These leaders have the distinction of being the inaugural AL DÍA Leaders in STEM Advisory Board
These STEM leaders have the task of selecting the top organizations providing opportunities for the entry of more diverse individuals into the industry.
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While AL DÍA has a handful of exclusive annual events that have been synonymous with the company over the years, it has never been afraid to broaden its horizons.
That absence of fear has produced a number of events that no other organization across the region are hosting.
This year will see the first-ever AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM event.
The inaugural event will recognize organizations that are making a difference in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math — fields with an often underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic individuals.
According to a 2021 Pew Research Center report, just 9% of STEM workers are Black and 8% Hispanics, despite making up 11% and 17% of all U.S. employed adults, respectively.
Meanwhile, white and Asian workers are overrepresented in STEM fields, and other races, including American Indians/Alaska natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and mixed races, together represent just 3% of both the STEM field and the overall workforce.
Provided these glaring statistics, the AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM event will honor organizations that are proactively fostering diversity in STEM in a variety of ways.
The event will be led by a group of esteemed leaders within the STEM world.
Meet the six individuals who comprise the 2022 AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM Advisory Board:
Moises Young, President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Greater Philadelphia Chapter & Vice Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers MOSAIC
Moises Young has established a long career in the civil engineering industry, including working more than 20 years with the infrastructure consulting firm, AECOM.
After joining the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Greater Philadelphia chapter in 2019, originally as treasurer, he was appointed President of the organization last year.
As President, Young helps lead the local chapter of the organization dedicated to fostering Hispanic leadership in the STEM field and helping the community realize its fullest potential within these industries.
In addition to his role with SHPE, Young also works as a real estate development lead analyst for Amtrak and is Vice Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Nilsa R. Graciani, Chief STEM Officer at Esperanza & Director of STEM and Medical Assisting at Esperanza College of Eastern University
Dr. Nilsa Graciani is an organic chemist and science educator originally from Puerto Rico.
Passionate about supporting students and young people in her community, she currently works in science education, teaching and training future sciences as a professor and Director of STEM and Medical Assisting at Esperanza.
After getting her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras, she went on to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry at Texas A&M University, studying peptide structures and interactions.
Dr. Graciani now works in science education, teaching and training future scientists.
Shannon Morales, Founder & CEO of Tribaja
Shannon Morales is a startup founder/operator, innovation enthusiastic, and serial entrepreneur.
As founder & CEO of Tribaja, Morales helps to provide valuable opportunities within the tech and startup spaces for untapped and underrepresented communities.
Through Tribaja, those interested in entering into the tech industry receive training, build their network and gain confidence allowing them to take their ideas to the next level.
All of this is done with the goal of increasing the level of diversity in tech and innovation hubs nationwide.
In addition to her work with Tribaja, Morales is also the Philadelphia chapter director for Techqueria, the largest Latinx in Tech community in the United States. In the role, she helps foster a safe space for Latinx in the tech space to thrive through curated events, virtual programs, membership opportunities and sponsor securing.
Jose Aguirre, Senior Manager of Local Government Affairs at PECO
Jose Aguirre is a utility industry leader with more than 25 years of experience.
He is currently senior manager of local government affairs at PECO, a role he was recently appointed to in April 2022.
In his various roles with PECO — dating back to 2010 — Aguirre has often served as a liaison between the company, public and private agencies, elected officials, stakeholders, other key partners and its hundreds of thousands of customers, managing relationships and ensuring all pieces of the puzzle come together.
Amaris Hernandez, Founder of the Cybher Group
Amaris Hernandez Padgett is an Information Systems professional who has worked out of the Delaware Valley for over 22 years.
In 2021, she founded the Cybher Group, LLC, a firm that focuses on performing cyber security assessments, helping businesses create long-term IT road maps, and planning program implementations for clients.
With her diverse background as an IT leader in education, banking, energy, insurance and non-profit industries, she brings a wide array of experience and a unique perspective to her clients.
Tiffany M. Newmuis, Director of Local Media Development Administration at Comcast NBCUniversal
Tiffany Newmuis has been working in community engagement and diversity efforts in the Greater Philadelphia area for over a decade.
Prior to joining Comcast in 2018, Newmuis worked in a variety of different roles, including as Senior Director of Community Engagement and Emerging Markets for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; Director of Diversity for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority; and Program Developer for the African American Chamber of Commerce.
These six professionals all work within specific areas of the STEM spectrum, each making critical contributions to their respective areas.
As advisory board members, they will be responsible for selecting two organizations per each area — science, technology, engineering and math — who are working to motivate and encourage the next generation of young people to pursue STEM education opportunities and careers.
This can include teaching, mentoring, research, groundbreaking discoveries, innovations and more.
Those selected organizations will be awarded as the 2022 AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM honorees.
The 2022 AL DÍA Leaders in STEM is set to take place Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the Pyramid Club from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. To learn more or purchase tickets to this first-ever inaugural event, click here.