Latinx @ UVA

Latinx @ UVA

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at UVA is a chapter of a national organization of professional engineers who serve as role models in the Hispanic community. The University of Virginia chapter seeks to further this service by creating a community that Hispanic-inclusive, not exclusive. This chapter is small, however, it is comprised of highly dedicated and motivated students.


SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. SHPE’s vision is a world where Hispanic people are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. SHPE UVA extends this mission to our university and surrounding communities.


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Founding year:





Since 1974, over 40 years ago, SHPE has been changing lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and professional development. At our inception, networking was the primary platform. SHPE’s members — the Familia — are the heartbeat of the organization. Towards that end, SHPE quickly established two student chapters, creating a base that would grow to what it is today–a national organization with over 10,000 student and professional members and more than 225 chapters throughout the nation and in countries outside the United States.


SHPE’s executive board is comprised of a president, two vice presidents that help with internal and external affairs relating to professional development, a chair of community outreach, marketing, finances, and development. The general body is comprised of over 60 members, who attend 5 general body meetings each semester, resume workshops, alumni panels, and preparedness seminars with career services.


  • SHPE hosts a number of annual events that are essential to further their mission and advancing awareness of STEM-related fields for those thinking about future plans.  
  • Juntos Podemos: Overnight high school visitation program for an introduction to higher learning, UVA, and STEM fields. Juntos Podemos targets underrepresented and low-income high school students from Virginia. The event is 100% free of cost to attendees.
  • Familia Activities: SHPE hosts a variety of chapter development events to strengthen our community and support each other.
  • SHPE National Conference: Conference is one of a kind opportunity for pursuing post-graduate success. SHPE  UVA funds conference registration, travel, and housing for its members, covering 100% of costs. It constitutes the largest portion of the chapter's budget and is a part of its prioritization of accessibility.
  • Southwood Volunteer Work: For community outreach, the organization goes to Southwood, a public education program in Charlottesville, and teach the students about STEM-related fields as well as craft interactive activities for the students related to those fields.


    Information collected through an interview with Fernando Mata-Cordero (C/O 2019)