The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.
The concept of Networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Chapter at the University of Florida (SHPE UF) was formerly known as the Hispanic Engineering Society. It was founded in the fall of 1982 in an effort to provide Hispanic Engineers, Mathematicians, and Scientists with opportunities to develop as professionals while offering an amiable social environment.
Since its inception it has prompted the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Hispanic students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The society coordinates community outreach, corporate exposition meetings, academic development programs, and non-technical events. This is to ensure SHPE-UF members are presented with the opportunities necessary to succeed professionally, academically, and socially as Hispanic professionals.
The University of Florida's Hispanic Engineering Society established a strong connection with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, but it was not until the summer of 2001 that the society underwent a name change in order to affirm its close relationship with SHPE National. Today, The University of Florida Chapter holds a strong and enriching relationship with SHPE National, which has helped increase membership in the society.
In previous years, SHPE UF has experienced hardships attributed to low membership. However, recently, the new executive boards have found strategic ways to improve previous recruitment and retention initiatives by executing events such as the Goals for Tomorrow scholarship and soccer tournament, and the Green Day and Green Team events. This semester brought much success to the executive board and the chapter members, as well as to the society as a whole. The Executive board members were determined to execute numerous events and offer many involvement opportunities encouraging members to thrive as leaders.
SHPE UF hosted the most successful BBQ with Industry yet, with 20 companies and over 200 students attending the event. The chapter also held a ShadowSHPE day for high school students that received positive feedback from its participants, motivating the chapter to set plans to have a much larger event next year. Additionally, the chapter is in the process of establishing a mentorship program with Siemens and Kraft for its graduating members.
The dedication and commitment shown by past and present members led to an increase in active participation of the chapter at a local, regional, and national level. This drive to further involvement in the society led to a strong presence from the chapter at National Conference and other events. With over 115 members attending, The University of Florida had the largest number of members present at this year's conference. The determination of the chapter's leaders has also led to incredible involvement and retention of first-year students in the society.
As a family, we take pride in the passion that is evident among our members. We have observed the success created by past leaders in our chapter, and are honored to have the opportunity to further their excellence.