CNET en Español Honors the Top 20 Most Influential Latinos in Technology

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Selected by the CNET en Español editorial staff, the list is comprised of professionals in STEM or creative fields that meet the following criteria: born in Spain or Latin America, or in the U.S. of Hispanic origin; working in the U.S. or at a company with operations in the country; and those who are in senior positions and involved in the decision-making processes or play key creative roles in the technology space.

“To be part of CNET en Español’s list of the 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech for the second time is an honor,” said Pilar Manchón, Director of Cognitive Interfaces at Amazon. “Diversity is a very important aspect at all levels, but even more so in the field of artificial intelligence. My experience tells me that the most innovative solutions and opportunities often emerge from the confluence of different perspectives, disciplines and experiences. Diversity of thought, gender, education and points of view enriches the ecosystem, allows us to widen our perspectives and helps us advance in the right direction.”

This year’s list includes the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Manuel Bronstein – Vice President of Product, YouTube
  • Òscar Celma – Head of Research, Senior Director, Pandora
  • Alberto Cerriteño – Principal Art Director 3D for Everyone, Microsoft
  • Nonny de la Peña – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emblematic Group
  • Serafín Díaz – Vice President of Engineering, Qualcomm
  • Luis Domínguez – Avionics Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Carlos Guestrin – Director of Machine Learning, Apple
  • César Hidalgo – Head of the Collective Learning Group, MIT Media Lab
  • Daniel Loreto – Engineering Manager, Airbnb
  • Diana Macias – Software Engineering Manager, Mobile and Front-end Development, Twitter
  • Pilar Manchón – Director of Cognitive Interfaces, Amazon
  • Jessica J. Márquez – Research Engineer, Human System Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center
  • André Natal – Senior Speech Engineer, Mozilla
  • Charlie Ortiz – Director of the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing Nuance
  • Carolina Parada – Principal Deep Learning Engineer, Nvidia
  • Santiago Pina Ros – Software Engineer, WhatsApp
  • Joaquin Quiñonero Candela – Director of Applied Machine Learning, Facebook
  • Enrique Rodríguez – Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer, AT&T Entertainment Group
  • Katia Vega – Assistant Professor of Design, University of California, Davis
  • Alberto Villarreal – Creative Lead, Consumer Hardware, Google

American Indian College Fund Publishes Report on Higher Education Equity Initiative for Native Americans

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Last spring after a parent attending a college tour called campus police with concerns about two Native Americans in the group, the American Indian College Fund knew it had to respond.

The College Fund convened a group of national higher education experts and Native students to address the social issues Native Americans face on campus.

Today the College Fund published Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education, the report from that convening, as a tool for higher education institutions to advance the visibility of Native American students at their institutions and to ensure that Native history, achievements, and perspectives are respected.

Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education highlights steps institutions can take with recruiting, financial aid, student orientation, recognition of Native lands, curriculum creation, establishment of meeting places for Native people, work with local tribes, and more.

The report was crafted at the Indigenous Higher Education Equity Initiative (IHEEI) in Denver, Colorado in August 2018, hosted by the College Fund in cooperation with leadership from Colorado State University. Leadership, faculty, and staff from tribal colleges and universities; public and private mainstream colleges and universities; non-profit organizations; education foundations, institutes, and associations; and Native college students created a scalable plan for higher education institutions to make college campuses safer and more welcoming to Native people.

Currently American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) face a college access and completion crisis. Only 14% of AIAN people age 25 and older have a college degree–less than half of that of other groups in the United States. The College Fund believes that colleges and universities can use the Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education report as a guide, helping them to make campuses welcoming spaces for Native students. These efforts, along with financial access to college and tools for academic and social success, can increase the number of Native Americans with a college degree, resulting in increased opportunities for graduates, their families, and communities.

To download your copy of Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education, please visit our website. You can also request a printed copy by sending an email- this will be on the main site.

About the American Indian College Fund
Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception.

The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.

