Cyber Code Twins

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cal State L.A.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cal State L.A.

The Latinitas team got the chance to interview América Lopez of Cyber Code Twins. Latinitas Co-Founder Laura Donnelly sat down with this computer programmer and rising technology maven at the Hispanicize Conference in Miami where America was being recognized for using her technological genius to empower her community. Read on for her inspiring conversation with Laura Donnelly.

 

America: Hello, my name is América and my twin [Penelope] and I are co-founders of Cyber Code Twins, which is a tech company that focuses on making communities safer through mobile apps and mobile technology. We are very engaged community activists and we are trying to help our communities become more involved in tech, so we are holding high-school workshops. Also, we are hosting hackathons, especially in East L.A. because that’s where we were born and raised. [Editors note: Hackathons are events in which programmers and designers collaborate on software projects.]

 

Latinitas: How old are you?
A: We’re both 24. But I’m five minutes older.

 

L: What did you have to do to get here? What kind of training? What kind of education?
A: I did not learn programming in high school, but I am trying to make a stand that you can start at any age. I’m a community college student, so a lot of community colleges want me to speak at their classes because I’m a good role model for their students. I’m also asked to speak at high schools because they’re like “Hey, you beat the system. We know how difficult that is. How did you get started?” I actually learned programming going to different hackathons. And then we started winning.

 

L: What were some of the goals that you had to achieve at these hackatons? Was it inventing an app?
A
: Yes, when we won it was for an app making vehicles safer. We made a jacket that uses proximity sensors that lets drivers know if they’re within three feet from motorcyclist wearing jacket. This ensures they obey the ‘three feet rule’ [California’s distance laws for cars passing motorcycles]. They really loved that. We won $9,000 for that one. Now in a January hackathon, we won $10,000. We made a smart body camera. So it’s a wearable camera that can be used not just by police, but by gas station attendants, because I really think it’s awful that CCTV [gas station surveillance camera] can not get a good angle of who committed the crime.

 

L: Why safety? Did someone introduce that concept to you?
A: No, it’s because in my neighborhood there have been a lot of shootings. Every couple of weeks there are shootings. It’s very active right now. And we’re very concerned, so that’s why we are trying to make community safer by making all these different types of technology, especially for vehicles sharing the road. We are motorcyclists and other vehicles really do not share the road! Our jackets will be flashing and they’re like why are your jackets flashing? And we’re like because you’re in our three feet zone! And we’ll yell at them.

 

L: That’s fantastic. So how do you guys split the workload? Is someone better at one thing? Is someone more visual…?
A: My twin is more spacial. I’m more linear. So I’m very super technical and she pulls me out of that when she needs to.

 

L: What about your parents? What do they think of all this?
A: It’s very funny because our parents thought we were going to nightclubs all the time, but we were just going to hackathons. So we would send them pictures of us programming with all the guys. And they were like “Oh there aren’t any other Latinas, but there a lot of guys. You sure you programming?”

But recently, after the big win at January’s hackathon, we got accepted to a Women in Tech start-up program in Silicone Valley and we realized there weren’t a lot of women in tech. It was a 2-week program and they helped me network, grow my skills, and think much, much bigger. And it made such a profound impact. We just finished the program a few weeks ago. And now our current company, Cyber Code Twins, we want to keep focusing on finishing our prototype and take it to the next level. Because usually at hackathons your prototype dies and nothing comes out of it. But at the workshop they told us: Finish it, get it out there!

 

L: So what do you guys do to relax?
A: Motorcycle riding, and we build drones and take them out with us when we ride and they follow us. Also 3D printing. And we are trying to get more into fashion tech because really for wearable tech in LA it has to be stylish.

 

L: So what does that look like when you envision it? What is wearable tech for you?
A: For me, it could be like a hat that has a UV sensor. If you’re going over your time it will send you a text or ring you your favorite song to remind you to put on your sunscreen.

Review: Child of Light

Child of Light is a video game following the journey of Aurora, a princesses trapped between fairy tale worlds because of a magic spell. Against the backdrop of a beautiful watercolor world and storybook rhyming dialogue, players guide the young but fierce warrior through the dark world she awakens in one day. This isn’t the story of a helpless damsel in distress.  Aurora fights the evil in Lemuria on her way back to her own home. Any fears she keeps at first disappear as she realizes that she is capable of more than she ever knew. Child of Light is a beautiful coming-of-age story that provides hours of fun and magic.

