Each year, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers gathers to honor the best and brightest among them with the SHPE Technical Achievement Recognition, or STAR awards. Among those honored by SHPE this year is Associate Professor Jean Andino, who was named the recipient of the Educator of the Year Award in Higher Education for 2017.
Andino, a chemical engineer in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, said the award is “one of the highest honors” she could receive.
The STAR awards recognize the contributions of SHPE members to science, technology and engineering fields. The 21 recipients of the 2017 STAR awards were selected from a field of more than 130 nominees that include professionals, educators, students and corporations. In particular, the Educator for the Year award is granted “to a college or university faculty member or administrator who has demonstrated a concerted effort to increase the persistence rate of Latinx students in the STEM disciplines.”
“As a Puerto Rican, black woman who has always worked hard to overcome obstacles and achieve, I have been very blessed to have in my life people who encouraged me,” says Andino. “As a faculty member, I have seen the challenges that some students face to progress. The bottom line is that I believe that it is critically important to diversify the engineering profession. Diverse thoughts are critical to solving some of the most pressing grand challenges that exist in society today.”
Andino believes the best way to achieve diversity of thought and tackle society’s pressing challenges is to reach out to and engage people with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences.