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UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

Jacobs School Diversity Organizations Win Award

San Diego, CA, January 22, 2010 -- Congratulations to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s undergraduate chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. This trio of undergraduate engineering diversity professional organizations—and two Jacobs School staff members—won 2009 UC San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards.

The program recognizes individuals, departments and organizational units who have made outstanding contributions in support of UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity.

A ceremony will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. at the Price Center West Ballrooms to recognize all of the 2009 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards Recipients. Members of the campus community interested in attending the event should contact Paul Tagliaferri at or (858) 534-3694 by Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

The Jacobs School student organizations were recognized, in part, for the “Professional Evening with Industry”—a large event that the groups organized together. Held on November 12th, 2009, the Professional Evening with Industry connected diverse student groups with the professional and the community. The event aimed to enhance the professional skills necessary for students to compete in today’s corporate environment. It included dinner, a keynote speaker, and a career fair.

“The ultimate goal of SHPE UCSD is to motivate our members to become well rounded scientists and engineers who not only employ the professional and leadership skills required to be successful, but are also actively engaged with the local community,” said Hared Ochoa, who studies mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School. Ochoa is president of the campus chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

Diversity Orgs Win Award

(L-R) Weini Mehari, a structural engineering major and president of the Jacobs School chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers; Hared Ochoa, a mechanical engineering major and president of the Jacobs School chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; and Annie Ho, a bioengineering major and president of the Jacobs School chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is an international student run organization with well over 10,000 members. NSBE is the largest student run organization in the country. NSBE’s main goals are to develop intensive programs for increasing the recruitment, retention, and successful graduation of underrepresented minority men and women in engineering and science. The result is an increasing number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is made up of women from all engineering backgrounds working together to create opportunities for all to grow and thrive in careers and in life. SWE strives to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers’ (SHPE) mission is to be “The Source for Quality Hispanic Engineers and Technical Talent.” SHPE was founded in 1974 with the vision of creating the next generation of role models, successful professionals in the fields of science, engineering and mathematics, as well as prominent leaders in our communities. At the university level, SHPE students are constantly presented with the opportunity to further advance in the areas of academia and professionalism. 

UC San Diego Recognized Jacobs School Staff Members

In addition to the student organizations, UC San Diego also recognized two staff members with diversity awards: Anne O’Donnell and Sonia Rosas.

Anne O’Donnell is Director of the Jacobs School’s Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP). O’Donnell directs Jacobs School industry relations in the interest of recruiting students and pursuing cooperative research.

Sonia Rosas is a Student Affairs Officer at the Jacobs School in the Engineering Student Services program.

Sonia Rosas and Anne O’Donnell and her Corporate Affiliates Program Team worked with the diversity organizations (NSBE, SHPE, and SWE) to put on the highly successful Professional Evening with Industry event, which boasted very strong attendance by industry and engineering students.

As Director of the Jacobs School’s Corporate Affiliates Program, O’Donnell works to ensure that companies have access to the full range of talent—by all measures of diversity—here at the Jacobs School. She takes special pride in working with Jacobs School students and staff to help them develop the skills necessary to rise above any obstacles.

O’Donnell is a Founding Member of Athena and Athena’s Forums for Executive Women (FEW) groups. Athena is an organization for executive women in the San Diego life sciences, technology, healthcare and business communities. 

Rosas’ diversity-related work includes the marketing, recruitment, and registration for the “ECE 1A-C Orientation to Engineering” course series which is part of the Access to Careers in Engineering (ACE) program. This course series focuses on the successful transition and orientation of both new freshmen and transfer students to engineering studies at UCSD, with particular emphasis on students coming from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, Rosas manages MentorNet: The E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science which is a non-profit, e-mentoring network that addresses the retention and success of students in engineering, science and mathematics. Finally, she handles diversity and graduate student organization advising.


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