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Spring 2019 | $6.95

Maylis Yepez Burac Electrical Engineering Major U.S. Coast Guard Academy






• $100,000 in Scholarships.

Find Out How Café Bustelo is Supporting College Students

• Considering Graduate School? Let Us Help • 10 Tips For Interview Success!

Financial Aid Made Easy





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Maylis Yepez Burac represented U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a student leader at the 2019 BEYA STEM Conference




Cadets share their military academy experience. Here's what it takes to serve



The future is bright. Meet some of the young stars of SACNAS

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

PUBLISHER'S PAGE DEPARTMENTS Events and News................6 List of critical academic dates and immigration news.

Scholarships ....................... 7

Café Bustelo is awarding $100,000 in college scholarships. Here's how you can get one.

Financial Aid ...................... 8 Everything you need to know about goverment financial aid.

Internships........................ 20

How an FIU engineering student got an internship at the BEYA STEM Conference.

Graduate Life....................22 Are you considering graduate school? We tell you why you should be.

Junior College Life...........24

These are the pros and cons of attending a junior college.

Career Center....................26

JobMatch experts give you career advice to get ready for your first day in the office.


Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and Latinx researchers are pursuing STEM Ph.Ds. Advocates for the scientific community, they have published numerous manuscripts and peer-reviewed articles. As of 2018, Dr. Ruben K. Dagda received up to $4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to perform neuroscience research and promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. According to Yale, Richard G. Bribiescas was honored for his distinguished contributions in the evolution and endocrinology of human histories, and exemplary contributions to faculty diversity and development. Recently named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Bribiescas was also awarded the Medal of 600 Years Anniversary of the Restoration of the Krakow Academy for his research in human ecology. At Santa Clara University, where Rosemary Vergara majored in biology, minoring in public health and biotechnology, she joined the Blush Lab at Stanford University School of Medicine as a life science research professional. There, Vergara focuses on different research projects involving the interactions between HIV, influenza, and immune cells such as natural killer cells. In this edition of Hispanic Engineer magazine, meet Latinas in STEM, staff scientists, and those who co-developed a technique to produce conductive materials for LEDs and smart windows. There’s also a feature with Dr. Evelyn Reátegui-Zirena, who won the Three Minute Thesis competition. She is an active member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), where she is a mentor and a judge. She currently serves as the environmental toxicologist for the Utah Department of Health, assessing environmental risks related to human health. Gabriela Bosque Ortiz is pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She has been published in journals and is passionate about the advancement of people. She has acted by founding a SACNAS chapter and organizing outreach groups focused on sharing the stories of STEM students in research.

Job Tools...........................29 Do you have an interview coming up? Here are 10 tips to help you nail it!

Tyrone D. Taborn Publisher and Chief Content Officer

Tech Tools......................... 30

Howard University professor talks about a gadget to help you learn computer programming.


Career Outlook..................31 Careers in the Defense Industry • Industry Overview • Job Horizon • Defense Company Directory

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019



VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 1 EXECUTIVE OFFICE Tyrone D. Taborn, CEO and Chief Content Officer Jean Hamilton, President and CFO Alex Venetta, Associate Publisher, Manager of Partner Services Eric Price, Vice President, Recruitment and Professional Training



Rayondon Kennedy, Managing Editor Lango Deen, Technology Editor Michael Fletcher, Contributing Editor Gale Horton Gay, Contributing Editor Garland L. Thompson, Contributing Editor Roger Witherspoon, Contributing Editor


Beverly Wladkowski, Art Director Bryan Davis, Digital Director Rachael DeVore, Digital Channel Manager Joe Weaver, Global Design Interactive

CORPORATE AND Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, CCG Alumni Committee Chair and ALUMNI RELATIONS President Dr. Eugene DeLoatch, Chairman, BEYA Alumni Group Vice Admiral Walter J. Davis, USN (Ret) National Chair, BEYA Military Alumni Oliver “Bo” Leslie, Retired Program Manager, Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions, Boeing Monica E. Emerson, Women of Color STEM Conference National Chair Matt Bowman, CCG Military Program Manager Stars and Stripes Committee Executive Director/Chief of Staff for VADM Walt Davis, USN (Ret.) Ty Taborn, Corporate Development SALES AND MARKETING Gwendolyn Bethea, Vice President, Corporate Development Sheri Hewson, Account Executive Kameron Nelson, Account Executive Jay Albritton, Social Media Specialist JOBMATCH AND STUDENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Ashley Turner, Recruitment Team Manager Courtney Taborn, Talent Management Specialist Rod Carter, Recruitment Specialist, College Relations Shelia Richburg, College Coordinator


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Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, (ISSN 10883452) is a publication devoted to science and technology, and to promoting opportunities in STEM fields for Hispanic Americans. This publication is bulk mailed to universities and colleges nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The editors invite editorial submissions directed toward the goals of Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology. In particular, HE&IT magazine wishes to present ideas, current events, and personality profiles of successful Hispanic Americans in science, technology, and related business pursuits. Fully developed articles may be sent, but queries are strongly encouraged. Articles and letters should be sent to: Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, Editorial Department, 729 E. Pratt Street, Suite 504, Baltimore, MD 21202. No manuscript will be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology cannot be responsible for unsolicited material. Copyright ©2019 by Career Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.


HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

We are driven to excel. At Exelon, we recognize the value of inclusive and diverse teams. As the nation’s leading competitive energy company, we are driven to perform, and our employees bring the background and training that help drive our progress. From engineering to information technology to operations and beyond, there are opportunities throughout the Exelon family of companies for you to create a brighter future.

Exelon is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and employees or applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to: age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Š Exelon Corporation, 2018


&RESOURCES Hispanic Engineer magazine's College News & Resources provides information on scholarships, grants, and financial aid. We also feature news and views that affect students in higher education. In this issue, we feature the latest immigration bill, open programs at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the TheDream.US. High school graduates who earn a high school diploma, GED, or home school diploma in Miami Dade County during the May-July 2019 period can now apply for the Miami Dade College American Dream Scholarship. Since its inception, 17,000 students have qualified for the American Dream. The scholarship covers up to 60 credits toward the completion of an associate in science. Last fall, Miami Dade County announced that an anonymous $10 million donation would expand its American Dream Scholarship program and support the college in its effort to provide access and affordability. The American Dream Scholarship covers fees not already covered by financial aid, grants, or the Florida Prepaid College Plan. Students must apply for admission to Miami Dade College and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by August 20th, 2019. Read on for more scholarship opportunities:

Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)

The HSF Scholarship is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage in obtaining a university degree. Scholarships are available, on a competitive basis, to High school seniors, Undergraduate students (all years), Community college students transferring to four-year universities, and Graduate Students. Awards are based on merit, and amounts range from $500 to $5,000, based on relative need, among the Scholars selected.


Dream and Promise Act is good news for DACA-eligible students United We Dream issued a statement recently in support of the Dream and Promise Act. The bill builds upon the Dream Act and aims to protect immigrant youth brought to America as children. The original Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, was introduced in 2001 to help young people go to college and join the military. The new bill will offer a pathway for DACA-eligible students and those in similar programs. “The immigrant youth and families of United We Dream support the passage of the Dream and Promise Act in the House of Representatives,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director and co-founder of United We Dream. “The bill includes policy changes which will set the stage for immigration reform bills of the future.”

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Their partners provide HACU scholarship opportunities. All college students must have completed their first semester of freshman year at the time of applying.

• Cafe Bustelo El Cafe Del Futuro Scholarship – $5,000 Application deadline: May 24, 2019

• Oracle – $2,125

Application deadline: May 24, 2019

• Miller Lite – Brewed to be Bright – $2,500 Application deadline: May 24, 2019

• Coors Light – Climb On – $2,500

Application deadline: May 24, 2019

TheDream.US scholarships open Nov. 1

The Dream.Us scholarships are for highly motivated DREAMers who want nothing more than to get a college education but are unable to afford the cost. They have no access to federal aid, limited access to state aid, and they sometimes face paying out-of-state tuition. The National Scholarship is for high school or community college graduates. The Opportunity Scholarship is for students who live in targeted, locked-out states where they cannot get in-state tuition. Your eligibility for both is based upon where you live.

