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Juan Zepeda and Ana Isabel Espinoza-Agundis receive Great Minds in STEM awards.

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Juan Zepeda and Ana Isabel Espinoza-Agundis receive Great Minds in STEM awards.


Engineering Role Models Honored

SBCC Student and Alum Awarded by Great Minds in STEM


Santa Barbara City College mechanical engineering sophomore Ana Isabel Espinoza-Agundis and SBCC alum Juan Zepeda, now a software engineer at Raytheon, were honored recently by Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) for their work in engineering and technology. While Espinoza-Agundis earned accolades from the 2016 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards (HENAAC) and a $2,000 scholarship, Zepeda was named a Luminary role model by GMiS.

A drive to succeed, marked by a full load of classes at college and a 15-hour-a-week part-time job, characterizes Espinoza-Agundis. Her most important job, however, is taking care of her siblings, she said. She plans to attend UC Berkeley and ultimately be CEO of her own company.

Zepeda is an E-buddy mentor for SBCC students and tutors engineering students regularly. Among the accomplishments he is being recognized for is a foundation startup with other MESA members (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement) to provide books and supplies in the form of a scholarship, and also for creating a software program, with a Raytheon colleague, for the MESA program’s future. “I did not make the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) journey alone,” Zepeda said. “I had many peers, great mentors, and hard-working parents who have influenced me and motivated me to say ‘Si, se puede!’

The awards will be presented during the HENAAC Great Minds in STEM™ Conference, October 5-9 in Anaheim.



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