10-13 Latina scientists

[Image above] From left, Connie Maza, Elizabeth Zelaya, and Monica Mann are three Latina scientists who helped test and report the first cases of COVID-19 in the Washington, D.C. area. Credit: NBC News, YouTube

If you subscribe to our Ceramic Tech Chat podcast, then you know this month’s special guest is Olivia Graeve, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

Graeve is originally from Tijuana, Mexico, and one of her big accomplishments at UC San Diego is establishing several programs that build bridges between students in Latin America and the United States. As she explains in the podcast, “I think that a diverse environment and a diverse business, a diverse university, a diverse community is going to promote more compassion. … [and] that is going to make the world a better place.”

Her message comes at an opportune time—this week wraps up National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed in the United States each year from September 15 to October 15.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a period for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. It started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded in 1988 to cover the 30-day period. The observation begins on September 15 to coincide with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries.

Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month in the video below.

Credit: The Specialist, YouTube

As we near the end of this year’s celebrations, we wanted to take the time to highlight a few Hispanic scientists whose research has made a big impact on today’s world. The first video looks at 10 Hispanic inventors whose contributions we encounter on a regular basis, while the second video spotlights the work being done by Connie Maza, Elizabeth Zelaya, and Monica Mann, three Latina scientists who helped test and report the first cases of COVID-19 in the Washington, D.C. area.

Note on terminology: Hispanic refers to people who come from or are descendants of a Spanish-speaking country. Latinx, Latino, and Latina refer to people who come from Latin America or are descendants from any Latin American country. A person can be both Hispanic and Latinx, but not all Hispanics are Latinx (and vice versa).

Credit: Spanish Academy TV, YouTube
Credit: NBC News, YouTube