Student Group Spotlight:  The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
SHPE - Exec Board

Executive Committee - SHPE

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), founded in 1974 in Los Angeles, California, is the largest Hispanic STEM non-profit organization in the country. It is dedicated to increase the participation of college students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Its foundation in the concept of networking was the key basis for the organization success. The national organization is composed of individual chapters all throughout the nation, from High School to Professional Levels, which invest in creating a richer and more diverse industry and academia environment for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of more than 10,000 members, which consist of more than 400 total professional and student chapters throughout the nation and abroad. 

SHPE’s mission of changing lives to empower the Hispanic, Latino, and Minority community to realize its fullest potential to the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development is more relevant than ever before. Out of 54,000,000 Latinos (14% of the US population), just 0.1% will enroll in an Engineering program. Out of them, only 16% will complete their degree and will account for 8% of the total Bachelor of Science degrees awarded. Additionally, they will account for only 7.3% of the Engineering workforce. Statistics like these demonstrate why it is necessary for groups like SHPE to help in the advancement of the Latino population. 

Our chapter was founded on January 2013 at Case Western Reserve University with support of the Case School of Engineering. By bringing SHPE to our campus community, we have impacted a community that was nearly non-existing a couple of years ago. The rising numbers in Latinos in our campus demanded our attention and support within the STEM majors, providing them with the space and tools to be able to graduate successfully inside a SHPE Familia. To put this into perspective, with the statistics of 2015-2016, the Case School of Engineering has a Latino and Hispanic population descent of about 6% (approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate students). Thus, our chapter seems to be more necessary and relevant than ever before. 

The CWRU SHPE Chapter helps at least 50 students per year, making sure they get the necessary academic support and mentorship. By partnering with multiple offices and resources on campus, such as the Career Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Division of Engineering Leadership and Professional Practice (DELPP), our student members get the benefits within a safe space where they are valued and empowered. With the help of the National organization, our students enjoy the benefits of an online portal where they can find a nationwide network of job posting opportunities, as well as scholarships that can help them succeed and fulfill their financial needs.

 One of the main events of our chapter is to be actively involved with our Region 6 (Midwest) and be in contact with other students from different top-research universities. We do this by attending the National and Regional Conferences, as well as SHPE’s premier training programs such as the National Institute for Leadership Advancement (NILA). With the help of organizations such as the Case Alumni Association, we have successfully being able to send at least 15 students, all expenses paid, to the National SHPE Conference for three-years in a row. With the communities support, our Latinx students can enjoy being exposed to industrial partners not located in the Northeast region, where they get important professional experiences with renowned companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Google. Likewise, our members are able to meet professionals that can inspire them to achieve their academic goals. 

Some of the other important events our chapter develops include our Annual Gala Latina, in partnership with La Alianza, where students, alumni, faculty, staff, and Northeast community members gather together to celebrate the Latinx successes inside our campus. Likewise, we actively participate in the Engineers-Week (E-Week), with a specific challenge event and participating in the Diversity in Engineering Networking Event, in collaboration with other Engineering minority societies and groups. 

Our vision is to create a CWRU and Cleveland community where HIspanic, Latinx, and Minority members are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. By having specific programming such as: networking events, academic support through the study tables, and leadership development connections, our chapter’s presence and importance has exponentially grow. We hope that, with your support, our chapter grows in size, importance, relevance, but most importantly, in human spirit.  

To learn more about supporting SHPE and other student groups at the Case School of Engineering, contact Janna Greer, manager of donor relations and grants at janna.greer@casealum.org or 216-368-3647.