Puerto Rico

Dr. Yajaira Sierra Sastre

Episode 48: Connecting the Dots all the Way to NASA…and Beyond! With Dr. Yajaira Sierra Sastre

Meet Dr. Yajaira Sierra Sastre, a Chemist who dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a little girl, and crated the opportunities that landed her a job at NASA.

Dr. Sierra Sastre was born in Puerto Rico, and grew up looking at the night sky and pondering what was out there. She dreamed of becoming an astronaut since she was a kid, and embarked on experiences that enabled her to eventually land a job at NASA.

After graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Dr. Sierra Sastre became a teacher, and although her tenure was short-lived, she is a lifelong educator and is highly involved in STEM outreach activities.

She then left the comforts of the tropics to pursue a PhD in Nanomaterial Sciences at Cornell University, and was excited about winter, because she once dreamed of living in Alaska! Being uncomfortable isn’t something she shies away from, which is how she ended up living at the bottom of a volcano, simulating the living conditions future humans will encounter in Mars.

Throughout her career, Dr. Sierra Sastre never stopped pursuing her dream of becoming an astronaut and applying for jobs at NASA, but for most of her career, those applications didn’t materialize. However, she never gave up, and after 5 years of working as a project manager at the U.S. Money Factory, she finally joined NASA to support multiple missions, including the Mars Sample Return Mission that will bring samples back to earth collected by the Perseverance Rover.

Dr. Sierra Sastre embodies the resilience and perseverance characteristic of the Latinx community. She encourages us to recognize that our culture is an asset and that our multiculturalism brings tremendous value to organizations.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yajaira-sierra-sastre/

Dr. Federico Subervi

Episodio 42: Una Carrera en Investigación de las Ciencias de la Comunicación y Periodismo

Conoce al Dr. Federico Subervi, profesor e investigador en ciencias de la comunicación y periodismo.

Federico es un orgulloso puertorriqueño, y fue el primer puertorriqueño en hacer un doctorado en ciencias de la comunicación y periodismo, obteniendo su grado doctoral en la Universidad de Wisconsin en Madison. Federico nos platica de como fue su transición desde Puerto Rico a Estados Unidos para hacer sus estudios graduados, y de como sus planes de volver a la isla a ejercer su profesión fueron cambiando por diferencias ideológicas y políticas dentro de la burocracia de las Universidades en isla. Nos platica de como transformo sus metas y se resignó a ejercer su profesión en EEUU con gran éxito. Entre los tópicos que se tocan en este episodio están como lidiar con el síndrome del impostor, la diferencia que existe entre asimilación y adaptación cultural. También hablamos sobre las grandes implicaciones e influencias que tienen los medios noticiosos y las famosas noticias falsas en nuestra sociedad, sistema político, psicología y estado emocional. Federico nos da un gran consejo de como poder discernir entre noticias verdaderas de entre las falsas, y como precaver ser víctimas de propagar noticias falsas. Federico nos menciona un par de sus proyectos en los que trabajó, y otros en los que sigue trabajando, y nos comenta de uno de sus más grandes logros como profesor y educador.

Sigue a Federico en sus redes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProfSubervi?s=20&t=k1yH2gXS8WDCTTyNJcQ-YA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/federico.subervi

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Federico-Subervi

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/federico-subervi-aa335612/

Dr. J. L. Torres

Episode 37: Studying Humanities Can Also Lead to Stable Careers

Meet Dr. Jose Luis Torres, a writer and Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY Plattsburgh, who explains how studying humanities can also lead to stable careers.

Dr. Torres… also known by his pen name J.L. Torres, is a Puerto Rican author and scholar born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York. He tells us his life story, beginning with his experience growing up in the South Bronx, then moving to Puerto Rico as a young adult, and returning to the continental U.S. to pursue his career as a college professor.