Basically, Child of Light is the story of Sleeping Beauty if the princess was actually fighting evil in her sleep. Aurora is the daughter of a king who marries an evil woman. One night Aurora falls ill and everyone believes that she has died. What no one knows is that she was actually transported to another world, Lemuria, by magic spell. Now she must bring peace to the new world in order to save the one she left behind. With nothing but her own bravery and the help of friends she makes along the way, she must become the hero that everyone needs. That includes super cool sword fights and learning how to fly. Surely that didn’t happen in Sleeping Beauty.

What makes this game even better, is that it is available for multiple devices including PC, Xbox, Playstation, and WiiU. It isn’t limited to owners of one gaming system, and each system is a slightly different experience. The main difference lies in the controls. The Wii U uses the gamepad. The computer version requires the use of the keyboard and the mouse or trackpad. There are two players to control—Aurora and her firefly friend. It takes a little getting used to the arrow keys and the mouse at the same time, but it becomes useful when you need to use the firefly to reach high places. Both characters jump and fly around Lemuria and battle foes they come across. The characters gain magic skills along the way that can be used to battle the bigger and badder monsters that come along.

Yes, monsters mean the game can be a little dark and scary at times. Some jump out of nowhere. Others fly at you when you least expect it. If you don’t want to engage in a battle with the monster, that’s were firefly comes in. Make him shine his light and blind the monster while you sneak past. Light defeats darkness. That is the central theme of the game. Light defeats monsters, restoring the stars saves the world, and Aurora’s pure heart guides her to destroy the hatred in the world she landed in. It is an age old story told once again in a beautiful and empowering new way.

Of course, the best part of this game is Aurora’s own personal journey as she discovers this power that good can hold. She begins her time in Lemuria alone and scared. She doesn’t know where she is going. Her main goal is figuring out how to get home. Except, when she is faced with a challenge she doesn’t run. She looks brave. She carries her sword with determination and faces the enemy head on. As the game progresses, she discover new skills with in herself that help her on her journey along the way. By the game’s end, she is saving not one world, but two. She has become a hero worthy of her royal title. The story of this young girl finding the strength and bravery to save her world makes this game unforgettable.

Spice Up Your Life with Hair Color

There are many different ways of expressing yourself. It’s the inside that matters the most, but it’s okay to try to express yourself physically as well. That’s why so many girls have tried experimenting  with hair color. With so many hair colors and different techniques, there’s a hair color out there for you! Whether you want just a strand colored or the whole head, hair color is a good way for girls to have fun. Coloring your hair might not be for everybody, but if you’re looking for some spice in your life, then a trip to the hair salon might be just what you need!

Remember to Ask for Family Approval

If you decided that you want to change your hair color, then family approval is truly advised! Coloring your hair might sound fun but it is important that your family is okay with this decision. Whether it’s a minor change or big change, it’s still best to ask before having to commit to something you are not used to. Also, you can also go to family members for fun suggestions! You might not be aware that something doesn’t suit you until you get an opinion. When changing your hair color, it is a good idea to talk to people. You never know, your best suggestion might come from your madre!

Semi-Permanent or Permanent Hair Color

There are many reasons why you would want either options, so think carefully when choosing what type of color you want. Semi-permanent hair color will stay on your head between 1 – 4 weeks. If you’re a chica who  is just looking for some temporary spice, then semi-permanent hair color could be ideal for you. If you want want your hair color to last for a long time, then permanent hair color is a good option! Remember, if you decide to do yourself or go a hair salon, you need double-check that you’re purchasing the correct option!

Highlights and Low-lights

You might have decided that one day you like your hair color but you just want to add in something a little different, like highlights. Highlights are hair strands that are colored to be lighter than your overall hair color. You can have one or you can have many! It just depends on your mood and personality. If you have really light hair but want a subtle look, then low-lights can be good for you! Low-lights are basically the complete opposite of high-lights, so they are dark strands instead of light strands of hair. There are several options for highlights and low-lights, so talk to your stylist or check out different looks online.

 

 

Wacky Colors

If you have decided that natural colors aren’t for you, then you might want to consider artificial hair colors! Pink and red are examples of artificial hair coloring. Margoth, who is 20, and a Health major shares that,”It’s fun to incorporate wacky hair colors because there are so many colors that I can play with!”Word of caution: non-natural hair colors are a great form of expression, but you need to think about how it might affect your school (if there is a rule against it). Artificial colors stand out a lot, so remember that you’ll be catching eyes with your awesome colors! All artificial colors are semi-permanent, so they won’t last that long. Whether you DIY or go to the salon, coloring your hair is a messy process.