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

GMAT 2019 Tests

The GMAT exam is available only at designated Pearson VUE test centers. Visit Choose a Test Center to search for a test center near you. (https://registration. GMAC?conversationId=1627908) Create an account on for all the resources you need for your graduate business degree journey .




conic espresso-style coffee brand Café Bustelo has launched the Café Bustelo El Café del Futuro Scholarship in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Since 2014, $230,000 in college funds have been awarded to 46 Latino students nationwide through the partnership. The campaign generated more than 1,500 entries in 2018. In 2019, Café Bustelo is doubling the total available scholarship funds by awarding $100,000 to 20 students. Café Bustelo is encouraging Hispanic students to submit an essay in English or Spanish (800 words or less) describing how their heritage, family, and community have impacted their desire and motivation to obtain a college degree; how they plan to give back to their community; and what they intend to accomplish with their degree. Eligible U.S. students can apply for the opportunity to receive one of 20 $5,000 scholarships by submitting their essay. All eligible applications must be received by May 24 at 11:59 p.m. CT, and scholarship recipients will be announced on or around Sept. 16. "For 90 years, it's been the mission of Café Bustelo to support and reinvest in the Latinx community," said Eduardo Merino, senior brand manager at Café Bustelo. "Giving back is part of our heritage and DNA." For this year's scholarship, Café Bustelo combined its history of supporting the arts with its proud heritage of reinvesting in the Latino community. The brand collaborated with four artists to design limited edition art tins as part of its Artist Series, with a percentage of sales going toward the scholarship. The art tins are now available for purchase at grocery retailers nationwide, while supplies last.

"It is our passion to give rising artists a platform to share their work all while helping young Latinxs achieve their sueños (dreams) through the Café Bustelo El Café del Futuro Scholarship," Merino said.

Henry Hap Arnold education grant applications for the 20192020 academic year The General Henry Hap Arnold education grants are awarded based on financial need. Each year, named grants are made to students in honor of individuals or organizations that have exemplified extraordinary service to the U.S. Air Force. A select group of incoming college and university freshmen who complete the Gen. Henry Hap Arnold education grant application with a 4.0 GPA are invited to apply for the Air Force Aid Society merit-based, achievement scholarships. Applications are evaluated based on cumulative GPA scores, high school transcripts and written essays. Henry Hap Arnold education grant applications for the 2019-2020 academic year will be available January 2019. A total of 2,556 students received the education grants and merit-based scholarships, ranging from $500 to $5,000, during the 20182019 academic year. HE For complete information and scholarship guidelines, please scan below. Café Bustelo coffee is available at leading grocery retailers nationwide and online at Visit CafeBustelo. com for more information.

Apply now for 2019-2020 AISES scholarships and internships The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) has published new opportunities for scholarships and internships for the academic year. They include travel scholarships for the AISES Leadership Summit and internships at various AISES partners. Applications are open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Below is a list of open AISES Scholarship and Internship Applications. Scholarship Opportunities

• AISES Travel Scholarships for the 2019 Leadership Summit

• AISES A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship (2019-2020)

• AISES Burlington North Santa Fe

Foundation Scholarship (2019-2020)

• AISES Chevron Corporation Scholarship (2019-2020)

• AISES Intel Growing the Legacy

Scholarship Program (2019-2020)

• AISES Keepseagle Settlement Scholarship (2019-2020)

• AISES Naval Sea Systems Command Scholarship (2019-2020)

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019




Everything You Need to Know About Financial Aid The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion every year to help millions of students pay for college. This federal student aid is awarded in the form of grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans. Grants are typically awarded on the basis of need and generally do not have to be repaid. There are four types of federal student grants: •


Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. (In some cases, students enrolled in postbaccalaureate teacher certification programs may receive Federal Pell Grants.) The maximum Federal Pell Grant award for the 2018-2019 award year is $6,095; however, the actual award depends on the student’s financial need, the college’s cost of attendance, the student’s enrollment status, and the length of the academic year in which the student is enrolled. Students can receive the Federal Pell Grant for up to the equivalent of 12 semesters. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. The amount of the award is determined by the college’s

financial aid office and depends on the student’s financial need and the availability of funds at the college.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants are awarded to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. If the service requirement is not fulfilled, it could turn into a loan. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are awarded to students whose parents or guardians were members of the armed forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. To qualify, a student must have been under 24 years of age or enrolled in college at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

The Federal Work-Study Program enables students to earn

money during the school year while also gaining valuable work experience,

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

typically in part-time, career-related jobs. Loans consist of money that the student borrows to help pay for college, and must be repaid (plus interest). There are two federal student loan programs:

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a campus-based program that provides lowinterest loans to undergraduate and graduate students. The amount of the award depends on the student’s financial need, the amount of other aid the student receives, and the availability of funds at his/her college.

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program enables students and parents to borrow money at low-interest rates directly from the federal government. The Direct Loan Program includes Direct Stafford Loans, which are available to undergraduate and graduate students, and Direct PLUS Loans, which are available to parents of dependent students and to graduate and professional degree students. A Direct Stafford


Check state and local government websites regularly for scholarship award announcements. Community organizations also award scholarships based on academic ability or other factors.

Loan might be subsidized or unsubsidized. Direct PLUS Loans are always unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on financial need and are available only to undergraduate students. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while the borrower is in college and during deferment. Unsubsidized loans are based on the student's education costs and other aid received. The borrower must pay all accrued interest on unsubsidized loans.

Other forms of financial aid that might be available to students include: •

State government aid: For more information, contact the state’s higher education agency. You can find the state agency’s contact information at https:// EROD/criteria.cfm.

Aid from the college: Students should contact the financial aid offices at the colleges they are considering for more information.

Scholarships: Some states, local governments, colleges, community

organizations, private employers, and other organizations award scholarships based on academic ability or other factors. For more information, visit https://

Tax credits for education expenses: For more information about the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, visit https://studentaid.

Aid for the military: For more information, visit https:// HE

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019





HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019


• The United States Military Academy was founded in 1802 and is located in West Point, NY. • The United States Naval Academy was founded in 1845 and is located in Annapolis, MD. • The United States Coast Guard Academy was founded in 1876 and is located in New London, CT. • The United States Merchant Marine Academy was founded in 1943 and is located in Kings Point, NY. • The United States Air Force Academy was founded in 1954 and is located in Colorado Springs, CO.


have been a part of the fabric of American society since the founding of the United States Military Academy, sometimes referred to as West Point, in 1802. Subsequently, additional academies have been founded for the Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force. They are elite academic institutions entrusted to train many of the individuals who will be in leadership positions throughout the armed forces. Because of the important roles graduates play in the ongoing defense of the United States, entry into the academies is extremely competitive. Once admitted, a disciplined approach to training, leadership, athletics, and education is applied to create graduates who not only excel during their military careers but also in postmilitary careers. Graduates include American presidents, astronauts, Rhodes scholars, Heisman Trophy winners, and Nobel Prize recipients. From the first day of entry into the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, or the United States Coast Guard Academy, a student is classified as a member of the armed forces. All school expenses, such as books, board, tuition, and health care, are paid for by the federal government. The student also receives a monthly stipend for miscellaneous expenses. As members of the armed forces, all students’ actions are now judged by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Upon graduation, they are required to fulfill a five-year enlistment in the armed forces. This will be immediately followed by three years in the Reserves. For those who take on professions in the military that require long training periods, such as pilot training, the

minimum enlisting commitment time may be extended. The United States Merchant Marine Academy is not entirely free like the other academies. However, the cost is nominal, generally amounting to a thousand dollars per year. Graduates of this school are not required to serve in the military after their degree completion. Academy midshipmen can choose to join any branch of the United States armed forces. Except for the United States Coast Guard Academy, all applicants are required to receive a nomination to gain acceptance to the school. These nominations can come from a U.S. senator, a representative in Congress, the vice president, or the president. The Coast Guard Academy does not require nominations and uses a competitive admissions process. In all cases, the requirements for admittance are challenging. One must be able to pass a fitness test and medical examination. Sterling personal and academic high school records are required with strong showings on transcripts, test scores, recommendations, and a college essay. Athletic excellence is considered as well. In the case of the Naval Academy, a personal interview may be required. Lt. Darnell Talbert, an admissions officer at the Coast Guard Academy, had this suggestion for applicants to a service academy: “Having a strong academic foundation, particularly in the areas of STEM—calculus, physics, and chemistry—is key for academic success at Coast Guard Academy. While most of the degrees encompass some engineering, non-technical degrees require students to take STEM courses as all degrees result in a Bachelor of Science.” Attending a military academy is an

