New Cohort of CAHSI Student Scholars!

by Andrea Tirres

During the 2020 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) virtual conference in October, the 2020-2021 cohort of CAHSI Student Scholars was announced.  We congratulate all our awardees for their accomplishments in the classroom and in the community and look forward to working with them throughout the academic year to advance CAHSI’s mission.  We also thank Google and Reboot Representation for their support of this leadership program.  Meet our scholars!

Ivan Gabriel Jackson-Rivera, UPRM  

Ivan attends the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez where he is pursuing a BS in Computer Engineering.  He expects to graduate in 2022.  Ivan currently serves as a CAHSI Student Advocate and Team Made Student Advisor, a program that provides counseling and activities to over 550 students.  He has completed the CAHSI-Google Problem Solving 1 & 2 courses.  Ivan has been active in undergraduate research, including research in embedded systems and adversarial learning.  More recently, he served as a software developer intern at MCS Healthcare.  In the community, he has participated in several beach clean-ups. 

Nathan Aun, UTEP 

Nathan attends the University of Texas at El Paso and will graduate in Spring 2021 with a BS in Computer Science.  He holds a 4.0 GPA.  Nathan currently serves as an undergraduate research assistant and as an instructional assistant under the Peer Led Team Learning model.  As a member of the ACM-W Women in Computer Science club, he participated in their Empowering the Borderland Conference, an event co-sponsored with CAHSI faculty.  He is a member of the UTEP Coding Interview Club which was started by a Googler in Residence.  Nathan received the UTEP Presidential Scholarship in 2018 and was a finalist in the El Paso Strong Hackathon sponsored by Microsoft.  He achieved Eagle Scout status in 2018. 

Jasmin Marie Cornejo, CSU-Stanislaus 

Jasmin will graduate next semester from California State University Stanislaus with a BS in Computer Science.  As a member of the CSU-Stanislaus Computer science club, she helped coordinate the first hackathon at her campus in spring 2019.  Jasmin current serves as event coordinator of the club.  She is a McNair Scholar and part of Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) at her university.  Her research interests include big data, machine learning, robotics, and AI.  In May 2020, she began an internship at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania where she worked on using a Python library to create a graphic user interface for annotating atomic lattices of electron microscopy images.

Danay Fernandez, FIU 

Danay is pursuing her Master of Science in CS at Florida International University.  She will graduate in May 2022 and holds a 4.0 GPA.  Danay is involved in numerous organizations on and off campus.  She is a member of Women in Cybersecurity, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, UPE, and  One of her more recent projects was participating in the COVID-19 Global Hackathon 2.0 where she helped build a website with resources ranging from COVID testing sites, food distribution centers, and entertainment sources such as books and games.  She is also active in 48in48 which are coordinated events that bring volunteers together to build websites for nonprofit organizations. 

Michael Figueroa, UHD  

Michael graduates with a BS in Computer Science from the University of Houston-Downtown in summer 2021.  He is involved in research having served as a project leader and undergraduate assistant in the area of Machine Learning.  Michael completed an internship with Lockheed Martin and will be returning there as software engineering upon graduation.  At his campus, Michael helped reactivate the computer science club.  He then took on roles as president and treasurer and helped move the club from 0 paid membership to over 150 memberships in one year.  Michael has won various scholarships from such organizations as ACM Richard Tapia, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and SHPE. 

Stephanie Gamboa CSU-Stanislaus  

Stephanie will be graduating from California State University Stanislaus with a BS in Computer Science in December 2020.  Since July 2019, she has served as a CAHSI Student Advocate.  Stephanie is an NSF S-STEM Scholar and a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  She founded the Stan State CAHSI Club in 2019.  She also hosted the first Ask a CS Senior event to help encourage surrounding high school students to pursue CS, as well as to help motivate and combat imposter syndrome for current freshman and sophomores. 

Vanessa Hernandez, California State University Stanislaus 

Vanessa will graduate in December 2020 with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Chemistry.  She is a CAHSI NSF-STEM Scholar.  Vanessa has served as Vice President and Treasurer of the CAHSI club at her university and has completed the CAHSI-Google Problem Solving 2 course. She is currently participating in a research project that studies patterns and correlations on wine data from wine companies in the region using specific programming languages like Python and R.  Her research experiences have involved the Affinity Research Group model – A CAHSI Signature Practice – and have focused on physical chemistry and AI, respectively. 

Karelys Lopez-Rivera, UPRM 

Karelys is pursuing a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and will graduate in May 2023.  She has served as a CAHSI Student Advocate and as a Peer Led Team Learning leader, and has participated as an Affinity Research Group undergraduate researcher.  Karelys has had numerous accomplishments outside of campus.  She is a 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration Student Scholar, Google Tech Exchange student, Google Hispanic Student Leadership Summit Attendee.  Most recently, she was selected to serve on the Board of Trustees as a student representative. 

Alisson Ross Salazar, MCC

Alisson is a student at Merced College and will graduate in May 2022 with an Associates in Computer Science and Engineering.  She is a CAHSI Student Advocate and an ongoing contributor to the Successes Blog at her campus, a blog that contains opportunities for students in CS and STEM. She has served as an English Reader and English Tutor at San Joaquin Delta College.  Alisson currently works on front-end development as a HackMerced engineering team member.  From July 2018 to May 2019, Alisson served as a STEM Student Mentor at Verizon where she assisted an All-Girls STEM Verizon Summer Camp.

Catalina Sánchez-Maes, NMSU

Catalina is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at New Mexico State University and expects to graduate in May of 2022.  In spring 2020, she was one of 40 students to live in Silicon Valley and study at Google headquarters in a program known as Tech Exchange.  This is a program coordinated in conjunction with CAHSI.  She is a founder of Future ITGirls, a program that provides an educational experience in CS and ballroom dance to elementary school girls.  Her work experience includes internships at Ford Motor Company and Chevron.  She has also served as a summer camp assistant for Young Women in Computing at NMSU.  She is a CAHSI NSF S-STEM Scholar. 

Sasha Smith, NMSU

Sasha is pursuing a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University.  She expects to graduate in May of 2022.  From June 2016 to August 2019, Sasha served as an Instructor for the Young Women in Computing program at NMSU where she taught and helped young women in various programming languages such as Python.  She also has served as a Lead Undergraduate Peer Mentor.  Sasha is a member of the CAHSI Club and is an NCWIT AspireIT Leader.  Her most recent internships experiences have been at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.