J.L. Torres helped us dismantle the myth that those who study humanities will face an uncertain financial future, and shares facts about the multiple CEOs of Fortune 500 companies who studied degrees like English and Philosophy.

Given his vast experience teaching American and Latinx Literature and Creative Writing, as well as his formal education, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to discuss the term LATINX, its purpose, and the strong reactions it provokes in many people.

We also discussed his recent book Migrations, his upcoming novel about the life of Puerto Rican icon Roberto Clemente, and how he chooses to discuss difficult topics in his literary works that the Latinx community often prefers to avoid.

Check out J.L. Torres' blog: Why Latinx?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/j-l-torres-b086ba52/

Ángel Muñoz

Episode 30: Serial entrepreneurship: Creating & selling companies

Meet Ángel Muñoz, a serial entrepreneur born in New York from Puerto Rican parents, who is focused on developing technology whose goal is the defragmentation and enhancement of the human experience. Ángel talks about moving to Puerto Rico at age 10, and how having to learn a new language and adapt to a new environment helped him develop resilience, just like the many children who migrate to other countries. He also talked about how dropping out of college made his professional career much harder, and made his future dependent on serendipity. However, despite the setback, he was able to found various enterprises in different fields, including an investment banking firm, the CyberAthlete Professional League, and his most recent company, Mass Luminosity. Ángel speaks assertively about the companies he has found, yet he has the humility to understand that there may be other people better equipped to take his companies to the next level. He is now focused on using technology to enhance the human experience.

This episode was recorded on Mass Luminosity's latest development, Beacon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MunozAngel

Jay Flores

Episode 20: Believing in Belonging, Being in the Anti-imposter

Meet Jay Flores, an engineer and global STEM ambassador who is on a mission to change the world by inspiring young minds to keep doing cool things with #STEM. Jay’s parents nurtured his curious mind from an early age, and his mentors encouraged him to develop a growth mindset and take on new opportunities. This environment helped him believe in himself and say YES to experiences that could help him grow, and led him to become the youngest board member of the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers. Being the first engineer in his family, Jay took it upon himself to inspire his little cousins to pursue a STEM education, and after working as a sales engineer for a number of years, he became a global STEM ambassador to inspire kids all around the world! Jay is on a mission to make science and technology interesting, fun, and relatable to young kids, so that they can become the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. For those of you who are parents, Jay gives advice as to how to react when your child tells you they aspire to be an Influencer when they grow up!. The trick, he says, is to help your children see the technology behind that, and help them understand that developing technical skills will help them be the best influencer…and if that does not work out, they can always become an engineer.

Some of the programs mentioned during this episode:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaydflores/

Dr. Agustin Diaz

Episode 6: Meet the Team! Part #1

This is a special episode in which you will get to meet one of the people who have helped me make this podcast a reality. Dr. Agustin Diaz is a product of the public educational system in Puerto Rico, which despite the challenges it faces, just like many other public educational systems around the world, gave him the tools to be the first in his family to become a college graduate, a doctor in Chemistry, and a well- recognized figure in the 3D printing industry. Dr. Diaz is proof that our circumstances don't determine what we achieve in life, and he encourages you to be resilient, bold and to work hard to achieve your goals.

Some of the opportunities mentioned during this episode:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/agustin-diaz-13b0b619/

Dr. Wilmarie Marrero Ortiz

Episode 4 & 5: The Power of a LatinX Network

This is a two-part episode where Dr. Wilmarie Marrero-Ortiz shares multiple opportunities she took advantage of, and which helped her identify her passion for atmospheric sciences at an early age. Dr. Wilmarie became a scientist thanks to the support of her parents, teachers, and the relentless pursue of her goals. She is a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow - a highly competitive honor bestowed upon the most promising graduate students in the physical sciences, and represented the United States, and her beloved island of Puerto Rico, at one of the most influential conferences to advocate for Climate Change: The Paris Climate Conference in November 2015.

Some of the programs mentioned during this episode:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wilmarie1/