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019


Once admitted, a disciplined approach to training, leadership, athletics, and education is applied to create graduates who not only excel during their military careers but also in post-military careers. Graduates include American presidents, astronauts, Rhodes scholars, Heisman Trophy winners, and Nobel Prize recipients. excellent opportunity in life, but you need to make sure you are doing so for the right reasons. Eyobe Mills, a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, puts it


this way: “The Coast Guard Academy is not for everyone. Do not come here unless YOU (not your parents) want to be here. This place is very demanding and will require a lot from you. Those who do not graduate from here is because they did not want to be here. If you DO want to be here, make sure you do your research. Understand what you want and do not want from your college experience.” The pressure from relatives can be intense to attend one of the academies, but the challenges of being in one can break someone who has not fully committed to it. Mills also added that it takes a lot of hard work and discipline and that there are times when there are more tasks than time to complete them. However, he does not mind the challenge and has found his experience to be fulfilling. Jacqueline Jones is a fellow cadet in the same academy who corroborates Eyobe’s words. She added that persistence is one of the most important characteristics of making it through the school. You will face many challenges, and you will need to remember why you are there to

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

stay optimistic. She then recounts her experiences sailing on a tall ship called the Barque Eagle with stops in Virginia, Florida, and Bermuda this past summer. The experiences and chance for leadership were life-changing, she said. Her advice to those considering the academy is important life advice for all: “Attending an academy is a great opportunity; however, if you decide that an academy is not right for you, explore your opportunities, never limiting yourself. Remain passionate about your dreams, and remain optimistic.” Nicholas Woolfolk, another Coast Guard Academy cadet, says that you need to know what you wish to achieve in college, and you need to make sure a service academy lines up with your goals. He continues by saying you need to have “academic distinction, military excellence, and a strong moral courage” to excel in such a rigorous environment. If this is you, then maybe you should consider a service academy for your academic future. HE

The power of diversity in leadership. We understand that our future is tied to the success of diverse talents and future leaders of innovation and technology. And to develop the world’s most advanced systems, we need the contributions and talents of all employees. Learn more at

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SACNAS Stars of

Young Hispanics in science and technology continue to make their mark on the world. We are featuring a snapshot of individuals who have achieved excellence in their field. All of the people showcased are competing on the global level in cutting-edge fields that are revolutionizing the world. Beyond their own professional goals, they are also dedicating time and energy to developing pathways for others to follow. Their impact is being felt far and wide as they build the basis of a better tomorrow in both the field of science and their communities.

Diana Azurdia

Dr. Diana Azurdia is the associate director for recruitment for graduate programs in bioscience at UCLA. She leads development to enhance diversity in the biomedical graduate student population. She was recently awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Fellowship. Additionally, Dr. Azurdia uses her platform as a National Research Mentoring Network master facilitator to promote inclusive mentoring practices at UCLA. Dr. Azurdia also serves on the board of directors for SACNAS. She is a first-generation Guatemalan-American and the first in her family to attend college.

Brenda S. Benavides

Brenda Benavides earned her Bachelor of Science degree as a clinical,


biological chemist. She then worked in Pharmacology at her alma mater. In 2007, Benavides completed her master’s degree at the University of Texas-Pan American. As a doctoral candidate in the University of Texas at San Antonio, she is working with protein scaffolds with potential applications in alternative energy and medicine. As a scholar, she is strengthening skills in teaching and performance. Additionally, she is an active member of SACNAS.

Amanda Cano

Dr. Amanda Cano is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University. Her interests focus on the preservation of resources in the environment through sustainable methods. Dr. Cano is a staunch advocate for women in the STEM fields

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

and has been a part of the SACNAS mission since 2009. Last year she was selected for the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute 2017 cohort. She continues to mentor students and has led workshops that encourage younger students to pursue careers in the STEM fields.

Milka O. Montes

Milka Montes was a first-generation college student. Her first SACNAS experience was in 2004. Since then, she has become an advocate for minorities. Montes obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry, and after a post-doctoral fellowship, she became an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Texas-Permian Basin. Montes is campus director of the National Science Foundation-funded UT-System Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority


(Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science) is the largest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity organization in the country. Broadly inclusive, SACNAS has developed a suite of events and programs that invest in the next generation of diverse STEM talent.




Participation (LSAMP) Program and Chemistry Honor Society advisor. More recently, she was named interim chair of the Physical Science Department at UTPB.

Patricia Silveyra Patricia Silveyra received her master’s degree in molecular biology and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, and she did her post-doctoral training at Penn State University. Dr. Silveyra joined the faculty at Penn State College of Medicine in 2013. Since then, she has been funded and has published her work extensively with her research group. She currently holds two grants from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and she serves in various national organizations, including the SACNAS board of directors. HE



HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019






Raytheon fosters an inclusive culture that harnesses the power of different ideas and experiences to deliver the innovative solutions our customers depend on. @Raytheon Raytheon

© 2019 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved.


Ensuring Safety, Security, and Stewardship BY LANGO DEEN

Back in New London, CT

after an eventful BEYA Conference in Washington, D.C., Cadet Maylis Yepez Burac said the chance of networking at the annual conference which celebrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) was enlightening. “My favorite highlight was the Stars & Stripes Dinner, where we met senior personnel of the Coast Guard,” Burac said. “Their insights on the military and STEM careers were invaluable, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from them.” The Stars & Stripes Dinner at the BEYA STEM Conference is one of the nation’s largest events honoring active and retired African-American admirals, generals, and members of the federal Senior Executive Service. Each year the featured service of the Stars & Stripes event alternates between the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard and is determined on a rotating basis. The U.S. Coast Guard was the featured service of the 2019 Stars & Stripes event, which left Burac in awe.



HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

On the other hand, Burac was also a little shocked. She was to receive the BEYA Student Military Leadership award and was questioning whether or not she was truly deserving of the honor. She expressed this concern to a friend. “The night before the awards ceremony, my friend, a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, gave me the answers I needed,” Burac said. “He

showed me the video of the song ‘His Pain II’ by BJ the Chicago Kid. “The chorus says, ‘I don’t know why he keeps blessing me, I don’t know why, I don’t know why, I don’t know why,’ and it reminded me that my community, my village, and God were investing in me,” she said. “Attending a BEYA conference is important because there is a community of people who care and continually invest in success in the STEM field and Black excellence,” she said. Stars & Stripes, Excellence in STEM Burac is a third-class cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, where she is majoring in electrical engineering. She is a member of the prestigious Alpha Lambda Delta honors society, a certified national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in the first year at a college or university. Currently, Burac is working on a Diversity Peer Educator qualification and one of her mentors on campus is Commander Royce W. James, who has a doctorate in plasma physics and has served as principal investigator of the Coast Guard Academy Plasma Lab since 2008. “We’ve had a mentor-mentee relationship since before my cadet career began,” Burac says. “He was candid about challenges I would face as a cadet, and a minority, and has been instrumental to my leadership development.” In the plasma physics laboratory, Burac works alongside CDR James, other physics faculty, and cadets who are conducting graduate-level research. “We measure the plasma’s ‘vital signs’ as we call it—temperature and density,” she says. “My contribution is to develop a graphical user interface in which we can remotely control the physical operations of the laboratory creating the plasma, and store, analyze, and represent key data.” As a member of the Chase Hall Security Team, Burac is part of the continual assessment of campus safety. She is a certified member of Cadets Against Sexual Assault and has applied for a cadet peer support job that would allow her to serve as an emotional resource for her peers. “The position would grant me full

L-R: Dr. Pamela McCauley, Author, Educator, Engineer, and Entrepreneur, Maylis Yepen Burac, U.S. Coast Guard Cadet, Marc Clarke, Author Media Personality

confidentiality and free me from being a mandated reporter during sessions,” she says. Burac also recently passed her emergency medical technician national certification assessments. When she’s not working, she enjoys musicals, cheerleading, and the campus concert band. A Cutter man in the making Burac hopes to become a cutterman, an elite Coast Guard badge of honor that requires years of sea time and commitment.

