Service in Academia
Service is an essential aspect of the work an engineering professor does. No matter the effort assigned in their academic appointments by their supervisors, professors must get involved in their community. The reason why a professor wants to engage with a community will impact activities they will partake.
For me, service to my professional organizations and my home institutions is central to disseminating my work in teaching and research. The following are the community outreach activities that I enjoy the most!
How do I help my community?
1. Faculty Advisor
Since August 2017, I became the faculty advisor of the University of Florida AIChE student chapter and the ChemE Car design team. It is my honor to serve my students and our professional organization on a departmental and national level in this role. I’ve been part of AIChE National since I became a sophomore in 1999 to represent the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
The AIChE student chapter in Puerto Rico allowed me to get my first REU’s outside the Island (first time speaking English all the time), compete for technical research posters, and be the student chapter president in my last year as an undergrad.
Since then, I owe AIChE the opportunity to network with people who became crucial for my current national leadership involvement and academic career as a teaching professor. As a professional member in AIChE, I have leadership roles in the AIChE Education Division, Women in Chemical Engineering Committee, and the Societal Impact Operating Council. In these roles, I have the opportunity to lead projects on professional development and communications.
As a faculty advisor, my goal is to keep coaching the AIChE board in creating activities that are impactful and meaningful to our student members. To take advantage of the online format, we will be bringing a webinar series on grad school, industry recruitment, and leadership. Under my advisor role, the ChemE car was able to qualify for Nationals in 2019 after 8 years of no qualifying for the event. I want to make sure that the ChemE car has the necessary support to get to Nationals again, even in the times of COVID-19. Also, I want to see our chapter compete every year in the K-12 Outreach Module competition. Finally, my ultimate dream is to have a Design Team that also competes at Nationals.
Receiving the AIChE Outstanding Award. We have won 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.
2. Facilitating Professional Development
One of my favorite formats for educating others is by facilitating professional development opportunities. I have experience facilitating events for students, faculty, and industry professionals. I also have had the honor to be a panelists for multiple topics and even appear in podcasts!
Workshop. Intersectionality in Chemical Engineering Topical Session (AIChE Conference, S2021)
Workshop. Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Embracing Student Diversity in All Forms (UF Center for Teaching Excellence F2019 and F2021)
Talk. Inclusive Environments in STEM: Exploring social factors affecting team dynamics and performance (Invited speaker University of Arkansas, S2021 and UF Interface Conference, S2021)
Talk/Workshop. Unconscious Bias in Engineering: Why is it relevant? What can we do? (Invited talked at ChemE-UF, 2019-2021, University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2021, and UF REU-SURF program, 2021)
Workshop. Managing gender intersectionality in engineering (Invited talk at GRiPxSHPE Women’s Summit, 2021, and Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Student Council, 2021)
Talk. Personal SWOT Analysis
Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities (Invited talk University of New Hampshire, 2021)
Talk/Workshop. How to keep a research notebook? (UF REU-SURF program, 2021))
Interviewed at Teaching Beyond the Podium Podcast. In this interview to share my share strategies, struggles, and successes to create an inclusive classroom.
Interview by Level Up on Presence and Belonging. In this interview UF Chief Diversity Officer, Antonio Farias, wanted me to share my story of belonging and to learn my work at UF.
3. K-14 Outreach