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    Sailors talk with Latinas, dismiss myths of naval service at HESTEC

    Latina Day at HESTEC 2014

    Photo By Burrell Parmer | Claudia Garcia, an avionics engineer with Naval Air Systems Command, speaks with...... read more read more



    Story by Burrell Parmer 

    Navy Recruiting Command

    EDINBURG, Texas - "The STEM Revolution” is the theme of the 2014 Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Week held on the campus of the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA), Oct. 6-12.

    HESTEC Week is an educational conference that features events geared toward promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to people of all ages and backgrounds.

    On Oct. 8, Latina Day was held to celebrate and promote women in the STEM fields. Hundreds of mother/daughter teams from throughout South Texas were brought together to hear the inspiring stories of prominent women of all colors succeeding in careers and job tracks once exclusive to men.

    Sailors and support personnel of Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio, Submarine Force Atlantic, Naval Air Forces, Navy Operational Support Center-Harlingen, Naval Air Systems Command and the Navy's Diversity Office participated in two breakout sessions for more than 100 Latina mothers and their daughters.

    Patricia Cantu was one of the many Latinas who attended one of the Navy’s breakout sessions.

    “The session was very nice and structural,” said Cantu, a native of Falfurrias, Texas. “The Sailors answered our questions honestly and directly, and they were able to explain the various types of opportunities to us in a meaningful way.”

    Naval aviator Cmdr. Tamara Graham, director, Diversity and Inclusion, Navy Air Forces, moderated each session.

    “To see the light in the eyes of the young girls and their moms as we spoke about the opportunities that are available to women in Navy was awesome,” said Graham, a native of Rome, New York. “The sessions also provided us with the opportunity to dismiss myths they had about service in the Navy.”

    Cmdr. Karen Muntean, executive officer of NRD San Antonio, participated in each session and gave the guests a peak into her life in the Navy.

    “I think it is important to connect with young women as this point in their lives as well as their mothers to talk about the opportunities, not only in the military but as civilians within the government that highly values STEM education.”

    “It is very helpful for people to hear directly from those who have been in their shoes or have come from similar backgrounds,” said Muntean, a native of Calhoun, Tennessee. “It is important to see them today, to know where they came from, and how the Navy has developed them into leaders and professionals.”

    According to Dr. Havidán Rodriguez, president, ad interim of UTPA, the school was delighted to host Latina Day during HESTEC.

    “Women play a mighty role in the economy, in politics, in health, and in sports throughout the country,” said Rodriguez. “We celebrate your contributions and for what women do.”

    Rodriguez thanked the daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other women of families who are committed to the education of children in the Rio Grande Valley.

    Through the support of sponsors and partners, to include the U.S. Navy, HESTEC strives to empower teachers and administrators with the resources to inspire their students to pursue STEM careers (Educator Day); engage secondary level students in STEM-related hands-on activities and presentations (Student Leadership Day, Latina Day, Robotics Day, Middle School Challenge and SeaPerch Challenge); provide university students with employment and internship opportunities (College Symposiums and Fall Career Expo); and involve the community as a whole (Community Day).



    Date Taken: 10.08.2014
    Date Posted: 10.09.2014 15:42
    Story ID: 144773
    Location: EDINBURG, TX, US 
    Hometown: TIJUANA, BCN, MX
    Hometown: CALHOUN, TN, US
    Hometown: FALFURRIAS, TX, US
    Hometown: ROME, NY, US
    Hometown: SAN DIEGO, CA, US

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