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Dayton Engineer

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers share their culture at special interest house in the University of Dayton student neighborhood

By Morgan Brewster, marketing communications intern

When Franco Patino’s older brother, Julio, graduated from University of Dayton School of Engineering, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers' special interest house in the student neighborhood was just the beginning of an idea. This year, the Patino brothers’ dream came true.

The UD SHPE chapter is a part of a larger national SHPE organization, whose mission is to change the lives of people within the Hispanic community and help them realize their full potential, particularly within the STEM industries. The organization has been on UD’s campus for over a decade. 

Together, Patino and fellow SHPE member, Andy Prieto, coordinated to lay the foundation for the SHPE special interest house. Patino explained, “Andy and I worked together day and night to make this dream come true because we believed it was a necessity to have a house for Hispanics to come together and have a little piece of familiar culture in a predominantly white institution.”  

Patino and Prieto gathered together four other members of the UD SHPE chapter and worked hard all last year to earn path credits. They also worked closely with Gerica Brown, director of the minority engineering program. Finally, they were informed that their organization would be housed at 236 Keifaber, in the middle of the student neighborhood.

Currently, the members of the SHPE house are enjoying each other’s company, cooking some Hispanic dishes, and looking forward to hosting potluck dinners and cookouts once the University allows community gatherings again. 

“We are very excited for them to now have a special interest house in the student neighborhood,” Brown said. “This is an important milestone for the SHPE community as well as the LatinX community at UD.”

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