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Furniss, Jon (ed.) / Wisconsin engineer
Volume 101, Number 2 (February 1997)

Narvaez, Veronica
"La familia",   pp. 20-22

Page 20

"La Fam ilia"
ON  !: 514 "-
At a large university, it may seem
difficult to get involved with a
group where you feel you can make a
difference. Although this might be the
case elsewhere, it does not happen in
the University of Wisconsin-Madison
chapter of the Society of Hispanic Pro-
fessional Engineers (SHPE). SHPE is
a national organization whose main
objective is to promote Hispanic in-
volvement in fields of science and en-
gineering. Nationally, there are thirty-
one professional chapters and 109 stu-
dent chapters.
The Madison chapter of SHPE is a rela-
tively young organization. It was
founded in 1991 by two students who,
after being exposed to the national
organization, realized that it would be
beneficial to have a chapter at the Uni-
versity of Wisconsin. After a lot of hard
work, the wheels were finally set in
motion. Steady recruitment by people
affiliated with the organization has led
to increased membership. Part of the
reason for this increase is due to the
fact that there is a very comfortable
atmosphere within the group. Among
the members, the organization is re-
ferred to as "La Familia," (the family)
with a place for everyone. Sophomore
Raquel D'Onghia stated, "It supports
you not only academically, but so-
cially, as well. There are people there
that care about you and can help you
with any problems, not just academ-
ics. It's not just a place to go get infor-
mation about industry, but a place to
feel welcome, make friends, and relax
from your engineering classes."
The SHPE chapter is dedicated to
helping its members reach their full-
est potential. They do this by holding
various seminars each semester. These
include workshops from resume writ-
ing to leadership skill building. Work-
shops are also given at the SHPE con-
ferences held nationally. The chapter
does not limit its boundaries to the
university level. It extends its pro-
grams into the community, as well.
SHPE devotes some of its time tutor-
ing local area middle school students
in order to help students to reach their
Even though it is a young organiza-
tion, SHPE has competed with other
organizations in numerous activities.
One of the latest awards that SHPE can
boast is for the display they created for
Engineering Week in spring '96. SHPE
took part in the Display of Societies
held by the College of Engineering.
Along with information about the
chapter, their winning display in-
cluded everything from home-made
salsa, made on the spot, to dancing
provided by the members. Another
event that SHPE is continuously in-
volved in is the bi-annual Engineering
EXPO held on campus. In the EXPO
held the spring of '95, the organization
was given the honor of formally pre-
senting the Descendant's Fountain. As
always, this was done with flair and
enthusiasm with several dancing
groups and speakers.
Talking about SHPE is one thing that
every member seems to enjoy doing.
If you are interested in the organiza-
tion, direct e-mail to the SHPE account
at Their
web page can also be visited to obtain
further information. The address is
http: / / -shpe/.
SHPE members gather around their display during a student
organization fair held for E-week.

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