Oct 112017
 

Winding up Hispanic Heritage Month, Latino Traffic Report has learned that Alba Colón Chevrolet Racing program manager, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series received the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil the at the Thirtieth Hispanic Heritage Awards presented by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), September 14 at the historic Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The show was also televised on PBS, October 6.
Created by the White House in 1987 to commemorate the establishment of Hispanic Heritage Month in America and supported by 40 national Hispanic-serving institutions that co-host the program, The Awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos.

STEM Award Honoree Alba Colon and J.W.Cortés

“I am very proud of my heritage and I would not have wanted to journey through this life any other way,” commented Colón during her acceptance speech. “By working together and celebrating the beauty of our heritage and who we are … we can change the world.”
A Spanish native, Colon grew up in Puerto Rico where she moved with her family at the age of three. It was an interest in space, not cars that led her to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. She worked at Sterling Pharmaceuticals in Puerto Rico after college but left to work on the Formula SAE program, where she, as team captain, built race cars from the ground up, exhibiting them at events held at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI. GM hired her after three years of competing in the Formula SAE program, and in 2001, named her Chevrolet Racing’s Program Manager for NASCAR Cup racing. She’s one of the most powerful women in the sport and the only top female engineer in the sport of NASCAR racing.
“As a Latina in a traditionally underrepresented field, Alba Colón is a transformative role-model for our community,” said José Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the HHF. “The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is privileged to honor her with the STEM Award on an evening which will be entertaining, meaningful and inspirational as we present America with the great value Latinos provide. It’s more important than ever to showcase visionary Latinos like Alba and the other Honorees.”

The Awards recognize the contributions and accomplishments of leading Latino individuals and organizations in various fields while celebrating cultural pride and the great promise to America. Additional honorees this year included:

The DREAMERS Inspira Award, sponsored by American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Luis Fonsi– Special Trailblazer Award, sponsored by TARGET

Gael García Bernal – Vision Award, sponsored by The Walt Disney Company

Rudy Beserra – Leadership Award, sponsored by The Coca Cola Company

The Latin Recording AcademyArts Award, sponsored by Southwest Airlines, the Official Airlines

Alba Colón: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil

November 1, 2015: at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA . (HHP/Andrew Coppley)

The Hispanic Heritage Awards are unique in that educators, physicians, innovators, businesspersons, community leaders, and elected officials stand alongside celebrities and great artists in representing the great value Latinos provide the United States and the globe. They serve as a launch of HHF’s year-round, award-winning programs that inspire, prepare, and connect Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s needs in priority fields.

Dec 282016
 

Chevy press conference during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. L to R: NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy; Florida A&M University Senior Michael Sanchez; Brigham Young University Senior Joy Kaseke; University of Houston Junior Nicole Dequina; James Madison University Sophomore Rachel Frost; and Chevrolet Program Manager Alba Colon. (HHP/Gregg Ellman)

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest winners were recently announced at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Four undergraduate students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the AAA Texas 500.

The contest challenged students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR, then explain how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Video submissions were judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production quality.

Florida A&M University Senior Michael Sanchez autographed the start/finish line on Pit Road at Texas Motor Speedway.

Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to STEM education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers. “This was a pretty eye-opening experience that gave me a different perspective of everything involved in racing … it’s pretty amazing,” said Florida A&M senior and scholarship recipient Michael Sanchez.

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the STEM field,” said Ken Barrett, chief diversity officer for General Motors. “At GM, we know diversity is our strength, and having diverse talent in the STEM pipeline keeps both the automotive and racing industries on the cutting edge of innovation.”

Before taking in the AAA Texas 500, the students had the chance to meet with Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott and Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with an engineering degree. The VIP experience also included: pace car rides, garage and pit road tour, and a meet-and-greet with Chevrolet’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager Alba Colon.

“Together with Chevrolet, we’re proud to support great talent and recognize these students with a unique, behind-the-scenes NASCAR experience,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We received several impressive submissions and we’re thrilled to see so many students interested in the science and technology behind the sport.”

For more information on the NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest, please visit http://chevyscholarship.nascardiversity.com/.