College stars 2015

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

Dr. Isaac Rodriguez

CEO/CSO & Co-Founder of SweetBio, Inc.

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2013
PhD and M.S., Biomedical Engineering
University of Virginia, B.S. Biomedical Engineering

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Tissue Engineering
  • Dental Materials
  • Medical Devices
  • Entrepreneurship

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Gates Millennium Scholar
  • Letter of Commendation for Service – US Senator Tim Kaine
  • VCU Presidential Award for Community & Multicultural Enrichment
  • VCU Excellence in Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program Award

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Mayor Luttrell’s Young Professional Council
  • Memphis Young Executives – Crescent Club
  • New Memphis Institute Embark Alumni
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Leadership Team
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Liaison

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

Marilynn Pamela Urquieta

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2015
B.S. Business Administration

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Franchise Support
  • Marketing Communications and Public Relations
  • Youth Empowerment

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • RVA Works – Entrepreneurship Intensive Course
  • PCG 4HJ Program
  • Former Vice President of a Franchise
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Leadership Team

BUSINESS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Julisa Perdomo Santos

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Tech
Class of 2019, Business Information Technology; Minor in International Business and Entrepreneurship – New Venture Growth

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Entrepreneurship: service-based business alleviating a common issue in the Hispanic community
  • Hispanic Youth
  • ○ Latino Activism
  • Technology
  • Volunteering/Traveling around Latin America

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Virginia Tech New Horizons Pamplin Scholarship
  • Virginia Tech Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant
  • Excellence in Leadership Award at the YLI

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Youth Leadership Institute Participant
  • Readers Are Leaders Mentor
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

CIVIL ENGINEERING

Santiago Vinueza

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Tech
Class of 2016, Civil Engineering

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • High Performance Composite Materials
  • Earthquake Resistance of Structures
  • Finite Element Methods of Solid Mechanics
  • Rehabilitation of Reinforced Concrete
  • Youth Empowerment

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Esperanza Education Fund Scholar
  • Hispanic College Fund Scholar
  • VALHEN Scholar
  • Golden Door Scholar
  • Dean’s List, Fall 2014 – Spring 2015
  • President’s Honor Roll, Fall 2012 – Fall 2013

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Virginia Tech Concrete Canoe, Captain
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Chi Epsilon – National Civil Engineering Honors Society
  • Students Helping Honduras
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Leadership Team

COMMUNICATIONS

Wanda Hernández

Intern, National Museum of American History

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2015
B.S. Mass Communications and Public Relations; Minor in Art History

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Community Development
  • Art (spoken word and visual) and Social Change
  • Latino and African American Race Relations
  • ○ Latino Identity in the U.S.
  • Immigration Reform
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • State Farm – Licensed Office Representative
  • VCU Latino Student Association, Treasurer 2013-2015
  • Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.
  • Association of Information Technology Professionals @ VCU, Member
  • ○ VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Logistics Committee
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • State Farm – Licensed Office Representative
  • VCU Latino Student Association, Treasurer 2013-2015
  • Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.
  • ○ Association of Information Technology Professionals @ VCU, Member
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Logistics Committee
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

COMMUNICATIONS

Leo Alberto

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2015
B.S. Computer Information Systems

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Information Technology
  • Insurance and Financial Services

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.
  • CASA de Virginia
  • Words, Beats and Life Inc.
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Leadership Team

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Johan Mendoza

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2015
B.S. Criminal Justice; Minor in Homeland Security

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Criminal Psychology
  • Juvenile Psychology
  • Terrorism
  • Criminal Investigation

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

ECONOMICS

Fernando Espinoza

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Hampden-Sydney College
Class of 2018, Economics and Mathematics

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Business and Economics
  • Spanish
  • Mathematics
  • Non-Profit Organizations

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Dean’s List, Fall 2014 – Spring 2015
  • Student Senate of Hampden-Sydney College, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Student Senate of Hampden-Sydney College, Student Senator

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Philanthropic Hampden-Sydney College Club, President and Founder
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

EDUCATION

Gabriela Elias-Chang

Intern at Volunteers of America

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Montgomery College
Class of 2017, Education and Minor in Spanish

