Meet the 2021-22 Cohort of CAHSI
Student Scholars!

by Andrea Tirres

The new cohort of CAHSI Student Scholars was announced during the 2021 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) virtual conference in October.  These students were selected by a panel of faculty and industry leaders for their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom and in the community.  The new cohort will be working with CAHSI leadership at the Backbone level and regional level to advance CAHSI’s mission.  Google and Reboot Representation generously support this leadership program.  We congratulate all our awardees for their accomplishments! 

Orlando Marrero Soto

Orlando is pursuing a BS in Software Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and expects to graduate in December 2023.  Orlando is president of the CAHSI student association as his campus and served as an Ally with the CAHSI Allyship Program.  For more than two years, Orlando worked as a research assistant on nanotechnology video game research at UPRM.  He has also worked as a Software Engineering Intern at L3Harris.  Orlando co-founded a pilot program that teaches Python and problem-solving skills to underrepresented high school students. He has participated in several conferences including GMiS and the Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing where he noted his interest in learning about how he can help promote women in tech and have a deeper understanding of what women experience in this sector.

Montserrat Molina

Montserrat will be graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in English and American Literature.  She holds a 4.0 GPA.  She is a member of several honor societies including UPE, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Chi.  As an Instructional Assistant for the Intro to CS course at her school, she has tutored many students and led multiple review sessions.  Montserrat is an active member of ACM-W and an officer with MAES/SHPE.  As an inaugural participant in CAHSI’s virtual Research Experience for Undergraduate Program, Montserrat later presented her finding at GMiS 2020.  She has completed three software engineering internships with Uber.  Montserrat intends to pursue a Master’s degree.

Giancarlo Garcia Deleon

Giancarlo is pursuing his BS in Computer Science at California State University – Stanislaus and expects to graduate in December 2022.  Giancarlo is a NSF S-STEM Scholar and works closely with his peers as a CAHSI Advocate.  He has worked as a Technical Analyst Cop-op at Cummins, Software Engineer Summer Intern at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and now works as an academic intern for JP Morgan Chase. Giancarlo has worked as a research assistant at the University of California Merced and served as a teaching assistant for the remote mobile android development courses through  Giancarlo has taken home six awards from the many hackathons he has competed in, including #HealthyConversations using Twitter API by Twitter and Best Use of Google Cloud by Google.

Fernando Davis

Fernando expects to graduate in May 2022 with a BS in Software Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.  He is interested in Machine Learning, Image Processing, and Cyber Security.  He has been steadily involved in directed research at UPRM and more recently, with Purdue University.  Fernando has helped his peers as a Teaching Assistant in the Advanced Programming course.  He has participated in various Affinity Research Group workshops – a CAHSI signature practice – from Project Management to Research Methods to Cooperative Learning.  Fernando is a member and teacher with the Coding Club at UPRM.  He has aspirations of becoming a faculty member in the area of Signals and Image Processing. 

Grecia Navarrete

Grecia will graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso in May 2022 with a BS in Computer Science. She holds a 4.0 GPA.  She is a member of UPE honor society and ACM-W.  She is a founding member of the UTEP Coding Club and serves as Vice-President.  Last academic year she served as an Ally with the CAHSI Allyship Program which is supported by Reboot Representation.  Grecia has completed internships at Microsoft and Northrup Grumman and was also selected as a Google Tech Exchange Scholar. She has worked on various personal projects from writing a script that allows a computer to play a web-based rhythm game by itself to recreating her favorite platformer to advance her game development skills. 

“We know that representation in tech will only be achieved through collective action. At Reboot Representation, our goal is to invest in the often overlooked programs that make computing educations and careers in computing more equitable for Black, Latina, and Native American women. Together we will increase the number of Hispanics who pursue and complete baccalaureate computing degrees and lay the groundwork to double the number of Black, Latina, and Native American women graduating with computing degrees by 2025.”

          Dwana Franklin-Davis, CEO of Reboot Representation   

2020-2021 class of SSLP students

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

2019-2020 class of SSLP students

Andrew Garcia

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Electrical Engineering

Bianca Alvarez

University of Texas at El Paso
Computer Science

Eva Ruiz

University of Houston Downtown
Computer Science

Pedro Luis Rivera Gomez

University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
Computer Engineering

Raul Alejandro Vargas Acosta

University of Texas at El Paso
Computer Science

Wendy Ortiz Contreras

California State University Dominquez Hills
Computer Technology Homeland Security

2018-2019 class of SSLP students

Elena Davidson

New Mexico State University

Sujeily Fonseca Gonzalez

University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez

Angel Uriel Ortega

University of Texas at El Paso

Lianne Sanchez Rodriguez

University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez