UT’s student chapter of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) earned regional recognition with the organization’s Rising Chapter award for 2020–21.
“We received this award because we were recognized for the many programs the chapter started, and increasing membership,” said Ariadna Garcia Valdes, previous SHPE president and 2021 mechanical engineering graduate. “Our SHPE chapter establishes and conducts programs based on our five pillars: leadership development, academic development, chapter development, community outreach, and professional development.”
SHPE programs that support these pillars include “Study with SHPE,” in which junior and senior students and tutors help with first year classes. At other times, company representatives often come to the group’s meetings to discuss personal deployment and various company values. SHPE also participates in “Evening with Industries” along with other UT engineering societies.
“Our chapter is one of the smallest of our region,” said Garcia Valdes. “We are a part of Region 5, which includes Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The majority of the chapters are in Texas and the UT chapter is the only active student chapter in Tennessee. With that, the UT chapter stood out against the other chapters for this award.”
The entire 2020-2021 SHPE executive board was involved in receiving this award. The board works together to create and run new programs such as “mentorSHPE,” in which junior and senior students are paired with first-year and sophomore students as mentor/mentees.
“This made our chapter stand out in the region due to how the board planned and execute the new program launch to be successful based on participation,” said Garcia Valdes. “The entire SHPE team felt highly valued and recognized when we won the award. We are one of the smallest engineering societies at UT, but we put so much hard work into our organization and we are happy that other people are recognizing it as well.”