 

 


Maintaining Your Look 

Coloring your hair isn’t all fun and games, chicas! If you want to keep your hair beautiful and healthy, you need to maintain it. If you want your color to last longer, you’ll need hair color treating shampoos because regular shampoo might take out the color more. Also, your hair is at risk every time you color it because of the chemicals. That’s why it’s best to wait at least a month or more when it comes to coloring your hair. If you are not careful, you could be able to damage your hair and you do not want to go to a hair salon because of this. So, remember to research your look carefully and buy the supplies that you need to make your hair color last!  ”Hair coloring is something that I never get tired of, but messing with all those chemicals also come with the responsibility of using a lot of conditioner,” adds Rosa, 21.

Whether you decide to color it or not, remember that your hair is beautiful no matter what! Remember to have fun and get advice from multiple people because with colored hair comes great responsibility!

Best Apps For Your Education

latina girl on computerDid you know that thirty-eight percent of college students cannot go more than 10 minutes without technology, according to a study conducted by CourseSmart and Wakefield Research. Seventy-three percent said they would not be able to study without any form of technology.

Education has transformed drastically. More students take online courses and a lot of assignments and tasks are now expected to be completed and turned in electronically. Paper and pen have gone out the window, even textbooks are dwindling with the rise of eBooks.

It is a New Year and a new semester of school, so time to shrug off the holiday spirit and put on something a little more… studious. It is time for you to get started on your New Year’s resolution of attaining that golden 4.0 this semester. We are here to help with the best apps for your education. So dust off your iPads, iPhones, and tablets – who are we kidding, they weren’t collecting dust – and start downloading these free tools for success.

Evernote:
Spirals? Folders? Binders? Who needs then now-a-days with Evernote’s app-ly existence. For all those students who use their iPads and tablets for quick note taking in lecture, this app has all you need to stay organized and informed. Along with having the ability to create your own “notebook” for each class, this app contains a text feature for notes and a camera/photos feature that allows you to snap a quick pick – maybe a graph or a table – to put in your notebook. A cool part is that you can share your notebook with someone else to collect ideas and to do some research for the upcoming group project! Evernote, also, doubles as a planner. You can set reminders and create a to-do list to keep you on task. There is a lot going on with this app and it can get a little tricky to figure out, but with some exploration you’ll become an Evernote pro in no time. It is one of the few apps that is multifaceted.
“This app is great for note taking on my tablet,” University of Texas at Austin student, Maria Morales said. “I like how it syncs up with my stuff and has everything at your finger tips.”
Evernote deserves a gold star for its adaptation to the modern-student. Plus, you can sync the app with your phone and tablet — both Android and Apple!

Wunderlist:
If you find yourself jotting down quick to-do lists on Sticky notes, corners of papers, or yourself, this app is for you. It’s a planner in the disguise of multiple to-do lists. This app allows you to create as many lists as possible, whether it is a grocery list, to-do list, or a bucket list. For each item on your list, you can set a due date or a reminder – which is really helpful for when you’re adding a homework assignment or an assigned reading! It allows you to see what you have due during the week as a whole, so no need to flip through all your lists to see what you having going on. It can sync up with your email and allows you to even share your list with someone in your contacts or publish it.
“I find this app to be so much fun. It’s so easy and it makes me feel so organized,” said Georgie Jasso, University of Texas at San Antonio student. “I find myself making lists for everything just so I can use this app to check it off. I like how it says completed when you do.”
Wunderlist excels in its simplicity and its ability to make yourself feel so accomplished when you check off a completed task – especially with the little ‘ding’ it makes.

Grades+:
We all know that grades mean everything – they do when you’re trying to pass a class and get credit for it – so it is frustrating when you have that one professor who waits until the last minute to average out your grade. The professor will pass back your paper or test, let you see what you earned, and then pick it back up. Of course it won’t be posted and averaged out until a week before grades are due. It’s all on you to keep track and to know if you’re getting that A you need to keep your pristine GPA. So to make your life simpler and a little less stressful, the app Grades+ will be your savior. This app enables you to input your grades for homework, quizzes, tests, papers, and more for each class you take. Its handiest feature is that you can set a “target grade” and it will let you know what you need to make on your assignments to reach your goal. The number of hours is taken into consideration making its GPA calculation – for overall or just that single class – is spot-on. There is even a reminder feature for due dates.
“I was always keeping track of my grades. I like to know how I’m doing at all times,” said Daniella Aguirre, student at Texas A&M. “I like Grades+ because it does all the work for you – a plus for a lazy college student with a lot on their schedule. I like that it even lets me know what I need to score to get the grade I want in class.”
Grades+ is a useful and successful personal grade book.