“At the Coast Guard Academy, they instill in you the need to be a leader,” Burac says. “To me, that means demonstrating the discipline to do what is expected of you to the highest degree, and having the moral courage to do it honestly, while uplifting those around you.” While a student at the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut, Burac got involved in a learning program that opened doors to new horizons. The magnet school’s after-school program provides students an opportunity to experience hands-on STEM, enriching classroom instruction from the regular school day. Through the program, Burac met cadets from the academy, who were pursuing academic majors that prepare the future officers to defend against cyber attacks, protect information and systems, and design, operate, and repair ships and

boats. She also met CDR James, who co-founded the Coast Guard Academy’s Science Partnership for Innovation in Learning (Project SPIL). “The mission of the (SPIL) project is in the name,” Burac said. “It is meant to foster partnership between two academic institutions in the same community that are driven by STEM.” Inspired by the vision, Burac took the lead in development of a video that earned kudos from the magnet school and academy. “The video was fun to make,” Burac recalls. “That day, classmates from Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and myself attended classes at the academy and got to mingle with cadets and faculty. This video captured our amazing experience and gave us an outlet to provide feedback to the program.” Born in Panama, Burac was raised in New London by a first-generation American single mother. “The city of New London is a community enriched by its diversity,” Burac says. “The people of New London are uplifting, giving, and accepting of people from all backgrounds. I believe it is important to instill a high sensitivity in our youth, to preserve the essence of our small community.” HE

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019


INTERNSHIPS Published Courtesy of FIU News Diana Hernandez-Alende

HOW AN FIU ENGINEERING STUDENT LANDED AN INTERNSHIP AT NORTHROP GRUMMAN Florida International University is a public research institution in Miami. It has awarded more than 330,000 degrees since 1972 and enrolled more than 57,000 students. Its College of Engineering and Computing is the nation’s largest producer of Hispanic engineers.


n a groundbreaking back-to-school interview with Diana HernandezAlende, Florida International University (FIU) electrical engineering major Antonio Rubio (third from left in photo) talks about how he landed an internship at Northrop Grumman during a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) conference and what employers look for. “I attended the 2018 BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Awards) Conference. It’s a really good career fair that is held annually in Washington, D.C.,” Rubio told Alende. “There were a lot of companies present including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Boston Scientific, NASA, Raytheon, Chevron, Texas Instruments, GM (General Motors), and many more. I highly recommend attending this conference to anyone. It was a great


experience, and I was fortunate enough to interview with Northrop Grumman, and they offered me a position right then.” As an electrical engineering intern, Rubio said he supported a United States land-based missile in service with the Air Force. “My main task was to develop a software tool that would automatically check a digital parts list for errors and calculate the accuracy… The desktop application I built allowed the developers of the parts list to frequently check the accuracy of their work before the software goes into a weapons system.” Rubio’s senior design capstone project happened to be designing an app that found errors in a data list. The experience he gained taking software technique classes at FIU, working on a robotics competition, and as a research assistant was invaluable for his summer internship. Rubio said recruiters at the BEYA STEM Conference and Career Fair look at your GPA, applicable classes you have taken, projects you’ve worked on, relevant jobs and military service, clubs you belong to, and how you add value to your community. The coolest thing about his internship was delivering the final product and hearing all the feedback at Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC). “Just being in Utah was cool, too… I also really liked the work environment. They expected a lot out of you at NGC, but everyone is nice and willing to help. They have a lot of barbecues and team building functions. We had at least one barbecue or potluck a week,” he said. The BEYA STEM Conference has built strong, lasting partnerships with many of the top companies and government agencies in America.

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This year's conference theme: "At the Intersection of America's Future" advances the decades-old mission of the BEYA Conference to shed light on the key issues in persistence of underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and honor the men and women who are keeping the United States competitive in innovation, space/manufacturing/infrastructure technology, and the digital workforce of the future. BEYA is produced by Career Communications Group Inc. (CCG), which has created an integrated


and inspiring group of magazines, dynamic Web sites, and outstanding conferences. Hosted by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation; the 34th annual BEYA STEM Conference will take place February 13-15, 2020 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C. HE

Rubio said recruiters at the BEYA STEM Conference and Career Fair look at your GPA, applicable classes you have taken, projects you’ve worked on, relevant jobs and military service, clubs you belong to, and how you add value to your community. HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019



WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO GRAD SCHOOL In a recent report, Excelencia in Education (Excelencia) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) said the 2015-16 academic year saw growth in the number of Latinos attending college. As a result, there is an increase in the number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the United States. In 2015-16, 14 percent of all institutions of higher education (472 HSIs) enrolled 64 percent of all Latino undergraduates. In general, HSIs have 25 percent or higher Latino enrollment.


ot enough Latinos are earning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) credentials. In an earlier report, Excelencia found:

The number of Latinos earning credentials in STEM increased, but Latinos still earned a small percentage of credentials conferred in STEM.

Latino degree attainment in STEM is concentrated at the baccalaureate level.

“The report shines a light on what many of us know to be true: that diversification within STEM postsecondary education, particularly among Hispanics/Latinos over the last decade, has been largely in the area of certificate/associate levels and diminishes at each successive level,” said Dr. Gabriel Montaño, research scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). “The result is an increasing discrepancy in positions of leadership within the STEM workforce. The awarding of master’s and doctoral degrees through private and research-intensive institutions suggests a potential socioeconomic pattern that would be of significant interest to investigate further,” he said. The top institutions awarding graduate degrees to Latinos in STEM are: Master’s Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico, PR Florida International University, FL The University of Texas at El Paso, TX University of Puerto RicoMayaguez, PR University of Southern California, CA

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“The report shines a light on what many of us know to be true: that diversification within STEM post-secondary education, particularly among Hispanics/ Latinos over the last decade, has been largely in the area of certificate/ associate levels and diminishes at each successive level.” Dr. Gabriel Montaño, research scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)


Doctoral Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields 1. Stanford University, CA 2. University of California-Berkeley, CA 3. The University of Texas at El Paso, TX 4. University of California-Davis, CA 5. University of California-Irvine, CA Excelencia also examined evidencebased practices at institutions that improve Latino student success in STEM fields. Some of these include:

Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (MISS), California State University – Fullerton, CA

Computing Alliance of HispanicServing Institutions (CAHSI), University of Texas at El Paso, TX

ARMAS (Achieving in Research Math and Science) Center, New

Mexico Highlands University, NM “As the nation’s demographics continue to shift and as STEM skills and mindset continue to be embraced by employers, it is critical that state and federal policies be developed that can support Latino-focused STEM programs that will provide our workforce the diversity it deserves,” said Andrés Henríquez, Excelencia in Education board member and former program officer with the National Science Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In particular, the report highlighted El Paso Community College in Texas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A partnership between El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) ensures that academic preparation leads to seamless transfer to its four-year computer science program.