The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit collegefund.org

5 Reasons to Consider a STEM Major

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By Erin Fox

As you begin to investigate what major you should pursue, you might find yourself drawn to a STEM major. STEM majors are diverse, challenging, and offer a wide array of opportunities. From to biochemists to ocean engineers and meteorologists to applied mathematicians, colleges are preparing students in these programs for future work in exciting careers.

There are many reasons to choose a STEM major.

  • Graduates have flexibility within their profession to pursue multiple career paths
  • Average starting compensation outpaces careers in other fields
  • High level of personal and job satisfaction
  • Graduates make a positive contribution to society. Most importantly? Once students have finished their education, career opportunities abound.

Graduates can look forward to:

  1. Future Opportunities
    Pursuing a STEM major will allow you a wide variety of future opportunities after graduation. For example, pursuing an engineering major opens many doors; a graduate can seek a career in such diverse fields as chemical engineering, computer science, or environmental science. A meteorology major can seek work in a variety of venues – graduates may work in a research capacity for a private company, such as Boeing, while others may pursue work for a government entity, such as NASA or NOAA. Some may choose to work in television broadcasting.
  1. Flexibility
    There are many different areas of specialization within any STEM major. When a student graduates with a strong undergraduate degree, she is preparing herself for any future changes in her chosen field. It is impossible to predict what the future holds. Consider Aerospace Engineering – from day one, students are immersed in hands-on opportunities, such as thermal energy, mechatronics, and rocket propulsion. These experiences not only prepare students for the current workforce but also give them the tools and skills necessary to help evolve their field of study far into the future.
  1. Compensation
    STEM careers are among the highest in initial compensation for recent graduates. According to the American Engineering Association, these graduates earn 87 percent more than the average salary of a non-STEM graduate. Specifically, the average starting salary for mechanical engineering graduates is $58,392 and computer scientists start, on average, at $61,205.
  1. Job and Personal Satisfaction
    Career Cast, an online employment site dedicated to targeted job information, published a list of the Top 10 Best Jobs based on job satisfaction. Based on their research, 8 of the top 10 jobs were within STEM fields. Included in this list are software engineer, mathematician, statistician, computer systems analyst, meteorologist, and biologist.
  1. Societal Impact
    Everyday life is constantly affected by professionals from STEM programs. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play a role in everything from creating new ways to promote aquaculture to the design of a bridge by a civil engineer. Being on the cusp of modern technology and using a STEM education benefits the world and has an important impact on both local, national, and global matters.

Many universities are proud of their world class education offered in all of their STEM programs. These programs have been developed to not only properly educate but also strategically prepare graduates for the future workforce. Considering an undergraduate degree in a STEM area of study not only meets a student’s current educational needs but will also help shape his future career and contributions.

Source: adastra.fit.edu

Culture Circuit: Latinos & Film – A Sundance Film Festival Perspective

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The Sundance Film Festival is known for championing eclectic, independent work from artists around the world. Given their specific diversity-driven initiatives of years past, the 2019 edition of the festival was no exception, particularly with respect to cinema of interest to the Latino community. To the contrary, if you spent any time in the last few days in the snowy, mountainous air of Park City, you saw that this year showcases an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality cinema from Latin America.

But, like all things involving Latino culture, Latino-related films at Sundance defy reductive simplifications. The picture that emerges is of a vibrant, diverse, and complex community of films and filmmakers. As told through the eyes of these artists, Latinos experience much of the same angsts as all other members of society. At the same time, we have a unique set of anxieties—and a beautiful, distinctive perspective—that makes Latin American cinema rewarding.

For the complete article, continue on to Awards Circuit.

5 tips to help families talk about online safety at home

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Home will always be the foundation of any child’s learning, and healthy online habits are no different. Google’s Be Internet Awesome created a bilingual Family Guide and online safety tips in English and Spanish to help families practice good digital habits in their everyday lives.

Families will learn to Be Internet Awesome by learning how to share, be alert, be strong, be kind and be brave online. The guide offers tips, conversation starters, vocabulary words, goals and scenarios that will assist in raising strong and smart digital citizens.