Recordium:
Are you an auditory learner? Notes help, but what actually gets you to understand is re-listening to a lecture and making sure you got every key point and definition thrown your way.  Recordium is a recording app – and yes, that’s its only feature. But what makes it so effective  is that it allows you to add notes, tags, highlight, and pictures as you record. This makes it simpler to go back and listen to the audio with additional snippets of information. You just set record and tap the whichever button you want to include an additional memo. There is also a search feature that makes sifting through the masses of audio files more user friendly. Also, you can upload your recording to Evernote, DropBox, Google Drive, or email it.
“I got this app because I was testing out if recording a lecture would help me study better. I ended up really liking it! It’s a recording that is tailored to how you want to study. I’ll add some notes or even highlight to make sure I’m getting all that I can from it,” said Gabriela Gonzales, student at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Recordium is another simple and basic app that deserves an applause for meeting the needs of a student.

Canvas:

Canvas is a platform that more than 800 colleges, universities, and school districts are using now. It’s how you get your grades, syllabus, assignments, readings, contact your professor and classmates, and much much more. But did you know that there is an app for that? Well there is! And if you find yourself living, breathing, and eating (well not exactly) Canvas, then download it and always have it at your fingertips.

SuperNotes:
SuperNotes is a lot like Evernote just without all the bells and whistles. It is a simple note taking app that is divided by notes, lectures, and memos. It has a recording feature that allows you to record lectures, a camera feature, and even a reminder feature! It’s worth a look, if you want to try other note-taking options.

Censorgram:
Cyber bullying is real. And with the growth of technology and social media, it has grown too. But here’s a great new app that’ll help you put a stop to that. Censogram links with your Instagram and allows you to scan your account for any negativity that doesn’t belong amongst your glorious pictures of beautiful scenery, candid moments with your friends, and your cat Fluffy. You can set up keywords for it to detect and it can even help you block those associated with those comments. It’s a breath of comment control. This app is new and growing and unquestionably worth the $3.

Technology is on the rise and taking over educational institutions, so keep a look out for more apps that can help you down your path of success.

Women in Social Media

20-social-media-icons

While there are girls who abuse use social media by posting inappropriate pictures and/or content of themselves just to receive “likes,” there are women who use this powerful tool to build their professional online presence.  With modern college courses like “social media journalism,” social networks like Twitter and Instagram are being used in positive ways to help women create a professional network. While these  fun platforms can  have a bad side, the following  women have used social media in a way that has positively influenced  those around them.

Angela Littlefield
Littlefield is a junior journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin. While just a student, Littlefield does many things for her strengthens her journalism career now like by managing a fashion blog and being one of the first reporters for an online magazine called The Horn, where she contributes video content. She has attended red carpet events in Houston and has also covered various news-related events around Austin, as well. However, Littlefield uses social media to get the word out about her projects. Littlefield has her own Facebook page (Angela “S.” Littlefield) that keeps her followers updated on her current projects.

“Social media is powerful for men and women, you just have to be very careful how you use it,” Littlefield said. “I see some women who will post statuses or pictures just for male attention and get hundreds of likes but, deep down, how is that impacting the world or themselves?”

LaLa Castro

Castro is a mother, entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and an avid user of social media in a professional manner. She is the founder of #LatinaGeeks and her website, eLaLa.com. #LatinaGeeks is a “first-of-its-kind community to empower and inspire Latin women by spreading the knowledge of entrepreneurship, social media and technology.”

Her main goal is to break the stereotype that women are intimidated by technology. Her website and foundation’s main goal is to empower Latina women by informing them about entrepreneurship and the use of social media in a positive and professional way. Before founding these projects,  she owned and operated her custom-jewelry boutique that gained so much popularity,it received the attention of celebrities, which led to a partnership with Warner Bros. in the the film, Red Riding Hood.

Castro is very proud of her Latina heritage and embraces it. She says that it was because of her cultural background that she became a successful entrepreneur and social media expert. As a child, Castro had to go out and sell fruit door-to-door with her grandfather to make end’s meet. At a young age, she was already being exposed to entrepreneurship.

Sara Inés Calderón
Since 2009, Sara Inés Calderón has worked on several projects within the start up world and digital space. Founder of NewsTaco.com, Sara is an active blogger and creates a variety of content for “a variety of outlets, including TechCrunchPolitic365Pocho.comYouTube, and Latinopia, among others,” she shares on her website Sarainescalderon.com.

“What’s truly surprised me with regard to News Taco is that my favorite part of the entire enterprise has been to promote other Latino writers and artists across the country. I thought I would enjoy writing and generating my own content, but what I’ve truly appreciated was being able to meet and work with Latina and Latino writers from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Arizona, Texas and everywhere in between.

