Keeping SHPE in Top Shape
In honor of Latine Heritage Month, We Talk to Members of the Group’s Leadership Team
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded on the West Coast in the mid-1970s by a group of engineers dedicated to serving as role models in the Hispanic community. Members of NYU Tandon’s active student chapter aim to exceed academically, develop professionally, perform community outreach, and more. With a busy lineup of activities, including conferences, networking events, and resume workshops, it takes a full roster of leaders to keep the group running smoothly. Read on to learn about just a few of them...
Name: Abigail Bonilla
Major: Civil Engineering with a focus on Construction Management
Future Goals: My goals evolve as I attend various conferences and workshops but the one thing I’m sure of is that I’d like to try working on the West Coast for at least a while, maybe for a tech company. I visited recently for a professional development event and really enjoyed it there.
SHPE title and duties: As External Vice President I’m responsible for collaborating with other chapters throughout the region, with the national leadership, and industry partners.
When and why did you join?: I was part of an outreach program all the way back in my first year of high school. I took part in several engineering challenges and even tried to start a SHPE chapter at my high school. When I wasn’t successful, I ended up joining the New York City chapter, and members there became like my brothers. Many of them had gone to what was then known as Poly, in fact, and that’s one of the reasons I applied here. I knew as soon as I got accepted that I’d join the NYU student chapter. As it turned out, everyone already knew of me because my New York City chapter connections had told them to keep an eye out for me and that I was going to do big things at NYU Tandon.
The best part of being involved: Most of us come from similar backgrounds, and there’s a comfort in that.
We call it familia — when you just know other people grew up eating the same types of food as you and that their mothers also blasted salsa music first thing in the morning."
Name: Dominique Herreros
Major: Business and Technology Management
Future Goals: I initially plan to work in product management for an innovative company, and I envision one day leveraging my interest in entrepreneurship to launch my own venture.
SHPE title and duties: As treasurer, I oversee the budget and finances of the chapter, making sure our funds are used optimally, in order to further the goals of engaging and empowering our members.
When and why did you join?: As soon as I entered Tandon, I became a member, and during my second year I was named chair of SHPE Junior, which is aimed at encouraging local high school students from underrepresented groups to explore STEM. Working in that capacity allowed me to mentor younger people while at the same time being mentored by more experienced SHPE members.
The best part of being involved: Like everyone involved in SHPE, I have found a second home here, and I consider my fellow members to be like family, or, as we say, familia. That strong support makes it comfortable to extend yourself academically and professionally in ways that might feel daunting otherwise.
We are one another’s biggest cheerleaders."
Major: Computer Science with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship
Future Goals: I plan on getting into the startup field and eventually launching my own company. I’m also passionate about STEM education, so combining those two seems ideal. Whichever career path I pursue, I ultimately want to be giving back to my community.
SHPE title and duties: As President, I oversee everything. It’s a lot of delegating tasks and making sure they’re being completed. I try to bring out the best in everyone so that we succeed as a team.
When and why did you join?: My first encounter with SHPE was during the summer before freshman year. They had a table at a club fair and instantly caught my attention. From that day, I knew that I wanted to get involved. I came on board as Freshman Ambassador and learned the ins and outs of being part of the executive board. I have stuck around ever since, taking on more responsibility every year.
The best part of being involved: SHPE is pretty much my home away from home. We are a very tight-knit community and pride ourselves in being a familia. It feels welcoming to be around others who I can relate to that share similar struggles and aspirations.
Being at a rigorous engineering school, it is super helpful to have this community where we support each other, both academically and personally."
Name: Adriana Pink
Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Future Goals: I plan to work in the consumer-product industry, doing research and development. I’ll remain active in a professional chapter of SHPE, no matter what career path I follow.
SHPE title and duties: As Internal Vice President I’m responsible for coordinating chapter activities and programs, liaising with the leadership of other NYU clubs, and performing other functions of the executive board.
When and why did you join?: I came on board as a Freshman Ambassador, which means that I was taken under the wing of an older member of the executive board, saw the inner workings of the chapter, and participated in many activities. That experience developed my leadership skills and showed me immediately that I wanted to get more involved.
The best part of being involved: Anyone you speak to will probably bring up the concept of finding their familia here. While the networking and professional development are very valuable, the feelings of warmth, safety, and welcome are just as important.
Belonging to SHPE is like having a home away from home."