Texas Tech University

Texas Tech SACNAS Chapter Leaders Earn White House Visit with Big Win

Glenys Young

November 10, 2015

The students received the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award.

SACNAS students with John Holdren at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Leaders from the Texas Tech University chapter were big winners at the 2015 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference in Washington D.C., held Oct. 29-31. The students received an Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award, earning a visit to the White House.

Representing their chapter, undergraduate students Christopher Ponce and Marisol Alonzo visited the White House to meet with John Holdren, assistant to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

“It was an honor being invited to the White House to meet Dr. John Holdren,” said Ponce, who is majoring in mathematics, minoring in chemistry and plans to go to medical school. “While at the meeting, Dr. Holdren shared some exciting and empowering news. The Obama administration is well aware of the importance of increasing diversity in STEM fields. They are, and have been, working on promoting a welcoming environment for underrepresented minorities across the United States. I look forward to seeing the White House continue this important work.”

Christopher Ponce
Christopher Ponce

One of 115 SACNAS chapters nationwide, the Texas Tech chapter hosts community outreach events, seminars and scientific symposia throughout the year. The chapter is open to all Texas Tech undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and professionals in STEM. 

“We must continue to inspire tomorrow's thinkers, innovators and problem-solvers to pursue STEM fields,” Holdren said. “Not only does this require effective mentorship like the SACNAS program, but it also demands the inclusion of students from all backgrounds. This is critical to our future and American innovation.”