Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and enacted into law to cover a month-long period, starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
To commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara is recognizing and celebrating members of the Hispanic and Latinx community who have made or are currently making remarkable contributions to engineering and related STEM disciplines while inspiring others in the process. We believe that diversity is truly indispensable in the college and that richly varied perspectives and lived experiences enhance creativity and innovation, leading to better engineered solutions. Here, we shed light on some inspiring members of the COE and greater Hispanic and Latinx communities.