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Prof. Hernandez: My own McFarland Story

Friday, February 20, 2015

Professor Christopher Hernandez of Cornell’s  Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Cornell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering has published an Opinion piece on the Fox News Latino website, which can be viewed here. In his essay, Hernandez tells the story of his own path from a small farm town in the Central Valley of California to a position on the faculty at a highly rated Ivy League college of engineering. Hernandez uses his own story as a starting point to then discuss ways to address the dearth of Mexican-American and other Latino engineers.

In the essay, Hernandez credits his father, as well as his father’s teachers and coaches, for changing the course of his family’s future. Hernandez’s father worked his way through college and had a 30-year career as a teacher. Christopher Hernandez himself went to Harvard and Stanford for his engineering degrees, and he writes compellingly of the importance of being challenged by mentors and parents. Hernandez also stresses the value of telling Latino students about successful engineers like Dr. Albert Baez and Dr. Ellen Ochoa. “Like the first members of an immigrant family to move to the U.S.,”writes Hernandez, “these role models will show your family that success is possible.”

Hernandez is a 2015 Public Voices Fellow and his essay was written as part of the Op-Ed Project, whose mission is to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas heard in the world.

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