Counselors from UTEP are accessible to EPCC students to facilitate matriculation. Additionally, employment through Student Technology Services enables students to earn income while learning and practicing computer skills. Administrators at Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering point to relationships with community colleges as part of their success. Through the Regents Engineering Transfer Program (RETP), Georgia Tech awards one-third of its engineering degrees to graduates who were not original matriculates. Community colleges in Georgia and Florida have taken part in the program, which includes campus visits, financial aid phone-a-thons, student-faculty mentoring, scholarships and fellowships through the Goizueta Foundation, and Latino student organizations. HE

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JUNIOR COLLEGE LIFE Courtesy Prep/Choosing the Right School

THE PROS AND CONS OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES Community college is not what it used to be. There are major incentives for attending a local junior college. Not to mention the obvious financial advantage, junior college is a place where you can knock out your general courses and explore your other interests on a schedule that works for you.


n my own experience, I found that junior college was a great place for me to figure out what major I was going to pursue and where I would eventually obtain my degree from.

Pros Cost of Tuition The most obvious reason that students attend community college is for financial advantage. Many junior colleges cost less than $2,000 per semester to attend full-time. Attending community college gives students the chance to prepare for the financial demands of a four-year university if they plan on transferring.


Flexible Schedule Many students don't realize that if they plan on working while attending school, community college is hands down the best option. They offer far more night classes than other universities and more schedule options. The workload, unfortunately, is lighter than a state school or private university, and attendance is not usually required. Give Students an Opportunity to Explore Major Options Instead of spending thousands of dollars at a private university towards a major that you are not sure of, consider attending a community school while you are making your decision.

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Classes cost less, so you will have the opportunity to explore interests that you might not have otherwise pursued. Smaller Classes The class sizes are surprising to most students because the tuition is so reasonable. While classes aren't as small as those of a leading private university, many have as few as 20 students. In a smaller class, professors have the opportunity to learn more about their students. Likewise, students will find their teachers more accessible and can get assistance when they need it. Qualified Professors Everybody starts somewhere. Some of your professors will be fresh out of a master's program, but many will be


well-seasoned academics who carry an impressive resume. Community schools are just as flexible for the students as for the professors. Transitional Attending community school gives students the opportunity to earn college credit while taking their time in selecting the four-year institution that is right for them. Because there is little financial investment, most students are deterred from dropping their studies altogether.

Cons Limited Curriculum Typically, community colleges are twoyear schools. If you plan on obtaining

a four-year degree, you will have to transfer to a university at some point. If you're looking for a permanent residence, this probably isn't the best place for you. Lighter Workload The workload is significantly lighter than at a state university or a private college. There is sometimes very little course work aside from major exams, but keep in mind that college is what you make it—putting in the time is entirely up to you. Uninvolved Students This is probably the biggest deterrent for people considering junior college: Many of the students are uninvolved. Many have no plans for an academic

future outside of what they receive at the junior college level—and they study like it. Good news for the dedicated student: The professor will recognize your potential and reward you accordingly. Campus life (or lack thereof) Junior colleges do have clubs and organizations, but campus life is not an integral part of the atmosphere. For most students at community schools, their schedule revolves around work, and classes come second. If you are looking for a lively social scene, again, community college is probably not for you. HE

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CAREER CENTER by Courtney Taborn


What you need to know for your first day at a new job Last year, Career Communications Group’s Student Success column brought you networking rules for professional life. This year’s edition will include “Principles of Networking” to reinforce some of those fundamental rules that help you connect with like-minded people.


areer Communications Group’s Student Success column is excited to welcome back Job Readiness expert Courtney Taborn. In this series, she will focus on resume writing skills and interpersonal skills (aka networking). Learn how to present yourself in the best possible way to ensure success. Is your resume 2019-Ready? Are you presenting your best self? Need resume tips? What are your 2019 goals? “The day for your new job starts the night before,” notes Courtney. In this edition of her career tips and advice, she tells you how to prepare for an anxiety-free first day on the job with a little help from Kendrick Lamar.

1. Attend to physical needs—pack lunch, sleep well, arrive early If you’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it should come as no surprise that attending to your physiological needs is the most important thing you can do for your first day of work. Here’s a quick rundown of them. First, your clothing choice. For those of you who don’t know, we in the United States have a pretty serious love affair going on with our air conditioning. If you are beginning your new job on the hottest day of the year, you need to plan and bring a sweater. Next, be sure to wear clothes and shoes that you are comfortable in. At most offices, the first day includes a walking tour, onboarding tutorials, and paperwork, which means a lot of sitting and a lot of standing.

2. Prepare for a lot of listening If you’ve ever explored mindfulness, meditation, or even Bruce Lee’s body of work, you might have heard the quote, “Empty your cup so that it may be filled.” In our interpersonal and professional lives, this means that if you are too eager to impress others, you will not be able to take in the information they are trying to share with you. So, how can you incorporate this concept into your first day at a new job? Well, in the words of Kendrick Lamar, “Sit down. Be humble.”

3. Prepare to talk Okay, I know this sounds like the exact opposite of my last point, but stick with me. During your first days and weeks at a new job, you are going to be introducing yourself to your coworkers, some of whom might be your superiors. If you tend to be an over-thinking, anxiety-prone individual like myself, you know how a poorly timed joke can wreck your sleep for a week. But I have some good news! Practicing your “elevator speech” can help you avoid the soul-sucking rumination that leaves you feeling as though you’ve made a fool of yourself.

Learn how to present yourself in the best possible way to ensure success. 4. Get primal—break bread Have you ever walked into a meeting and seen a plate of cookies or pizza? Maybe you were having a mediocre day, but then you smelled the pizza and felt your face contort into a grin because boy, oh boy, do you love snacks! Of course, in this setting, food only means one thing: a room full of folks whose guards are down just enough to connect. So, on your first day, if you are lucky enough for your co-workers to invite you to eat lunch with them, do not hesitate to say yes. They don’t tell you this in school, but crumbs on your face are the true equalizer of the corporate world. HE

- Rodolfo Neri Vela 26

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Working at NSA has made me feel an ...

‘Incredible Sense of Pride’

Glorian Rivera-Alvarez has been on an upward trajectory since college. As Chief of Staff of NSA’s Office of General Counsel, she now manages the staff that supports legal advisors for NSA while she mentors fellow engineers and serves as an advocate for STEM fields at NSA recruitment events. “The most satisfying part,” she says, “is encouraging my team to develop creative solutions, and then seeing what they deliver, which is always much more than I could have imagined.” NSA offers technical professionals: • Tuition assistance • Training and development • Leadership opportunities • A friendly environment that fosters innovation • Work/life balance • An opportunity to contribute to the good of the nation

U.S. citizenship is required. NSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.




etting out alone for a 10-hour drive to Texas—with no interview scheduled—Tamara left her home in New Albany, MS, with the goal of working for Lockheed Martin. Fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she headed to Texas in 2002 to join the company at the crest of military aviation technology. “I moved with no family, less than $300 in my pocket, and I had never driven more than three hours alone,” she says. “My purpose was to land an engineering position with Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, TX.” Did she have an interview scheduled? No. Had Lockheed Martin given her an invitation to visit? No. Did she know where she would stay? Not exactly. Was she sure she could get a job? To that question, she paused, and then returned another: “Why not?” Interviews are just conversations, but you’ve got to prepare for them. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Interview Tips • Search the company website to

learn about what they do and about the job. Familiarize yourself with their mission statement. Be familiar with the job you are applying for and be prepared with reasons why your experiences make you the best candidate for the job. Be prepared with three to four follow-up questions about the company or job.

• Clean up your social media sites.

Employers may look beyond your work references to determine whether you are a good fit for their company. Now is a good time to go through your public information and make sure it won’t raise any red flags.

• Rehearsing your answers to typical interview questions will help make you feel comfortable during the interview. Be prepared with your professional goals and how the job for which you are interviewing fits into those goals.