The new resources were released on Safer Internet Day to help foster conversations between family members.

You can download the resources on the Be Internet Awesome website or check out the blog to learn more about additional new program updates.  Below are five tips families can share with their children on how to stay safe and smart online.

Be internet smart

 

The Institute for Educational Leadership Launches Rise Up for Equity Campaign to Eliminate Barriers to Equity in Education and Workforce Development

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Latino Education News

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) announced the launch of Rise Up for Equity, a digital and grassroots campaign to prepare, support, and mobilize leaders to eliminate systemic barriers to equity in education and workforce development.
This so everyone – especially transition-age youth and families in communities with inequitable opportunities across the United States – has the opportunity to succeed and lead independent lives.

“IEL incentivizes communities to innovate and prepares and supports local and state leaders to improve opportunity and outcomes, and close gaps in access and achievement in education and workforce development in under-resourced communities,” said Johan Uvin, President of IEL. “To us, equity is about creating more opportunities for success in education and workforce development for children, youth, adults and families, particularly in communities where that opportunity is lacking due to systemic and structural reasons.”

IEL’s strategy intends to help alleviate poverty and its impact and to contribute to creating new gateways to prosperity. Today 15 million children, or 21 percent of all children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, and 51 percent of students across U.S. public schools are low income.[1] Childhood poverty is associated with negative outcomes in adulthood, such as lower academic achievement, employment rates, and poorer health.

For more information about how you can Rise Up for Equity to support leaders so all children, young adults, and communities can succeed, visit www.riseupforequity.com or join the conversation on social media using #RiseUpforEquity.

[1] According to the 2016 fact sheet of the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)

The Hispanic consumer has a major impact on the 2019 U.S. markets

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If one thing is clear as we start 2019, it’s that America is changing. According to a Claritas report (registration required), in the United States today, there are 131 million multicultural Americans, making up 37.5% of the U.S. population, with Hispanics accounting for the largest portion at 19.6%.

Minority groups now represent the majority of the population in more than 400 U.S. counties. There can be no doubt that America is becoming multicultural and that Hispanics are a significant part of this change.

Although some brands are starting to face the facts, there is a still a long way to go before advertisers understand the U.S. Hispanic market and unlock its potential.

What’s Changed

From the enormous success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians to the rising popularity of Hispanic celebrities like Cardi B, America has changed a lot in the past year. We’ve seen advancement in film representation, a resurgence in cultural and political movements, and the continued popularity and application of technology like smart homes and streaming media. And 2019 will be no different, with these changes impacting not only the people living in the U.S. but also brands across industries that will have to evolve with the changing American landscape.

According to 2017 estimates from the Census Bureau, there are over 58.9 million Hispanics living in the United States, and by 2030, U.S. Hispanics are expected to reach more than 72 million. More than that, this growth doesn’t just mean more Hispanics, it also means a transformation of the Hispanic market.

Hispanic consumers today are not the same as Hispanic consumers from years back. They are now the youngest ethnic group in America with the median age being 28. Realizing their youth is crucial for advertisers as it influences their media consumption habits, the technology they use, their abundance in prime spending years, and much more. Hispanics — especially in the younger age groups of the U.S. population — are also increasingly more diverse than older Americans. As a matter of fact, almost half of the U.S. millennial population will be multicultural by 2024 (registration required).

To read the complete article, continue on to Forbes.

Is college the only path? Picking the education that’s best for you

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Is college the best choice for you?

For generations, high school students like you have been told that a college degree is the route to success and financial security. But it’s not the only way to go: in fact, while it may seem like all your friends are heading off to college, a large number of high school graduates—about 30 percent—don’t take the college path.

Finding happiness and success in your career should start with evaluating your goals, personality and interests because—luckily—you have options.

With costs rising, college can be a huge investment, and like any good investment you need to understand the risk, costs and potential value you can gain. Explore these higher education paths—and some tips for calculating the return on investment (ROI) of your education:

Depending on your course of study, a vocational training program can pay for itself within eight months of graduation—far quicker than a four-year degree. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

A four-year college:

A four-year college degree is the most common—and one of the most lucrative—routes to take after high school. But even with a four-year degree, much of your ROI depends on what you choose to study: before picking a major, think about how much money you’ll need to fork over and the salary you can expect after you graduate.

