NILA 2020 - National Institute for Leadership Advancement


NILA 2020 Curriculum

Purpose: To develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders in the STEM workforce and align their local operations to realize SHPE's mission

NILA Objectives:

  • Personal: Develop participants into competent and committed leaders that positively advance themselves and their communities.
  • Organizational: Educate and prepare participants to lead chapter operations in alignment with SHPE’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.
  • Community: Empower participants to engage and organize SHPE members, community partners and stakeholders.

The workshops, breakouts, and keynotes listed below are SUBJECT TO CHANGE.


  • JUST ADDDED! Thursday Night Panel

    Our COVID-19 Story: Knowledge Based Adaptability

    Moderated by Manny de la Cruz | ExxonMobil


    Join us to hear a brief, engaging presentation summarizing the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic. This condensed timeline of events will help participants understand what exactly has happened to the global economy with oil markets as a backdrop. That presentation will be followed by a panel discussion of ExxonMobil professionals, sharing their personal and professional reactions to the unprecedented change that has occurred. You'll hear what it is like to work in a virtual environment, the need to pivot to rapid change, and succeeding in this new age.


  • Welcome Remarks

    Join us as we kick-off the first day of the 2020 National Institute for Leadership Advancement!

  • Opening Keynote

    Honoring Hispanic Identity – An Introspection on Achievement, Courage, and Heritage

    Presented by Wilson Ronda | Lockheed Martin

    SHPE chapter leaders come from a variety of backgrounds including demographic, economic, and upbringing within society. As such, their identity and how they perceive it varies; however, the value system and general experiences are what unities the SHPE community. This lecture is aimed at demonstrating to the leaders the personal, professional, and career challenges, and visible successes of a Hispanic STEM professional that has been instrumental within the STEM workforce. Doing so, provides SHPE chapter leaders an exemplary figure on the contributions they can achieve for themselves and their community.

  • Workshop #1

    Strategic Thinking and Business Planning to Achieve Optimal Results

    Presented by Jeanmarie "GG" Colon | Accenture

    Despite widespread belief, strategic thinking is not something that only senior executives do in the workforce. It is a mindset that must be adopted at all levels of the organization. It allows professionals to set the vision, anticipate challenges, establish plans, enlist support, and persuade stakeholders. Thinking strategically is a good business practice and extremely valued by organizational leadership. It does require a change in mindset, being comfortable taking risks, deviating from established plans to achieve a future goal, and thinking several steps ahead.

    Business planning on the other hand requires an established strategy that is achievable and ‘bought into’ by the team. Knowing how to plan to reach the vision is a science and an art. It requires risk management, project planning, financial analysis, budgets and forecasts, and resource planning among other knowledge areas. Skilled program managers not only create plans but can anticipate the realities of the organization and external factors to accurately predict how the efforts will unfold.

  • Breakout #1: Leadership & Operations

    Breakout Session #1: Leadership & Operations

    By the end of the session, the attendees will be able to:

    • Understand the SMART paradigm applied to CMT objectives
    • Develop a vision statement for their chapter to accomplish for the year

    Expected items to have been completed by attendees at this point:

    • SWOT
    • SMART objectives
  • Workshop #2

    Mentoring to Maximize Membership Recruitment, Retention, and Success

    Presented by Julio Grapa | P&G

    Chapter leaders are entrusted with the challenging task of creating a relevant plan and nurturing a sustainable environment to realize the SHPE mission for themselves and local chapter members. Chapters realize the SHPE mission by recruiting members into the organization and providing them a meaningful value proposition that retains them towards their success. For student chapters, success is the post-graduation success for members as they transition into the STEM workforce. For professional chapters, success is two-fold by providing members value towards their career advancement and the satisfaction of positively uplifting the community. While this process is well understood by chapter leaders, its successful implementation depends on the chapter leaders’ ability to create an environment that uplifts all the members to collaborate as a unit.

    Leaders with the ability to mentor and coach current and future board members increase their teams’ performance and outcomes. Knowing how to mentor and coach members to realize a strategic plan/vision is a necessary skill for leaders. Understanding mentor/mentee expectations, setting guidelines and milestones, and communicating with a growth mindset are skills transferable to the workforce.

  • Breakout #2: Membership

    Breakout Session #2: Membership

    By the end of the session, the attendees shall be able to:

    • Create a detailed diagram of the types of mentors they will need to succeed in their career
    • Educate their chapter board members on how to identify and build mentor relationships
    • Develop the basics of informal mentorship program(s) for SHPE members to be recruited and retained within the SHPE chapter


  • Motivational Moment: Mindfully Hack Your Brain

    Start the day off right with an energizing motivational session presented by Christine Wenger from Toyota!