• Dress professionally. If you don’t

know the company dress code, assume professional dress. A conservative hairstyle, makeup, and jewelry are encouraged for interviews. For more tips on appropriate dress, see the Corporate Code section.

• Plan on arriving 15 minutes before

your interview time. Research the route so that you will have an estimation of how long it may take for you to arrive. Do you know where to park? What building or floor is your interview on? What is the name and contact information of the person interviewing you? Having this knowledge will ensure that you make a good impression by arriving on time and ready for your interview!

• Make a positive first impression with nonverbal cues. Make eye contact, smile, and sit up straight. Introduce yourself with a firm, confident

handshake. These nonverbal cues can have a big impact on your first impression.

• Know your resume and use

experiences listed on your resume to support why you are the best candidate for the job. If you do not have prior work experience, pull experiences from school, volunteering, clubs, and any other opportunities you are involved with.

• Stay calm and take a moment to

think about the questions you are being asked. Feel free to seek clarification on a question. Make sure you are paying attention and listening to the entire question before you answer.

• Be prepared and bring a few copies of your resume and references with you. Bring a pen and notepad for taking notes.

• Send a follow-up thank you note.

Make sure to get a copy of your interviewer’s business card or their contact information before you leave. Sending a thank you note reiterates your interest in the position and goes a long way toward making you a memorable candidate. HE

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TECHNOLOGY TOOLS by Gary L. Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

LEARN COMPUTERS WITH PI Eben Upton, the founder of Raspberry Pi, has made a habit of doing the impossible and making it affordable. The first Pis were launched in the spring of 2012 after Upton and a group of teachers, academics, and computer enthusiasts devised a computer to educate and excite children. The original Pi offered two versions at $25 and $35.


he first 10 single-board computers were auctioned to raise funds on eBay. The history involves several versions of the Raspberry Pi with the newest Raspberry Pi Zero W. The Raspberry Pi is about discovering great things to do with computers and teaching the complete operation of the computer as well. I introduced the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B+ to my Boy Scout Troop 544 in the winter of 2014-15. It was a big hit, and the rest is history. Raspberry Pi 1 Models A+ and B+, Pi 2 Model B, Pi 3 Model B, and Pi Zero (and Zero W) GPIO J8 have a 40-pin pinout. Raspberry Pi 1 Models A and B have only the first 26 pins. Today,


the featured two-boards are the Pi 3 Model B and Pi Zero W. In April of 2016, a Raspberry Pi Camera v2.1 with 8 megapixels became available thanks to the Sony IMX219 chip with a resolution of 3280 x 2464. The Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Zero W both support a wide range of operating systems. These systems must be placed on a microSD card, and most of the operating systems can be found at The highly recommended Raspbian OS and the Ubuntu Mate are the major desktop distributions. Both processors also support Windows 10 DT. While creating SD card images of the individual operating systems is possible, the addition of an integrated Wi-Fi chipset instantly makes things a little quicker and easier when using the standard Raspberry Pi NOOBS (new out-ofbox software) OS installer. Several other operating systems are available, including my favorite for streaming video, LibreELEC. There are a lot of free (open) application software packages that include Mathematica, AstroPrint (3D printing), and RealVNC (remote access server and viewer). The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the most powerful Pi to date. The power management on the Pi 3 is superior to all other models with only a maximum power draw of 2.5A. The Pi 3 employs the Broadcom VideoCore IV graphics chipset with 1GB of RAM. In the years to come, Google has announced Android support for the Pi 3 with the Android Open Source

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Project repository. Android Marshmallow (codenamed Android M during development) is the sixth major version of the Android operating system on the Raspberry Pi devices scheduled for release sometime in 2018. The Raspberry Pi has been the catalyst of the imagination of the public. Computing has not seen such good days in about 10 years. The Internet is full of all types of fun and important applications. The following is just a list of my 10 favorite applications: 1.

Arcade Pi

2. Pi Hacker 3. Raspberry Pi Weather Station 4. 10-inch Raspberry Pi Touchscreen 5. Home Automation 6. Raspberry Pi Super Computer Cluster 7.

Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi-Alexa

8. Siri-enabled temperature sensor using Raspberry Pi 9. Build your own AI assistant 10. Pi Multi-Room Music Player The Raspberry Pi is a fascination tool for learning more about how computers function. All the latest models include integrated Bluetooth adaptors. The many ports allow for cameras, home automation, server applications, internet radio platforms, and even the ability to build a supercomputer by networking several Raspberry Pis together. HE



Survey Results! Where are the best jobs in the defense industry? Which occupations can you check on the major defense career list? Do you know the top jobs that recruiters are looking to fill? To get answers to these questions, read Career Outlook’s tips on preparing for defense jobs.

Careers in the


INSIDE » Industry Overview » Job Horizon » Defense Directory

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Defense INTELLIGENCE The defense industry is at a crossroads and is expected to experience some major shifts in the upcoming years. If you are a current or future college graduate looking to join the defense industry, having an awareness of these trends will put you at an advantage when seeking employment. From shifts in research and development strategies in the global defense industry to the varying degrees of digitalization in defense processes, changing dynamics may dictate some new approaches to entering the workforce. It is prudent for college students and recent college grads to gain an awareness of these trends in order to maximize their marketability to a potential defense industry employer.


by Alfred Lewis

According to the findings of global and U.S. aerospace and defense sector expert Robin Lineberger of Deloitte Consulting, “The U.S. aerospace and defense industry has been a significant contributor to America’s net exports, a top employer, taxpayer, and major contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product. However, recently we are seeing a slowdown in the industry.” This slight slowdown can be attributed to a few global economic trends, and it is important to note that overall jobs lost in the defense industry only amounted to 0.3 percent. Of greater note is the finding that U.S. foreign military sales dropped 28 percent in 2016, which could be a sign of bigger job losses in the future. Offering hope to these seemingly negative trends is the consideration that shifts are most likely the result of

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increased process automation and use of robotics within the industry, according to Lineberger. Recent and future college grads should not be overly concerned by this trend, but should be aware that the market is moving some positions into automated systems that will require a new workforce. However, there is a nationwide shortage of STEM-trained candidates. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) notes that only 1.5 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds hold a science degree. If the trend continues, there will be an extreme shortage of qualified candidates for lucrative and stable defense industry jobs. The severity of this shortage is evidenced by a purposeful effort by leaders in the defense industry, universities, and the federal government to facilitate and encourage STEM education and career pathways. If you’re looking to add a competitive edge to


Information you need on the future of defense your pre-employment experiences and resume, consider adding experience with automated defense processes and robotics. They may hold the key to future job security. While some trends show a slightly smaller workforce emerging from the past five years, the next five to 10 years look to be years of overall growth and expansion in the defense industry. According to clearancejobs. com, the defense industry is expected to experience a 4.1 percent revenue growth and see a 3 percent spending increase through 2022. These increases in revenue and spending are coupled with another trend that benefits jobseekers: extremely low unemployment rates for defense positions. In fact, aerospace engineering enjoys a less than 1 percent unemployment rate! The AIA notes

that 60.6 percent of the aerospace and defense industry workforce is over the age of 46. With a graying workforce, reinvigorated economics, and a lack of qualified candidates, the time to join the defense industry is now. What challenges can recent graduates experience when entering the defense industry? The AIA describes the challenges for young professionals upon entering the defense industry with an intense focus on maintaining job satisfaction. While young professionals are attracted by the traditional desire for a competitive salary and benefits, maintaining job satisfaction that creates long-term viable positions is a bit more challenging for employers. In a 2015 article, Aviation Week listed the following factors as being most important to job satisfaction across several demographics, including

women and minorities: job stability, flex time, a supervisor that values staff contributions, challenging work, access to tools and technology, and companies encouraging innovation in several areas. According to the AIA, “Failure to connect with, recruit, and retain talent from a diverse population will only compound the nation’s shortage of skilled workers.” Put bluntly, if you are a current or recent college graduate seeking to join the defense industry, trends are in your favor. With a shortage of young STEM professionals and modest increases in demand and revenue, qualified jobseekers are in demand. With industry and government leaders laying the groundwork for STEM education and innovation in technology processes, the nation is pinning the hopes of the 21st century workforce and national security on the next generation of college grads. HE

