT in 2008. She worked at IBM, but decided to return to RIT/NTID in 2007 “to give back to the deaf community.”

A native of St. Clairsville, OH, Ross is a member of several ACS committees including the national Committee on Chemists with Disabilities, and is often sought out for her expertise in diversifying the chemistry field.

AT&T named corporation of the year by U.S. Hispanic Chamber

Dallas, TX – AT&T was recognized as 2012 Corporation of the Year at the thirty-third annual national convention of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). The convention was held in Los Angeles in September 2012.

“AT&T has made a visible commitment to incorporate a growing number of Hispanic-owned enterprises into its supplier networks,” said Javier Palomarez, USHCC president and CEO. “This kind of dedication is vital to the health of the Hispanic business community and will do a great deal to influence major corporations across the nation, and globally, to recognize the power of Hispanic business.”

“We’re honored by this recognition and accept it as a sign that we’re doing the right thing by weaving diversity and inclusion into everything we do at AT&T. That includes bringing diverse suppliers, such as Hispanic businesses, into our supply chain,” said Tim Harden, AT&T president of supply chain and fleet operations.

AT&T has been active in diversity for more than forty years. The company has received broad recognition for its four-legged approach to diversity and inclusion: workforce, supply chain, multicultural marketing, and community involvement.

People of color represent 39 percent of the AT&T workforce. Latinos represent 12 percent of the total workforce and 16 percent of all new hires.


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