Student Organization Recognized for Diversity Leadership

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science recognized for its contributions to student recruitment and faculty involvement.

Written by Jessica Behnham

Texas Tech SACNAS group

SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic, Chicano and Native American scientists in attaining advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership.

Texas Tech University's chapter of Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) was recognized at the 2009 SACNAS National Conference, which was held Oct. 15-18 in Dallas.

Jaclyn Cañas, faculty advisor for Texas Tech's chapter, said the recognition is important because Texas Tech's chapter members have worked hard to bring the chapter back to life since its establishment in 2004, and the award acknowledges that they have made significant progress.

"Texas Tech's SACNAS chapter provides a supportive and encouraging environment where minority science students can participate and feel at home amongst individuals just like them," Cañas said.

Cañas said the chapter provides opportunities for its members to participate in professional development activities, learn about the research that other minority students are involved in on campus, and travel to the annual National SACNAS Conference where they can network with other minority scientists.

For 35 years, SACNAS has provided strong national leadership in improving and expanding opportunities for minorities in the scientific workforce and academia; mentoring college students within science, mathematics and engineering; and supporting quality precollege science education.