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Current college students and recent college graduates seeking employment in the defense industry should consider adding pre-employment experiences and seeking to narrow their job search by region as well as consider information relevant to their desired title or domain. Understanding the current and future trends in geographical nuances, occupational differences, and desired skills will help to give both groups a better chance of interviewing and securing a position within the industry. According to, entrylevel defense industry jobs are out there and are often found under the following titles: assistant, coordinator, junior, trainee, and specialist. Looking for job titles that feature those keywords will yield the best results when attempting to interview for positions that may not require any prior experience. So where are the best places to find employment in the defense industry? There are a number of markets that are hotspots for defense positions. Washington D.C., is not only the nation’s capital, but is also the hub of the defense industry and, as such, houses a lot of potential for job seekers. Norfolk, VA is another large hub for the defense industry as some of the larger defense contractors, such as Honeywell and Northrop Grumman, are located in the surrounding areas. With major U.S. research and development organizations located within Wright-Patterson Air Force base nearby, Dayton, OH, is another metro area that jobseekers may focus on within the defense industry. Likewise, the Denver/Colorado Springs area boasts Army and Air Force bases alongside industry giant Lockheed Martin. What do STEM employment options look like in this field? First, consider the statistic that three out of every 10 defense industry jobs is a STEM job. In fact, in “Assuring the U.S. Department of Defense a Strong Science, Technology,

Engineering, and Mathematics” (National Academies Press (NAP), 2012), it is noted that major STEM occupations within the defense industry are research and development, designing, manufacturing, and maintaining military weapon systems, manufacturing missiles, and guidance systems as well as other specialized areas. Put in clearer terms, it was observed that “The largest STEM occupational group in the Departments of the Air Force, Army, and Navy is engineers; however, in the Department of Defense Agencies, computer and mathematical scientists represent the largest STEM occupational group.” For current and future grads, what are the top types of positions recruiters might be looking to fill in the next five to 10 years? What skills and majors should students have to obtain those jobs? With regard to college majors, NAP collated data that showed the total percentage of civilian DOD STEM occupations. The top four occupations were: • IT Management – 23.8% • Electronics Engineering – 11.4% • General Engineering – 10.2% • Mechanical Engineering – 7.2% Students who major in engineering of some form and who focus their pre-employment experiences within that domain stand to find more job opportunities. Employers are seeking STEM-qualified candidates with documented strengths in technical writing, knowledge of shipboard environments, an ability to communicate with customers, critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, and an ability to work independently. According to Lockheed Martin, “Advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is a critical focus for Lockheed Martin. We know firsthand the importance of educating our young people in these areas. Our future success—and our nation’s technological advantage— depend on a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent.” What is the best way for a student to prepare for defense jobs? As with

other STEM careers, the most impactful way to augment your resume and pre-employment experiences is with internships within your desired field. The Department of Defense offers STEM internships as well as a myriad of opportunities for a wide range of students. Additionally, the Department of Defense has support for veterans who have enlisted previously and are now seeking employment. While enlisting can help your chances of starting a career in the defense industry, both types of candidates regularly seek and find employment. When seeking employment and interviewing for defense positions, many of the same general tips for other fields apply: Create a coherent, concise resume that lists your demonstrated strengths in problem-solving and innovation. Be sure to prominently feature any STEM experiences you have engaged in, and be persistent in getting your resume out to employers. Search for positions that strongly match your documented skills, and prepare for the upcoming interview process and background check. Boeing offers some insight into internships and their availability: “An internship with Boeing is a great way to prepare for a career in aerospace and defense. Boeing interns gain valuable hands-on experience and collaborate with designers, builders, thinkers, and dreamers to achieve incredible things. We offer internships in engineering, business, and information technology and data analytics in a variety of locations around the globe. Visit https:// for more information and some helpful tips on becoming a Boeing intern.” There is some nuance to preparing for and ultimately seeking employment within the defense industry. Current college students and recent graduates should focus on specific regions or metro areas, target open positions that match their skills, and purposefully seek out STEM internships that will increase their marketability to employers. By framing the next few steps of the college and job search, candidates will increase their chances of entering the defense field. HE

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Defense Company Directory Listings for Career Pages of the Leading Defense Contractors

Defense contractors continue to be a growing part of the U.S. economy. The expanded efforts of the U.S. government to outsource has created new private sector employment opportunities that were unavailable in the past. These companies are actively seeking new hires with a diverse range of skills. Those with skills in cybersecurity, engineering, and science are in high demand with these employers. Each company listed in the directory has a website specifically tailored to job applicants. It is important to note that many companies explicitly forbid job applicants to contact them outside of their designated hiring website, so double check the company’s policy if you choose another method for inquiry for a job. Many of these companies are active in recruiting qualified minority candidates to join their workforce. AAR AAR is a leader in providing aviation technology and services to both commercial and defense customers. The company manufactures control systems, containers, transport pallets, and shelters. It also offers supply chain management services, aircraft maintenance, and repair. The company’s roots are in building aircraft radios.

Accenture Accenture is the largest consulting company in the world. The consulting services range from technology to project outsourcing to Fortune Global 500 companies and governments around the world. The company has active operations in many countries. Many organizations look to Accenture when trying to boost revenue, discover new markets, and find operational improvements.

AECOM AECOM operates in 150 countries, providing consulting, design, engineering, and construction management services for both government and civil projects. The projects range from the Mall of Oman 36

to Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Hyderabad Metro Rail in India. The company is active in pursuing and completing large-scale projects.

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s business is rocket science. The company is the biggest manufacturing company for space propulsion systems. Its systems are used almost exclusively by the U.S. government and defense contractions. NASA, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and the Pentagon can all be counted as ongoing customers.

Battelle The Battelle Memorial Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to research. It is actually one of the world’s largest research organizations. Research is conducted with the help of 22,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff. The areas of research include energy, defense, and health. The organization has facilities scattered across the U.S., including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

The Ball Corporation

The Ball Corporation is a leader in the manufacture of both metal and

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consumer goods packaging. Companies such as Coca-Cola and Unilever are big customers for this packaging. The company also generates about 10 percent of its net sales from an aerospace business, providing things such as sensors and instruments primarily to the U.S. government.

Bell Helicopter Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, manufactures a variety of aerial vehicles, including unmanned vertical lift aircraft, helicopters, and, with partner Boeing, the V-22 Osprey. It also provides repair services, maintenance, and training. The company has maintained a leading position in the vertical lift sector of aviation. It maintains operations globally, but primarily focuses on the European, Asian, and North American markets.

Bechtel Bechtel is a company engaged globally in the areas of engineering and construction management. The company’s primary clients come from the defense, telecom, energy, and transportation industries. The company has been in existence for over 100 years. Its activities have ranged ranged from containing the fallout from Chernobyl to building the Hoover Dam.


by Kenneth Barnes

The Boeing Company


Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world. The company’s aircraft can be seen at any airport in the world. The company serves multiple sectors, including commercial, military, space, sea, and science. Beyond manufacturing, the company has large operations in financial and leasing services.

Cubic Corporation provides a number of tailored solutions to clients globally. The company focuses on areas such as communications, intelligence, surveillance, mission solutions, and information technology. The company also creates solutions for the integration of payment options with transportation. The company deals primarily with governments.

Booz Allen Hamilton Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading global consultancy. The company’s primary business is helping the U.S. government operate in the best way possible. The company operates globally as it helps fulfill this goal. Areas of expertise include project management, training, strategy, systems engineering, and cybersecurity.

CACI International

CACI International provides a range of information technology services, including network management, engineering, and simulation. The company’s primary customer is the U.S. government, with the U.S. Department of Defense making the bulk of that spending. Beyond the federal government, the company also services local government along with select commercial clients.