Many online tools or apps, like the JA Build Your Future app from Junior Achievement USA, or College Scorecard from the US Department of Education, can give you a good idea of the ROI on your college degree. They factor in average debt, starting salary information, and more, and work with community colleges, as well as four-year colleges and universities.

  • Tuition: According to the College Board, the total in-state cost of attendance at a public four-year college averages $25,290 per year. At a private, nonprofit university, the cost is almost double that—$50,900 annually. That means the overall price tag is roughly $100,000-$200,000. Not surprisingly, 65 percent of college grads earning four-year degrees in 2017 ended up with student loans; their average amount of college debt topped $29,650.
  • Salary: The upside of paying higher tuition at a four-year school is that you’ll likely end up making more money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median earnings for college grads with a four-year college degree is $61,724 annually. And salaries can go even higher, depending on the career you choose. People with advanced degrees typically earn bigger salaries—$1,512 weekly, or $78,624 yearly. Then again, advanced degrees also translate into extra tuition—another cost that you’ll need to factor into your ROI calculation. To avoid that extra cost, consider a bachelor’s degree with high earning potential for recent graduates like chemical or electrical engineering, which report salaries in the $70,000 – $75,000 range for recent grads.

Community college:

The National Center on Education Statistics shows that almost twice as many people attend two-year community colleges as those who attend four-year colleges and universities. At a community college, you can earn an associate’s degree after taking coursework in a general major—like business, biology, or communications—or in a specific vocational field, like nursing, criminal justice, or early childhood education. This coursework can prepare you for a bunch of careers, including medical assistant, police officer, oil and gas operator, or software or website developer.

  • Tuition: Community colleges are usually a lot less expensive than four-year schools: according to the College Board the total cost of attendance at a public, two-year community college averages $17,580 per year for in-district commuter students. That includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation costs. Overall, that works out to $35,160 for a two-year associate’s degree. That’s about $66,000 less than what you would spend on in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public college.
  • Salary: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that people with a two-year degree earn a median salary of $825 a week or $42,900 annually. And while this salary might limit your ability to live in some quickly growing cities, there are a number of cities where you can live comfortably on less than 50,000 per year.
  • For some jobs requiring a two-year degree, the payoff is even higher. Air traffic controllers make a median income of $122,410, while dental hygienists average $72,910 and paralegals make $49,500.

Vocational training:

Vocational training, sometimes called technical training programs or trade schools, might be a good option if you prefer working with your hands, want to avoid a desk job, and only want to take training and instruction that is directly related to your future career. These programs commonly lead students into careers in hands-on trades like construction, metal work, masonry, and photography.

  • Tuition: The average cost for a vocational training program is $33,000 over a two year period, but many students can complete their vocational schooling in less than two years—especially those that enroll full-time in a trade school.
  • Salary: Salaries for hands-on trades vary widely, but jobs like installation, maintenance, and repair have median earnings of $950 a week, or $49,400 annually. With that kind of salary, your vocational training will pay for itself in just 8 months after your work start date.

Continue onto JP Morgan Chase to read the complete article.

Creating Visibility and Supportive Campus Environments for Native American Students

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The American Indian College Fund explored how to support higher education’s role in creating safe and welcoming environments and greater visibility for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students at a convening it hosted of students, tribal college leaders and leaders from mainstream institutions of higher education (IHE), policy organizations and funders.

What we heard affirmed what we already knew — for Native students to be successful in college the institution must be committed to their inclusion.

Native students shared they want to go to college in an environment where their unique tribal identities are recognized, where their history and current lives are included in the curriculum and in campus life, and where they are visible.

Supporting education equity for Native students takes many forms. Native students at tribal colleges and mainstream institutions have benefited from Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s support of access to higher education through scholarships. The American Indian College Fund works to expand student support to specific ways that higher education institutions can be proactive with inclusion.

