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Building Professional Communities - Initiating Junior Chapters of MAES & SHPE to Increase STEM Awareness and Professional Practice

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade - Experiences Designing Courses and Communities

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Aileen Tapia University of Texas, El Paso

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Aileen Tapia is an industrial engineering junior at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she gadly serves as the Region 5 Student Representative and previously served as secretary and president of the 150-member student chapter. She also helped establish a SHPE Jr. chapter at her high school alma mater. As a research assistant, she explored different techniques to effectively deliver Project Based Learning (PBL) techniques to assist in Engineering Education. By creating a supportive STEM network, Tapia hopes to empower Hispanics to become the STEM innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

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Jose Martinez University of Texas, El Paso


Peter Golding P.E. University of Texas, El Paso

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Professor in the Department of Engineering and Leadership at UTEP.

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In this “Tricks of the Trade” contribution we describe our engineering education outreach efforts into the high schools in our regions since 2009. We will share the rational, process and impact of establishing and developing Junior Chapters of the Professional Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists (MAES) – also known as Latinos in Science and Engineering – and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at high schools in the greater [Blind Removed] region. The Junior Chapters enable the [Blind Removed] MAES/SHPE Student Chapter to reach out as peer mentors to increase STEM awareness in our Hispanic community. In 2013 we expanded from one Junior Chapter to six established chapters. Now, in 2015, there are Junior Chapters associated with seven high school campuses in our region, which encompasses three school districts. The value of establishing Junior Chapters is that it supports high school students interested in advancing to STEM degrees at institutions of higher education, and it provides a near peer mentor experience that can assist the Junior Chapter members as they proceed through the process of seeking and commencing university studies. We are working to help students advance what we call the SHPE driving pillars, which are: (1) academic development, (2) professional development, (3) outreach/community service, (4) leadership development, and (5) chapter development. The [Blind Removed] MAES/SHPE Student Chapter welcomes Junior Chapters with student membership from all ethnicities for the purpose of increasing the number of Latino youth that enter and complete Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers. The [Blind Removed] MAES/SHPE Student Chapter is committed to high-standards of professionalism and academic achievement in engineering and science. Our [Blind Removed] MAES/SHPE Student Chapter changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development. We envision a world where Hispanics are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The Junior Chapters provide added value through being powerful simultaneously beyond-the-classroom experiential learning of leadership and resilience, as well as personal and team/community growth for [Blind Removed] MAES/SHPE Student Chapter members and high school Junior Chapter members. The Junior Chapter Alumni members have been seen to continue their MAES/SHPE engagement as they move smoothly and better prepared onto university, and then become office bearers in their respective college student chapter, where they continue to change more lives, enabling a process of continuous personal and community growth. The process of establishing, operating and growing the Junior Chapters is student driven, owned and sustained effort.

Tapia, A., & Martinez, J., & Golding, P. (2016, June), Building Professional Communities - Initiating Junior Chapters of MAES & SHPE to Increase STEM Awareness and Professional Practice Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26413

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