Curtiss-Wright Curtiss-Wright is a global industrial company with many different lines of business. Some of them include supplier to the Pentagon, commercial aerospace, upgrading of power plants, and general industrial technologies. The company operates in over 200 locations worldwide with a strong focus on emerging markets. The company has recently agreed to be acquired by SAIC.

Day & Zimmermann

government embassies. The company routinely operates in areas as diverse as construction, engineering, staffing, and munitions manufacturing.

DynCorp International

DynCorp International is in the business of providing maintenance, service, and support in the aviation industry. The company’s logistics solutions provide a full suite of services to keep the military flying forward. DynCorp International services clients both in the U.S. and internationally.

Engility Engility offers a wide array of services to the federal government. Many of the services can be classified as support services, such as engineering, software development, project management, staffing, logistics, and a number of others. The company is the result of a spinoff of government services businesses that were owned by L-3 Communications.

Day & Zimmermann is a highly diversified company. This privately held company services many large companies and U.S. government agencies. The company has done everything from the maintenance of a nuclear power plant to the design process for HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019


CAREEROUTLOOK | INDUSTRY OVERVIEW Fluor Fluor is focused on the project management of some large engineering and construction projects. Services provided include design, procurement, construction, and maintenance. The projects constructed include hospitals, power plants, and refineries. Half of its projects are in the areas of energy, chemicals, and mining.

GE Aviation GE Aviation is one of the largest producers of jet engines in the world. In addition, the company actively operates in providing servicing solutions for both commercial and military aircraft. This global company has operations in many countries. It is also a subsidiary of the conglomerate General Electric (GE).

General Dynamics

General Dynamics is a major contractor for the Pentagon. The company produces a diverse range of products, including warships, submarines, tanks, and munitions. The company also engages in information technology fields and aerospace designs via Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation.

Harris Corporation

Harris Corporation is a leader in communications for both commercial and government customers. The company’s solutions can be found on battlefields and in satellite communications, wireless transmissions, air control systems, and radio frequency. While the majority of its revenue comes from the government, the company maintains a substantial list of customers in fields ranging from energy to maritime.

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ core business is building nuclear aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. Beyond building carriers, the company also offers maintenance service for its carriers and submarines. It also provides warfare 38

ships, oil hull tankers, and surface ships. Most of the company’s products are sold to the U.S. government.

Honeywell Honeywell International is a large conglomerate that makes everything from jet engines to thermostats. This century-old company operates in aerospace, construction technology, materials, and industrial solutions. The company has operations globally with an increasing number of new technologies and solutions.

IBM IBM is a storied company as one of the pioneers of the computer industry. The company is staying at the forefront of development with an increasing focus on cloud computing, blockchain, and cybersecurity. The company continues to maintain a footprint in all areas of computing and technology. It has been one of the leaders for patents granted.

KBR KBR is a company that builds big things. The company was formerly part of Halliburton. Many of the world’s leading hydrocarbon production facilities were built by KBR, and the company provides many additional services to the U.S. government in a variety of fields beyond construction. Half of the company’s revenue comes outside of the U.S.

L3 Technologies

L3 Technologies is a defense contractor that focuses on delivering intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance solutions. The company is a leader in night vision equipment, aircraft maintenance, and training services. The majority of its revenue stems from the United States, but opportunities for employment are available globally.

Leidos Leidos offers services in analytics, information technology, and cybersecurity. The company’s primary

HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019

customers are in the intelligence, homeland security, defense, health care, and civilian marketplaces. Since a 2016 merger, the company has grown in its focus on information and intelligence services. The company’s revenue is mainly from the U.S. government.

Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin is a leading government contractor. The Department of Defense accounts for 60 percent of its total revenue. The company is known for its manufacture of satellites, aerospace vehicles, missiles, and nautical technologies. The company has a long history and can trace its origins back to 1912.

ManTech International

ManTech International’s main business is providing information technology security services primarily to U.S. government agencies. Some of its business offers include communications, digital forensics, intelligence, and security systems development. The company works closely with the government. It maintains offices in approximately 40 nations.

The Mitre Corporation The Mitre Corporation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing consulting, engineering, and research service for U.S. government agencies. Several researchers from MIT formed the organization, which has now grown to employ over 7,000 specialists in various fields. Most of the jobs are located in either Virginia or Massachusetts.

Moog Inc. Moog Inc. manufactures high-quality components for usage in a number of industries. The company’s components are used extensively in commercial and military aircraft flight control systems. The company also provides engineering products for sectors such as space, medical devices, and defense. The company is named after its founder, Bill Moog.

| THE FUTURE OF FINTECH Northrop Grumman Corporation Northrop Grumman is the world’s fourth largest military contractor. The company’s products and services touch every aspect of the modern armed forces. Leading research is part of the company’s focus on technologies like spacecraft, laser systems, and technology systems. The company’s origins go back all the way to 1927.

Oshkosh Defense Oshkosh Defense manufactures vehicles for militaries and security forces worldwide. The company has delivered over 150,000 vehicles since its founding 100 years ago. Its customers come from over 20 countries. The company provides computer integration services to network vehicles for better command and control.

PAE PAE offers a number of services, including engineering, maintenance of military vehicles, information technology, logistics, and base support services. The company mostly serves the U.S. government, allies, and many international organizations. The company operates in more than 60 countries with around 20,000 employees. The company’s focus is deeply integrated into the U.S. government.

Perspecta Perspecta is the result of the combination of three public sector companies: DXC Technology, Vencore Holding Corporation, and Keypoint Government Solutions. The company’s core skills are in solving big problems that the government faces. The projects for the company are diverse and vary based on the current needs of its clients.

Raytheon Company

Raytheon is on the list as one of the top 10 contractors for the Pentagon. The company is renowned for its defense technologies that cover the spectrum

of sea, space, cyber, land, and air. The company is active in the civilian marketplace and offers technologies related to electronic products, electronic services, and food safety technology.

and Beechcraft aircraft as well as the Bell helicopters used by its military and commercial clients. It also manufactures golf carts, ATVs, and products as diverse as power tools and marine systems.

Rockwell Collins

United Technologies

Rockwell Collins’s core business is the manufacture of communication equipment and electronics for both civilian and military aircraft. In addition, the company offers services in flight training, navigation, and surveillance systems. Rockwell Collins has agreed to be acquired by United Technologies.

United Technologies is an industrialfocused company. Segments of the company, such as Otis, UTC Climate Controls & Security, and Pratt & Whitney, are engaged in a variety of businesses that include aerospace, construction, and security. The company is probably most famous for Otis, the world’s largest elevator and escalator company in the world.

SAIC SAIC provides support for government clients with the management of supply chain, logistics, and technology support. The company is continuously evolving how to integrate technology and engineering to make things smoother for its clients. Over half of its employees are deployed directly to the customer sites.

Samsung Samsung is a company known for its phones, televisions, cameras, and semiconductors. It is a South Korean company with a global presence. The company manufactures many things beyond electronics and operates in a variety of industries. The company places a heavy emphasis on research and development.

Telephonics Corporation

Telephonics makes communication equipment for both commercial and military markets. The company focuses on developing communication equipment that works in places such as helicopters and ships. It also manufactures radar and audio equipment as well as wireless systems. The majority of its products and services are purchased by the U.S. government.

Vectrus Vectrus is a company focused on logistics, information technology, and network communication services that was founded in 1945. It has a strong commitment to hiring veterans, who make up over a third of the workforce. The company operates in 18 countries and is unique as it has more subcontractors than employees.

ViaSat ViaSat’s business is outer space. The company provides satellite services, networking, and equipment for both commercial and government customers. The network products are mostly used by the government, while consumer broadband services are sold on the commercial markets. Directto-home satellite Internet services are sold through subsidiary Wild Blue Communications. HE

Textron, Inc. Textron is a leader in the aerospace and transportation industries. The company is best known for the Cessna HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | SPRING 2019



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Hispanic Engineer Volume 34 Issue 1