There’s so much talent out there, and as I’ve begun working with all of these talented Latinos, I’ve realized that this is truly one of News Taco’s core values: to be a platform to promote Latinos across the country. Thus, the most rewarding part of generating my own media has been giving a voice to other Latinos who needed a platform and watching them grow as writers and in popularity,” shared Calderón in a 2011 interview with Latinitas.

Angela, LaLa, and Sara are only two of hundres, even thousands, of women using social media to not only inform their audience about their project, but to also inspire other women to use technology to further advance their careers. Users can check out different hashtags, like #LATISM, to enter a conversation about Hispanic issues.The #LATISM hashtag on Twitter links thousands of Latino/as together to trending topics in the Hispanic community. If you’re a blogger, then check out the blogs by Latinitas! Blogs by Latinas shares an online directory of Latina bloggers.

 

Choosing the Right College

733862_668939703117223_941923518_n-300x200

College Chica 2013

With so many different colleges out there to choose from, it can be a big task trying to determine which one is the best pick. Many times,the  popularity of a college or its placement on the annual U.S. News & Ranking can make a college seem like a great choice, but there are a lot of different factors about a college that, based on your own interests and personal preferences, can make it a great or bad choice for you. Finding out what you want in a college can help you decide on one that best suits YOU!

Academic Programs that Spark Your Interest

Taking time to think about what you want to study can help guide you in the college selection process.  Gladys, 16, shared that “the one important thing for me is that they have my major, that’s the deal breaker,” and is looking specifically for programs in political communications or broadcast journalism.  Cristina, 16, says she looks for “Programs with something having to do with medicine, because there are a lot of colleges that don’t have that.” Finding a college that has programs for what interests you is a great way to start finding stand-out colleges to apply to. It is normal to change majors or interests during college, too, so looking for colleges that fit a range of your interests is also a smart move.

 

Affordability

We hear so many stories about how expensive college is, but this doesn’t have to discourage you. When looking at cost, Joella, 14, says she looks at “price, and if I can get scholarships there.” Many times, colleges themselves have a wide range of scholarships to offer their students. Financial aid from the school themselves, in addition to aid given by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), can also make a college more affordable. Looking into the specific financial aid programs at each school can be helpful, since some colleges even have no-loan policies in their financial aid and offer work-study and grants to cover the cost of attending.

 

Location and Setting

Looking at the environment of the college is important; this is the place you will be spending 4+ years of your time, so finding an environment that suits you will make being there a happier experience.  This can include location, like what part of the country it is in, and setting, like urban, rural or suburban areas. Cristina, 16, says she “would like the college to be in a small area,” and is currently looking at a school in Colorado, while Justine, 15, has her eye on a more urban setting of California for the Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing. Based on personal preference, you might find yourself comfortable at a school in a quiet or small area, or might be more attracted to one in a busier, city setting.

School Size and Student Population

Schools can range from having a few thousand to tens of thousands of students, depending on the school’s size. The size of the school can affect things like student diversity and student-teacher ratio. Cristina,16, says she “would like a big one, because usually when at a big one there’s a lot more things offered to you,” saying she is interested in the wider range of people and clubs she will find at a big school. On the other hand, a smaller school can offer smaller class sizes, more personalized professor attention, and a more inclusive campus setting.

 

Preparation for the Future

Many colleges offer help to get you started on your career or find a job after you graduate. Justine, 15, is interested in studying fashion design, and says the most important thing she looks for in a college is “how it will help you in the future, after you graduate”. If this is something you look for, finding colleges with strong career service programs may be something to look into. Some colleges even offer special Co-op or internship opportunities available to students with different companies or alumni.

According to the Questbridge program’s website, other things to consider when choosing a college are, “your learning style, non-academic opportunities, social life considerations, distance from home, and opportunities to engage in things you personally enjoy,” and note that beyond just academics, “there are also considerations of personality and lifestyle.” Doing your research and outlining the things you are looking for in a college will help you to decide on a good fit for you. Finding a place that will help you achieve your academic and career goals, while also providing a happy and healthy environment for you can make your college experience much more enjoyable, and help you achieve the success you’re aiming for!

The Importance of an Internship

10628338_594771377334736_793032363106771278_n

Latinitas El Paso

As a college student looking forward to a career in competitive fields, we hear about the invaluable experience and opportunity of internships. In order to prepare for a future in your post-grad life, you need to know some things about the work pertaining to your field. Internships give you hands-on experience as well as unique insight when it comes to figuring out your career plans. For this reason, it is important to begin considering what you should look for in an internship as a high school student. Think of an internship as opening a small window into the world of your interests which will help in deciding what to pursue for the future.