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Social and Political Activism
  • ○ Human Rights (Specifically Women’s and Latino Rights)
  • ○ Animal Rights
  • ○ Event Organization

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Montgomery College Service Learning Award College

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • UNICEF
  • Greenbelt Animal Shelter
  • Collegiate LULAC
  • Hispanic Youth through Power and Education
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

ENGINEERING SCIENCE AND MECHANICS

Eliette M Claros

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Tech
Class of 2018, Engineering Science and Mechanics; Minor in Biomedical Engineering

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Signal and Imaging Processing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Biomaterials
  • Nanorobotics

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Gilbert & Lucille Seay + IDEAS Scholarship Recipient

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • CAMEO Career Fair Co-Chair
  • CEED Galipatia Community
  • Disciples on Campus Ministry
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Logistics Committee

HOMELAND SECURITY

Valentina Vega

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Commonwealth University
Class of 2016, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Minor in French and International Social Justice

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • International Affairs
  • ○ National Intelligence
  • ○ Foreign Service, Globally and Culturally Oriented
  • ○ Youth Empowerment, Mentoring, and Community Outreach

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Gates Millennium Scholar
  • Dean’s List, Fall & Spring 2014, 2015

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Elkhardt Middle School After School Mentor, 2015
  • ○ VCU STAT (Students Today Alumni Tomorrow)
  • ○ Sigma Lambda Upsilon PEARLS Mentoring Program (Mentor)
  • ○ 4-H Character Counts Leader
  • ○ VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Leadership
  • ○ VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

HUMAN SERVICE COUNSELING

Amy Zuaso

EDUCATION

Graduate – Liberty University
Class of 2016, M.A Human Services Counseling; Life Coaching Specialization
James Madison University, Class of 2012, B.A. Psychology

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Higher Education
  • Counseling
  • Social Justice
  • Animal Rights

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Centennial Scholars Scholarship Program at JMU
  • Patricia McElroy Memorial Scholarship at NVCC

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • First Year Advisor at NVCC
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Michelle Luna-Victoria

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – James Madison University
Class of 2019, International Affairs and Music

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Education and Mentoring
  • Music and Theatre
  • International Affairs and Human Rights
  • Homeland Security

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidate
  • Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Scholar
  • ○ District Honor Band
  • Bronze Medal in Education, Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Freshman mentor
  • Parent Teacher Student Association Vice President
  • Marching band
  • Cappies
  • Alternative House Youth Advisory Council
  • Fairfax County Park Authority Summer Camp Counselor
  • Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Music Ministry
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Kevin Moreno

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Howard Community College
Class of 2017, Mechanical Engineering

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • STEM
  • NASA
  • Technological Research and Development
  • Latino Activism

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Feli Solá-Carter Leadership Award
  • 2013 Student Service Award
  • Hispanic Heritage Youth Award for Mathematics and Engineering

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Hispanic Student Union
  • Ambassadors for Community Transformation
  • Ambiciones – Hispanic Student Success Initiative
  • Hispanic Youth with Power and Education (HYPE) Youth Mentor
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund – Hispanic Youth Institute Alumni
  • Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Conexiones
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Luisa Burgos

Trout, Cacheris & Janis PLLC (Administrative Assistant/ Receptionist)

EDUCATION

James Madison University, Class of 2015
B.A. Political Science; Minor in Spanish and Latin American & Caribbean Studies

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Law
  • ○ Student Affairs, Higher Education, and Leadership
  • ○ Social Justice
  • ○ Non-profit Organizations
  • ○ Politics

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • COIN Scholar
  • New World Foundation

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Phi Alpha Delta-Pre Law Fraternity
  • ○ Latino Student Alliance
  • ○ ANT (Assisting New Transfers) Orientation Office JMU
  • ○ VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PRE-MED

Nicole Claros Lujan

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – George Mason University
Class of 2017, Chemistry (Pre-Med)

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Pre Med- Pediatric Oncology

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Optimist Scholar
  • ○ Ilumina Scholar
  • ○ Dream Big- Kristan Kyllo Scholar
  • ○ GMU Honors College Student

