A select group of seven Cañada College students recently honed their leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference in Sacramento for math-based majors. The event was sponsored by PG&E and six other companies.
The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference held last weekend offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers. The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, represented over 30 universities and community colleges from across the state, including Cañada College.
Participating Cañada students were: Moises Bautista, Norman Ettedgui, Juan Guevara, Jose Salgado, William Berrios, Curtis Carpentier and Michael Nobida.
Students participated in mock interviews, connected with industry representatives from seven national and California companies and heard guest speakers such as former NASA astronaut Tammy Jernigan, who also led a women in STEM panel discussion. California Public Utilities Commissioner Tim Simon was named the 2012 MESA Champion for the commission’s longstanding support of the program. Students also participated in a MESA Business Case Challenge in which they presented a business solution to a panel of energy and utility industry leaders.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) was a major sponsor of the event. The company’s $40,000 grant allowed students from 20 Northern California campuses to attend. PG&E employees volunteered their time to work closely with the students during the conference.
PG&E Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Bill Harper encouraged students to continue in their educational pursuits and awarded winners of the MESA Business Case Challenge. PG&E has supported MESA since 1979 and was recognized its the extensive support in helping educationally disadvantaged MESA students graduate in math-based fields.
Other sponsors included Edison International, Southern California Gas Company, Vanir Construction Management, Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Lab, San Diego Gas & Electric and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District.