On April 7th Silicon Valley Latino held a very special Inspire Higher Panel featuring members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Silicon Valley (SHPE-SV) The Panel consisted of Roxana Ruvalcaba, Operations Finance at Intel Corporation, Mario Rincon, Senior Software Engineer formerly at Linkedin, Consuelo Cervantes, Senior Human Resources Manager with Intel Corporation and Lemuel Lebron a Silicon Architecture Engineer at Intel Corporation. The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. The concept of Networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation. SHPE has been a long-time friend of Silicon Valley Latino with many shared members. We are certainly thrilled to be collaborating with this stellar organization. These professionals took time out of their busy schedule to spend time with students and community leaders at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. A special shout out to Adriana Fuentes President of SHPE-SV for helping coordinate this special event. The panel shared their incredible stories of achievement and perseverance to a very captive audience. We are proud to share their stories here… Originally from LA, Roxana Ruvacalba went to UC Berkeley to study Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. While at Berkeley, she had two summer internships at Toyota where she learned about the Toyota Production System and continuous improvement. Once she graduated, she joined PG&E through a rotational program where she worked on various projects including creation and implementation of new policy. After completing the rotational program, Roxana joined the renewable energy team negotiating contracts. Four years into her career, she decided to go back to school to complete an MBA at UCLA Anderson. While at Anderson, she interned at Google in Finance Operations working on the renegotiation strategy for their outsourcing contracts. Upon graduation, she joined Intel through the finance rotational program. She is currently in Operations Finance at Intel. Roxana is one of four siblings. Family support and a strong network of friends has been essential to her both professionally and personally. Mario Rincón was born and raised in Santa Marta, Colombia. He is the first in his family to earn a college degree. Mario graduated from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá with a B.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering. After working for the Central Bank of Colombia, he earned a scholarship to pursue graduate school in the U.S. at Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Information Security. Since then, Mario has worked in different areas of software engineering and software development in Silicon Valley for Cisco, Ooyala, and LinkedIn. Mario is also a husband and father, and an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In his free time, he enjoys writing, playing the guitar, and memorizing poetry. As a first-generation college student and Latino software engineer, he likes to share his journey to inspire others to pursue higher education and careers in software development. Consuelo Cervantes is currently a senior HR Manager at Intel, supporting the data center sales team. She has over 15 years of deep HR experience managing talent, succession planning, total compensation, resource planning, organization design, driving culture change and building leadership teams across industries and geographies. She has global experience managing business groups and teams based in Latin America, Europe and Asia. She has led and managed through several mergers and acquisitions at Cargill, 3M and Intel. Consuelo holds a Master’s degree in HR and Change Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis MN and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from DePaul University, Chicago. She is multilingual, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. Consuelo was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago. She currently lives with her family in San Jose, CA. Lemuel Lebron is a first-generation Latino, born and raised in New Jersey to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents. He currently works at Intel as a System-on-Chip Validation Engineer designing the intellectual property for next-generation processors targeting the data center and high-end computing market segments. Lemuel received his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 just before relocating to the Silicon Valley to start his career. Lemuel uses his expertise in technology to give back to the community through mentorship, leadership coaching, and contributing to pro-bono web-development projects for non-profit organizations such as SHPE, Braven, and LSU. Currently, he is exploring new interests in machine learning and looking for ways to apply them in the hardware development space. All four panelists shared the moments they drew inspiration from that one mentor who guided them in their professional careers. One highlight being how eloquently Mario Rincón shared his fear of his first few months in the U.S. A time filled with uncertainty and challenges. A time he sought solace in the software programming he so passionately loved. Throwing himself head-long into a language he felt universal and spoke to him, when few around him could due to language barriers. Driven by dreams, he turned hope into action in a land very far from home. We identified with Roxana’s story of parents who put all their hopes and dreams into their children and raising them with strong civic approach in a safe, supportive home. While her parents worked long hours to provide the tools she needed. Overcoming obstacles that could have easily made them feel like giving up. They didn’t. Roxana never did…it shows. Consuelo Cervantes’ carries a force within her that is undeniable. Failure was never an option for her. A strong work ethics and never depending on anyone but herself makes Consuelo a fierce Latina for her generation. Truly a role model for the young Latinas in the attendance that day. Lemuel Lebron has been a long time SVL Cultura Ambassador, giving tirelessly of his talents to the youth of our community. His energy is infectious and we are always genuinely warmed by Lemuel’s effortless way of connecting with young people. Well, we must say, he’s done a lot in his young career. Doesn’t hurt that he still looks 19. Such a fresh face in the tech landscape. All our participants took time to meet and greet with our audience and, as in the past, the post panel discussion became a friendly networking moment. Smiles shared, cards exchanged. New stories blossoming as our audience grows at Silicon Valley Latino. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B19B09gPGfE&t=8s #CreoEnTi
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