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • INOVA Fairfax Hospital – Pediatric Unit Volunteer
  • Treasurer of Hispanic Student Association
  • Secretary of F1rst Gen Mason
  • ○ Resident Advisor GMU
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PRE-NURSING

Melissa Martinez

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Northern Virginia Community College
Class of 2017, Pre-Nursing

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • DREAM Act Advocate
  • Youth Development
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Expand Global Healthcare
  • Woman Empowerment
  • Latino Culture Enrichment

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Jennifer Mitchell Memorial Scholarship Fund Scholar
  • ○ The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area, Inc. Scholar
  • ○ American Association of University Women Scholarship Scholar

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PSYCHOLOGY

Margarita Hernández

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Marymount University
Class of 2019, Psychology

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Community Service
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Writing
  • Learning Sign Language

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Academic Success Scholarship
  • ○ Civic Seal Award

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Altar Server
  • Confirmation Retreat Volunteer
  • Drama Skit Actress
  • President of College Partnership Program
  • Key Club
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PSYCHOLOGY

Henry Jimenez

EDUCATION

Seeking further education in Psychology in near future
Virginia Commonwealth University, Class of 2015
B.S. Psychology

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Societal Movements and Social Psychology
  • Youth Development
  • ○ Human Resources
  • Latino Community Outreach

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Graduated Cum Laude
  • ○ Dean’s List, Spring 2013 – Fall 2014
  • ○ Academic Achievement Award – Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2014

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • VCU Latino Student Association, President
  • Psychology Course Teaching Assistant
  • Psychology Research Assistant
  • Child Development Center Intern
  • Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Intern
  • VCU Health Sciences Academy Mentor
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PSYCHOLOGY

Carlos Neves

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Commonwealth University
Class of 2016, Psychology; Minor in Criminal Justice

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Law Enforcement
  • Involvement with International Impoverished Communities
  • Forensic sychology
  • Mentoring Latino Youth

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Graduated Cum Laude
  • ○ Dean’s List, Spring 2013 – Fall 2014
  • ○ Academic Achievement Award – Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2014

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • VCU Latino Student Association, Chairman of Internal and External Affairs
  • Missionary Volunteer with Reston Bible Church in Brazil
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

PUBLIC HEALTH

Elizabeth Garcia

Lab technician at the United States Geological Survey Bee Inventory and
Monitoring Lab

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – University of Maryland, College Park
Class of 2017, Behavioral and Community Health

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Public Health
  • Latino Youth
  • Latino and Women’s Rights
  • Bee Preservation
  • Volunteer Work
  • Travel

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Dean’s List, Fall 2013 – Spring 2015
  • Honors College Program: University Honors

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • School of Public Health Honorary Society, Phi Alpha Epsilon
  • Director of Internal Affairs of the Coalition of Latino Student Organization
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Youth Leadership Institute Logistics Committee
  • Hispanic Youth with Power and Education team
  • Hispanic Festival Volunteer
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Logistics Committee

PUBLIC POLICY

Ashley Garcia

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – James Madison University
Class of 2017, Public Policy and Management; Minor in Legal Spanish

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Law
  • Management
  • Non-profit work
  • Human Rights / Social Justice
  • Politics

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • Legal internship with the Central American and Resource Justice Center (CARECEN)
  • Latino Student Alliance at JMU, Secretary
  • ○ Candela Latin Dance Team at JMU, Captain
  • Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Co-ed Fraternity
  • ○ Volunteer at Community Lodgings Inc.
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor

SOCIOLOGY

Jazmin Montano Aguilar

EDUCATION

Undergraduate – Virginia Commonwealth University
Class of 2017, Sociology; Minor in Spanish; CETI Certificate

AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Pulsera Project Non-Profit Organization
  • Volunteering with kids at VCU Hospital

RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, & SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Student of the Year at Chesterfield Technical Center, 2013
  • Health Occupation Students of America National Finalist

PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT

  • VCU Latino Student Association, Public Relations Chair
  • VCU Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)
  • PEARLS Mentorship Program
  • VALHEN Hispanic College Institute Youth Mentor