Adrian Gonzalez attends the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) 50th Annual National Diversity in STEM Conference

SACNAS 50th Annual National Diversity in Stem Conference EmblemSACNAS 50th Annual National Diversity in Stem Conference Emblem
Adrian Gonzalez (M.S.), Environmental Scientist with Catalyst Environmental Solutions and alumni from Oregon State University, attended the National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Conference this last month which is put on every year by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
This year’s conference was presented by Adrian’s alma mater Oregon State University (OSU). Adrian attended the conference as an OSU alumni industry representative. This presented him with the perfect opportunity to return 11 years later, as an environmental professional with Catalyst.
“I had a great time at the National Diversity in STEM SACNAS conference. The last time I attended the conference was in Seattle 2012 where I presented environmental toxicology research performed for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration as part of a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Being there again was a great reminder about the importance of organizations like SACNAS which creates a space for people of color to be their authentic selves.”
SACNAS is an organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM.  NDiSTEM is the largest multidisciplinary and multicultural STEM diversity event in the country, celebrating science, culture, and community that serves, equips, and energizes participants for their academic and professional paths in STEM. This growing organization now has over 9,000 members and saw over 6,500 attendees at this year’s conference, 4,000 of which were first-time attendees.

Throughout the conference Adrian had the opportunity to connect with professionals and students alike. He especially enjoyed engaging with undergraduates and current and future graduate students, sharing his experience at OSU, its various graduate programs, and describing how these experiences helped guide his non-linear journey to becoming an environmental consultant at Catalyst.
“STEM is an industry where POC have historically been excluded from for a multitude of reasons and for people like me caught between worlds (perceived as white, being Chicano, first-generation college student, and growing up poor) the odds of entry are often insurmountable. Outside of bringing together budding STEM professionals, the conference brings together representatives from top universities, federal and state agencies, and non-profits to meet with prospective students about grants, scholarships, internships, and job opportunities. The conference also includes indigenous dance, music, and sessions that bring together agencies and diverse panels to talk about journeys into STEM, policy changes, climate change, and so much more."
Adrian Gonzalez at the 50th Annual National Diversity in Stem ConferenceAdrian Gonzalez at the 50th Annual National Diversity in Stem Conference
Adrian (far left), a Professional Member of SACNAS, plans to remain engaged with SACNAS’s annual NDiSTEM conference and continue to collaborate with OSU as a guest presenter, highlighting careers in environmental consulting and his experiences at Catalyst.

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