The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is a non-profit organization at national level that provides support to Hispanic students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
In the specific case of Michigan, SHPE plays a very important role by empowering the local Hispanic community in STEM areas, and helping Hispanic students realize their full potential. Among others, in 2013, SHPE-Detroit aims to provide support to the Cesar Chavez Academy , and to help other high schools start their “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” programs –known as FIRST programs.
A general meeting was held at the Detroit Institute of Arts on October 17, 2012, addressing The Importance and Influence of Latinos in Today’s Society, Government, and Corporate America.
In Michigan, there are several learning institutions housing SHPE chapters. The Center of Diversity and Inclusion of Michigan Technological University, the U of M Student Chapter, Marquette University, Kettering University, and the Michigan State University College of Engineering are some examples of institutions that provide support and mentoring to Hispanic students under SHPE. And the numbers are growing. As an example, the U of M SHPE Chapter has doubled in size between 2010 and 2012, and now aims to triple its membership by the end of 2013.
SHPE is always in the lookout for mentors, tutors, and role models who will assist Hispanic students with their STEM projects. According to U of M, the Five Pillars of SHPE are Academic Excellent, Professional Development, Lead3ersip, Chapter Development, and Outreach and Service, and Michigan State University’s Statement of Values for its SHPE Chapter states: “We are brought together by heritage, social responsibility and desire to improve the equality of all people through the use of science and technology”.
Hispanic students account for almost 8% of all college graduates around the US. Consequently, President Obama decided to also help distinguished STEM students by donating to create the Obama Scholars Program $125,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for students specializing in STEM fields. This money is part of the $1.4 million President Obama received for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, and which the President decided to donate and divide among 10 charities around the US.
SHPE-Detroit is growing, and recently inaugurated its Professional Chapter in March 2012 with over 30 members from different professional backgrounds -- representing some of the Fortune 500 companies in Michigan.
Originally established in 1974 in California, SHPE has today over 1,500 professional members, 6,000 student members, and 36 professional chapters around the US. In the case of Michigan, SHPE-Detroit Chapter is doing so well, that Detroit was recently selected to be the site of the SHPE National Conference in 2014.