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  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

This month, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th and coincides with the Independence Days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Belize. Each year, this time is dedicated to recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Hispanic Americans to our society. In addition to highlighting just a handful of these achievements, this month’s resources call attention to some of the difficulties that Hispanic engineers face in our industry.

As we reflect on the achievements of Hispanic engineers, it is also important to look to the future. According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities' 2018 Status Report on Engineering Education, 10% of all engineering degrees are awarded to Hispanic students. While this number is increasing, it is still short of reflecting the Hispanic population in the United States which is roughly 18.5% according to current U.S. Census data. Organizations like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) are working to engage students, foster Hispanic leadership, and improve Latinx representation in engineering.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


Hispanic Heritage Month: Creating Character, Community, History. Together. - University of San Diego

This article provides an overview of the history of National Hispanic Heritage Month and highlights a handful of notable Hispanic scientists and engineers. The article also discusses the use of the term “Hispanic”, and why many have opted to use more inclusive terms like “Latinx”.


Ellen Ochoa: Beyond the Barrier - National Museum of American History

Ellen Ochoa, a Mexican American woman from California, was the first Latina astronaut in space and the first Latina Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Emily Key, the Director of Education at the Smithsonian Latino Center, shares information on her life and accomplishments.


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Latina Leader, Eileen Vélez-Vega - SWE Diverse Podcast

This episode of SWE’s Diverse Podcast features an interview with Eileen Vélez-Vega, who is currently serving as Puerto Rico’s Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. Vélez-Vega shares some of the obstacles she has faced as a Latina in engineering, as well as the significance of her leadership in the field.


This article was originally published in the September 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.



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