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SHPE-UH honored with National Chapter of the Year award
Stephen Greenwell
SHPE-UH leadership and officers.
SHPE-UH leadership and officers.

The University of Houston's wing of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers has earned a National Chapter of the Year for 2021-22 from the national leadership of the group.

According to award criteria, National Chapter awards are given for excellent performance overall. Awards are based on the Chapter Management Template (CMT) submission, chapter report evaluation, chapter’s self-nomination, and the strength of the chapter’s functions, activities and events in all the relevant categories. A minimum of 90 percent (27 of 30 total points) are required for award eligibility.

Only 14 chapters qualified for this designation in 2021-22. SHPE-UH has student and professional wings, and both received the designation.

Members of the 2021-22 executive board for SHPE-UH included Tahimy Landestoy, president; Natalia Rodriguez, vice president internal; Quang Vo, vice president external; Rolando Vera, treasurer; Roberto Martin, secretary; Jimena De Los Reyes, communications director; and Amaury Robles, new member representative.

For the 2022-23 executive board, Robles is now serving as president, and Vera is vice president external. Other members include Bridgette Salazar, vice presidental; Silvestre Solis, treasurer; Linda Fulcher, secretary; Jessica Avellaneda, communications director; and Josea Garza, new member representative.

To join SHPE-UH, or for more information about the group's events, visit their web page.

In the United States, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Thursday, Sept. 15 through Saturday, Oct. 15 for 2022. To recognize this, in addition to spotlighting the SHPE-UH's awards, we are also running the following five profiles of group members. These write-ups were provided by Robles, the organization's current president.

  • Linda Fulcher is a first generation college student majoring in Civil Engineering, graduating Spring 2023. Outside of her classes, she's working part time as a Civil Engineering Intern at Black & Veatch and is the current Secretary for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Her favorite place to study (and get coffee!) on campus is Cougar Grounds, and post graduation she plans to join Black & Veatch full time as a Structural Engineer!
  • Rolando Vera is a Mechanical Engineering senior here graduating in May 2023, and after being a part of SHPE for 2.5 years, he has grown fond of the organization. That’s why he is serving as the VP-External for SHPE UH. If you know Rolando, you know he loves sports and never declines the opportunity  to play soccer, basketball, football or volleyball. He tries to organize his time to see his sister and parents but also leave time for his classes. His passion in engineering will be taking him to the oil and gas industry next year as a Wells Engineer with BP.
  • Christian Reyes is a junior majoring in Civil Engineering graduating in the Spring of 2024. Being a first generation student, Christian finds navigating through college challenging yet thrilling. He comes from a Guatemalan and Mexican background, which lead him to enjoy working with students from multiple backgrounds. Outside of class, Christian holds a position as one of the MentorSHPE coordinators for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and works as an undergraduate teaching assistant for ENGI 1100. Although Christian enjoys all of his civil courses, he is very intrigued with structural engineering and is excited for what the future holds.
  • Samantha Tovias Leija is a first generation student from immigrant parents that is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and double minoring in Biology and Mathematics. She expects to graduate in Spring 2024. She’s an active member in organizations like SHPE, SWE and AIAA. She loves to volunteer at HMNS, help her community, build rockets, while being a woman in STEM. Samantha is a social chair for SHPE and values the chapter development of her committee. She loves to workout, crochet, knit, hike, travel and read. Samantha is a proud Hispanic woman in the STEM field that is empowering and participating in the Hispanic community through STEM advocacy , access, support and development.
  • Justo Amaury Robles Ruvalcaba is a Mechanical Engineering senior graduating in May 2023. He currently serves as the President of SHPE-UH and is a former Engineering Events Coordinator and New Member Representative during his involvement in SHPE, dating back to the Fall of 2020 when he transferred from Lone Star College and Texas A&M. While his college career started at Texas A&M and then Lone Star College, it was at the University of Houston and the SHPE-UH chapter where he found his 2nd Familia, felt empowered to be the best version of himself, and now wants to inspire and empower the next generation of Hispanics in STEM. He has experience as an intern in Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a Hardware Engineering intern and The Boeing Company as a Quality Engineering Intern. His interests are Medical Devices and the Aerospace industry, and in his free time Amaury loves playing guitar and watching Mixed Martial Arts.

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