  • Workshop #3

    Leverage Your Entrepreneurial Mindset for Innovative Project Solutions

    Presented by Nena Lara | ExxonMobil

    Opportunity, value creation, and innovation are some of the words used to describe an individual with an entrepreneurial mindset. Promoting such a mentality can help improve your career trajectory, uncover new opportunities, and position you as a creative thinker and resourceful individual with innovative ideas to share and solve challenging problems. The term used within a corporation for such an elite group is intrapreneurs. They are proactive, action-oriented, motivated, and identify new ways to solve problems, create products, and enhance processes.

    Imagine the powerful combination that could result from an entrepreneurial mindset with the design, execution, and precision of engineers. Creativity and innovation merged with resourcefulness, financial acumen, results driven practices, and the ability to pivot.

  • Breakout #3: Programs & Events

    Breakout Session #3: Programs & Events

    By the end of this session, the attendees shall be able to

    • Communicate the various stages needed to manage a project


    • Develop a new program or event(s) to add to their Chapter Management Tools based off of a SMART objective or member value proposition, utilizing their completed SWOT analysis.
    • Develop clear metrics for success for a new chapter program or event(s).
  • Workshop #4

    Charting Your Career to Lead the Workforce

    Presented by Loni Olson, Michel Mora Bustamante | Honeywell

    It is seldom the case that STEM professionals and leaders utilize the same skill sets and job position within the workforce throughout their career. Lateral and vertical mobility within the workforce is expected along with adapting transferable skills sets. Your ability to chart your career path by living your core values and aspirations by setting mid- to long-term plans and goals, effective mentor networks, building your personal brand, and having a life-long learning mindset is critical to become a leader within the STEM workforce. Charting your career with specific goals, strategies and measures with sufficient flexibility to adapt in a rapidly changing workforce environment can prove to provide you the trajectory to succeed. Career coaching provides you the ability to develop the necessary skills to live and realize your values as you navigate your career.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Career planning basics: understanding the phases of charting your career of preparing, plotting and navigating your career course
    • Value determination: how to determine your values to realize throughout your career
    • Emotional and social intelligence assessment: learn tools and diagnostics to identify strengths and weakness to market and address, respectively, throughout your career
    • Building a personal brand and leadership style: defining and building a personal brand built on personal values reflected on a leadership style that inspires others and produces results
  • Breakout #4: Career Readiness & Development

    Breakout Session #4: Career Readiness & Development

    By the end of the breakout session, the attendees shall be able to:

    • Draft a document that aligns their personal values and mentoring network(s) into a career trajectory plan


    By the end of the breakout session the attendees shall:

    • Identify at least five of their personal values to be aligned their career
    • Create a network diagram of mentors to support their careers (template of plan and mentors provided)
    • Draft a 5-year career trajectory plan
    • Define milestones along the five years and learn how to manage deviations


  • Opening Motivation

    Start the day off right with an energizing motivational session!

  • Workshop #5

    Fund Development Best Practices to Drive Business Decisions and Chapter Growth

    Presented by Monique Herrera | SHPE

    It is no secret that major corporations, startups, government, and non-profit organizations all depend on sound financial management; not just to thrive but on many occasions simply to survive. Having a solid understanding of an organization’s capital structure, investment strategy, debt management, and operational expenses and income enables everyone to appreciate how business decisions are made and the impact these have across the board. From physical assets such as buildings to payroll, benefits, programs, and project funding; knowing the financial factors that influence decisions is critical in understanding how businesses are operate.

    Regardless of role, position, or seniority understanding the basic financial makeup of a company and how decisions are made position you as a more valuable asset for any organization. Financial forecasts, budgets, and operational management are just some of the areas that most professionals will meet during their career.

  • Breakout #5: Partnerships & Collaboration

    Breakout Session #5: Partnerships & Collaboration

    By the end of this session, the attendees shall be able to:

    • Construct value packages from their chapter programs that attract sponsorship
    • Create chapter fund development document such as the chapter sponsorship brochure
    • Communicate with potential and historical sponsor in person and via email


    • Chapter sponsorship brochure – define value proposition
    • Sponsor communication templates and schedule
  • Closing Keynote

    Advance Your Career by Giving Back to Your Community

    Presented by Cheryl Gomez-Smith | ExxonMobil

    The growth and strength of the organization depends on the organization being able to instill a culture of life-long learning, a continuous growth mindset, and community engagement. A clear and direct member value proposition detailing how engagement within the organization contributes to the career upward mobility (and a result an upward mobility of the community) is imperative. Moreover, continual engagement within SHPE beyond the college and into workforce life is necessary to realize SHPE's mission. The session speaker(s) aims to demonstrate to SHPE chapter leaders (i.e., professionals, students, and advisors) the importance and value of community engagement and being involved with SHPE for a lifetime (particularly in the Hispanic community). Additionally, lecturer shall highlight the industry partners as the major stockholders contributing to realize SHPE's mission. Ideal candidates for this panel are SHPE life-time professional members with experience within the organization's leadership and staunch support from their industry employer.