As a Communications Major and Film Studies Minor, Bria Woods surrounds herself with methods of exploring media. Woods is a development and outreach intern with the non-commercial Jazz radio station, KRTU 91.7 FM, located in San Antonio, Texas and housed at Trinity University.  Her position at the KRTU 91.7 FM as the development and outreach intern has brought her countless opportunities for personal growth.

“I have the opportunity to work very closely with our members, since we are a non commercial radio station, we are listener supported. Parts of the development aspect involves processing new memberships, to collecting gifts, to sending premiums to new members. With the outreach aspect, [which is] probably my favorite, I get to help plan and set up Jazz events around the city. I have the opportunity to meet celebrities in Jazz locally and elsewhere,” said Woods.

“Working at KRTU has helped me realize the type of work environment I flourish in, which are smaller offices, with close-knit coworkers,” adds Woods.

She worked with a close-knit community in which, “it is common to help each other with tasks,” and she delves in tasks across the board from collaborating with others, to helping out in the recording studio. One of her favorite things about the internship is that she gets to help with things outside of her job description. The position has also helped her network, a great and valuable asset to have in one’s arsenal when seeking a job. Through her boss alone, she has met countless business people, musicians and artists. The worst, she explained was having her boss resign because it felt like losing a friend in the sense that “she was like a big sister,” to Bria. The best was her starting a new trend in the office. In her dorm at Trinity, she has a quote board in which she likes to place memorable quotes that she hears in her daily life. She proposed that one was made at work, and what began as her pinning quotes to the board alone, soon grew to an office habit in which everyone was involved.

 “Working at KRTU is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. It’s shown me what I’m capable of, which has boosted my confidence significantly, and I’ve met a lot of influential and important people that have changed my life for the better,” adds Woods.

Check your school’s website, career service center, or volunteer driven websites to see what internship is best suited for you. The opportunities are endless if you’re willing to look for them!

Latina Professionals in STEM

Photo Credit: blogs.scientificamerican.com

Photo Credit: blogs.scientificamerican.com

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields exist all around us, from the gravity that keeps our feet on the ground, to the way our cells are working inside our bodies. STEM fields contribute to all sorts of inventions that help in everyday life, and bring about new discoveries in our knowledge of our environment, medicine, space, and much more! According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce, Hispanics in total make up 7% of the STEM workforce in the United States, and only 3% of Latinas are represented in the STEM fields. Here are some Latinas who have made their career by making discoveries, conducting important research in STEM, and are paving the way for future Latinitas to go after their STEM dreams!

Lydia Villa-Komaroff - Cellular Biologist

Lydia Villa-Komaroff is a biologist of Mexican descent, earning her Bachelor’s degree at Goucher College and Doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At the time, she was the third Mexican-American woman to earn a doctorate degree in the United States! At first, she wanted to study chemistry, and was faced with an academic advisor who told her, “Women didn’t belong in chemistry!” Despite these set-backs, she discovered her love for biology, and followed her passion. She went on to contribute to the first synthesis of mammalian insulin in bacterial cells, and now works a company that develops cell processing systems.

Elba Serrano - Biophysicist

Elba Serrano was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but spent many years growing up living in different parts around the world because her father was in the U.S. military. She recalls that growing up, she received a lot of bullying at school from her peers because of her brown skin and Spanish accent. As she became older, she discovered a passion for the sciences, and felt they transcended the barriers of ethnic divide. She received her PhD at Stanford University, and remembers throughout her entire education being one of the very few females in science programs, and part of even a smaller group of minority students. She is now an established Biophysicist studying the nervous system, focusing her research at the University of New Mexico on discovering ways to restore hearing loss.

Adriana C. Ocampo - Planetary Geologist

Adriana C. Ocampo was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 14, she and her family came to live in the United States. She began her interest in science and space exploration early in her youth, and by her junior year in high school, was working a summer job at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Geology at California State University with a specialization in planetary science. She worked at JPL as a research scientist, became a program executive at NASA in Washington DC, and is currently working at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands as a research scientist. She contributed to various space missions, has studied planets, moons, and many other celestial bodies, and was even a part of the discover of the Yucatan Peninsula crater, believed to be the impact site of an asteroid responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs and other ancient creatures of the Earth.

Marcela Carena – Physicist

Marcela Carena was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received her degree in Physics at theInstituto of Balseiro in Argentina. She specializes in particle physics, and studies the origins of matter, and the matter and antimatter in the universe. Carena currently works as the senior theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. She is a professor of physics at the University of Chicago, and advises the U.S. Department of Energy. Aside from scientific work, she has worked to establish a visitor program at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for Latin American students to come and conduct research there during their graduate education.