Four specific approaches were identified that can have an immediate impact on the experiences of Native students with higher education:

  1. Land acknowledgment: All higher education institutions exist on land that once served as the homeland of one or more tribal nations. Westward expansion, war and removal all impacted the abilities of tribes to situate themselves or have claims on homelands. When land acknowledgment occurs, Native students’ existence and experience is validated. I’ve learned that it is also a good educational exercise because most people don’t know whose homelands they are living on.

2. Representation in curriculum, at events and functions and in public materials: The history and contemporary experiences of indigenous peoples are usually not represented in curriculum. In addition, many times Native peoples are not onstage or giving presentations and are rarely included in public-facing places like websites and brochures. IHE can examine and modify curriculum to insure inclusion. For example, any American government class that doesn’t include tribal governments as a form of governance in the U.S. should immediately remedy that. When events are organized and representatives of various populations are invited to participate, inclusion of Native speakers should be automatically considered and materials and media should be reviewed to determine if Native student photos and stories are included.

3. Data inclusion: Ensuring the institution’s leadership knows the status of Native students is critical to success, whether it is one student or 400. Often the numbers are used as an excuse for not knowing the status of Native students and for not reporting that status to the public and to enrolled students. This may require extra effort to define who will be included in that population and what reporting will look like, but it is essential to overcoming invisibility.

Continue onto The Johnson Scholarship Foundation to read the complete article.

 

Taking Engineering to a New Level—Q&A with NASA engineer Adriana Ocampo

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Adriana Ocampo, PhD, is the Science Program Manager at NASA headquarters. Take a look at NASA’s Q&A with the accomplished engineer.

Where are you from?

I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and I was raised in Argentina. My family and I moved to the United States when I was a teenager. I now live in Washington, DC.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with outer space.

When I was a little girl, I would go on the roof of my house and look at the stars and wonder how far they were away from me. I would also make “spacecraft” with the pots and pans from my mother’s kitchen. I would dress my doll up as an astronaut, and my dog Taurus was my co-pilot.

How did you end up working in the space program?

As soon as I landed in the USA I asked: “Where is NASA?” After my junior year in high school, and thanks to the Space Exploration Post 509—sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)—I was able to first volunteer at JPL and then work there as an employee during the summer. As I started college I continued to work at JPL. I majored in geology at the California State University at Los Angeles, earning a B.S. there in 1983. I then got my Master of Science in planetary geology from California State University, Northridge. I received both my degrees while working full time at JPL as a research scientist. I’m currently finishing my PhD at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Who inspired you?

My parents were my inspiration. They always encouraged me to reach for the stars and instilled in me the knowledge that education was the gateway to making my dreams come true. Space exploration was my passion from a very young age, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. I would dream and design space colonies while sitting atop the roof of my family’s home in Argentina.

What is a Science Program Manager?

Some of my duties include being the New Frontiers lead program executive. New Frontiers includes the Juno mission to Jupiter, the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx. I am also the lead Venus scientist responsible for NASA’s collaboration with ESA’s Venus Express mission, JAXA’s Venus Climate Orbit and the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), which develops strategic plans and assessments for the exploration of this planet.

Tell us about a favorite moment so far in your career.

A favorite moment would have to be my research that led to the discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater. The impact that formed this crater caused the extinction of more than 50 percent of the Earth’s species, including the dinosaurs. I wrote my master’s and PhD theses on this crater, and I have led six research expeditions to study this amazing event that changed the evolution of life on our planet.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the same career path as you?

“Dream and never give up.” When thinking about the great adventure that you have ahead, dream and never give up, be persistent and always be true to your heart. Live life with gusto. I would like to share my mnemonic (STARS) with you from the Girl Scouts book “Recipes for Success:”

STARS

Smile: Life is a great adventure
Transcend to triumph over the negative
Aspire to be the best
Resolve to be true to your heart
Success comes to those who never give up on their dreams

Source: NASA