During Summer 2015, Jason Enriquez, current secretary of MAES Latinos in Science and Engineering, had the opportunity to attend the MAES Chapter Development Summit in Fullerton, California. He was joined by three fellow MAES members, and the four had an unforgettable experience.
The regional summit was held to promote the exchange of ideas, networks, and experiences between MAES chapters. The members of the ASU chapter of MAES were eager to hear what other chapters were up to and share their own experiences. “What motivated me most to participate in this event was the desire to learn,” said Jason. As a board member of two different ASU student organizations, he was curious to see how he could apply the advice of MAES members to both of his organizations.
Although he enjoyed speaking to fellow members, Jason says his favorite part was getting to speak one-on-one with professionals. During a presentation, he got the chance to hear them speak passionately about MAES and what the organization stands for, but what came next was what really got Jason excited. “Afterward, they went around talking to everyone in the room without judgment or discrimination,” he explained. The MAES professionals gave the ASU chapter members tons of tips and feedback on how to make the most of their opportunities, how to get students involved, and how to make PowerPoints that would inspire their members.
What surprised Jason the most about the summit was the atmosphere. He was expecting a strict, professional crowd, but was greeted with the opposite. “[…]we spent the remainder of the first night learning, talking, and laughing,” he said. The friendly and accepting atmosphere encouraged Jason and the MAES members to strive for the same environment in their own chapter. After attending the summit, Jason and his peers made plans to recruit new members, fundraise to promote events, and get younger generations involved in STEM fields. They made the best of the opportunity they were given, and they advise first-time conference-goers to get involved and ask plenty of questions so that their experience can be just as rewarding.