France A. Córdova - Astrophysicist 

France A. Córdova is of Mexican and Irish descent, getting her Hispanic roots from her father. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Stanford, thinking she would pursue a career in writing or journalism. After seeing the 1969 walk on the moon on television, a passion for science was ignited, and she went on to receive a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology.  She became the second woman and youngest person to be chief scientist at NASA, and has become an award-wining astrophysicist. Throughout her career, she developed experiments to analyze space and help answer the questions of how the universe was created. She is currently the director of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. government agency that promotes STEM education and the advancement of scientific discovery.

If you’re interested in STEM, it’s never too early to start looking for related programs at your school or in your area, joining clubs at your school, or talking to teachers at school about your interests! To learn more about Latinas in STEM and how you can get started on pursuing your interests in these fields, here are a few sites to check out:

For Girls in Science: http://forgirlsinscience.org/

Latinas in STEM: http://www.latinasinstem.com/

Latino STEM Alliance: http://www.latinostem.org/

Covered Up? Become a Fall Fashionista

Don’t you think it’s a little chilly in the fall?  Is your inner fashionista being covered up? You don’t always have to suffer for the sake of fashion. There are many ways to be comfortable and still stay stylish. Learn how to express your sense of fashion while still being zipped up. By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to dominating the fall season with your style.

Pick the right jacket

The most important thing about the fall is trying to stay warm and cozy. Since the fall ends up transitioning into winter, these fashion tips can help you stay stylish for the next months to come! Picking a good yet cute jacket is the first step into becoming a fall fashionista. There are many options such as short jackets, medium sized jackets, and even sweaters that can be found at many stylish stores for a good price. Pay attention to what clothing and accessories that you already own when it comes to picking the color and style of your jacket, since it could potentially impact your wardrobe choice as well.

 Color Coordination 

Color coordination is one of the most important factors when it comes to fall fashion. Because the weather can be unpredictable at times, it might affect your jacket choice as well. Looking at your wardrobe, try to pick out colors that match or blend well with your jacket. Remember that you shouldn’t accessorize your look with the same color. So if you’re wearing a black jacket, accessorizing with brighter colors will help brighten up your outfit while wearing dark colored accessories will help cool down a bright colored one. If you currently don’t have anything that goes well with your jacket, then going shopping or borrowing items from your friends is always an option.

Bottom wear

One of the final steps into becoming a fall fashionista is picking the right bottom wear. Once you have remembered to color coordinate and organize your outfit, picking the right kind of bottom wear can make or break your style. Denim will always be a classic choice, so, as long as it blends well with the rest of your outfit, go for it! If you want to add a girly flare into your fall style, then a circle skirt is a great choice to incorporate into your style. Also, if you’re a fashionista who can’t stay away from shorts then that can be a possible option with leggings!

Hairstyles & Hair Accessories

Something that a jacket can’t cover up is a chica’s hair, and that is why the fall season will give you the opportunity to play around with your hair. You can curl, straighten and style your hair to help show off that you can still be a fall fashionista while also being cozy. If you don’t have the time to style your hair, then there are plenty of accessories in this world that can be just as stylish! From hats, to hair scrunchies, to hair clips, be creative! Remember to try to coordinate what you do to your hair with the jacket and outfit that you have chosen to wear.

Footwear

There are so many different options of footwear for the fall. The possibilities are endless such as shoe wedges, heels, boots, sandals, etc. Depending on the setting and occasion, footwear can take you a long way. Because you are covered up for the fall, try to work with the clothing and accessories surrounding your jacket. Fashion is a girls best friend, and cute footwear can help you walk the streets like a runaway model all season long. Since most jackets don’t cover up your footwear, try to use the fall season to express your fashion through footwear!

Need help cording an outfit? Here are bonus styling tips:

  • By wearing this leather styled jacket, you are showing your brave and wild sense of fashion. A pair of slightly ripped jeans will always be a classic that will add a little more flare to your wardrobe. Since this jacket has dark tones, try to accessorize with lighter colors to balance the colors of your outfit. Light pinks and reds will also go well with black. Plus, they will contrast well with denim tones. These light colored accessories are simple, stylish, and make your outfit pop!

Fall Fashion 1

  • If you decide that dark tones aren’t for you and instead want to elegantly stand out, then this light pink pea coat might be the right choice for you! Cool down your overall look with a black circle skirt that is accompanied with leggings. Now, you don’t always have to cool down your bright tones, it’s okay to emphasize them sometimes! Heeled sneakers are very stylish and comfortable at times. By adding a little flare to your girly look, you’ll be stepping up your fashionista game. Complimenting your outfit with some splashes of red will work with your overall look. Make sure to end your look with class, simple and stylish pearl earrings.

Fall Fashion 2

  • If you are looking for a simple yet fun style, this red letterman styled jacket could be a possible choice! Accompanying the look with denim shorts will help bring out the red color some more. Cute black leggings are always a good accessory since it’s fall season. Putting a few flashes of pink accessories will help your outfit stand out even more. Finish your look with some stylish tassel boots. The brown color will help soften your brighter tones and balance out your overall style.
    Fall Fashion 3

 

You’ll be able to strut your stuff wherever you go by following these simple steps. Remember that fashion doesn’t have to be expensive. You can go to many affordable shops that sell the same styled clothing as its bigger and more expensive competitors. Remember to pick a jacket that you will plan to use for the next few months and try to organize your wardrobe with it. With organization and patience, you will be on your way to becoming a fall fashionista!

Packing for College

Photo Credit: Studentuniverse.com

Photo Credit: Studentuniverse.com

Ah, the dorm life! A new room, a new roommate and, most importantly, a place to call your own. Whehter it’s your first time moving out or returning back to campus for the second year, prepping and decorating your dorm room is a pretty big deal — especially if the dorm is in another city away from home.

Here are some tips about essential and definitely non-essential items to pack in order to make that suitcase (or u-haul) a little lighter this upcoming semester.

1) Learn to downsize:

“But what about my 80 pairs of shoes?!” said almost every girl ever. In college, especially if your campus is a large one, you’ll be doing a lot of walking in great distances in not the perfect air conditioned weather. So having 50+ pairs of heels in all colors and hues of the rainbow won’t be necessary, and it’ll be especially difficult to fit into that small dorm room! The same goes for plain t-shirts. Generally, five is a solid maximum number — unless you’re into band tees or something unique like that. Otherwise bring only a few as there will be free t-shirts galore at college. When packing clothes, don’t bring your entire wardrobe. Select your favorite piece and include one or two business-casual outfits for  job interviews, meet and greets, career fairs, etc. Love the nightlife? Pack a dressy outfit or two if you plan to join a sorority. Keep in mind that the less you pack the more room you’ll have in your room. Most college students agree that their suitcase grows while in college because of all the new trendy shops they discover.

2) Pack the essentials:

First-aid is important. Be sure to bring a first-aid kit in case anything happens unless you’re prepared to become bests with your neighbors.  Plus, it’s good to have in case of emergencies. Speaking from personal experience, I’ll never forget the time my friend recalled her first day of move-in after her parents left when she accidentally cut her finger and then had no first-aid kit. Yikes! It’s also very awkward to feel independent one second to completely dependent the next simply because you literally do not have the basic supplies to take care of yourself. A first-aid kit is a must but so is stocking up on your flu remedies/medication. No matter how immune you are to getting the flu or a stomach virus, living in a new city/environment will eventually catch up to you, like realizing you have allergies after moving from your home in the desert to the humid climate of the east coast. Avoid the hassle of leaving the comfort of your bed when you’re sick and stock up on ck-day(s) essentials like decongestant, stomach medicine, ginger ale, saltines and other medicine-like or edible essentials to help with your sickness.

Don’t forget to pack stationery! If you’re planning on sending handwritten letters to friends and family or want to submit formal letters to organizations, purchase a few standard sized envelopes, large manila folders, stamps, and paper.

4) Declutter your dorm, leave these things behind:

Now to things that should be forgotten, a good golden rule for this is if you only need it to go camping then you probably don’t need it at all (unless you plan on frequently camping). Leave things like mosquito-repellent and fly swatters at home. Being in a cement-surrounded room deep inside a building, you won’t be seeing much flies. Some exceptions to this rule are raid and a sleeping bag. In college, one learns and experiences the “all-nighter,” which in some cases, may involve needing to sleep someplace other than their bed. These also come in handy when needing to stay at a friend’s place last minute, or basically anywhere else that’s not your dorm.

Regardless of how far you are going, these tips can be useful when preparing to live in a dorm room for the first time. It’s important to remember the essentials and to plan ahead for what you will need a lot of, versus what you will need a little bit of. Lastly, one of the biggest things you can learn before moving out on your own for the first time is that you cannot learn EVERYTHING you need to know before actually moving out.  One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn is that mistakes are inevitable and some can only be learned after experiencing first. Pack a few keepsakes, but don’t overpack and bring your entire bedroom, childhood toys and all, with you.

buy cialis without prescription

cialis price

cialis dosage

Viagra online