Hispanic Business recently shared a list of 50 influential Hispanics in the U.S. Here are a few of the individuals on that list who come from Puerto Rico:
Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of Engineering at North Carolina State University, received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez before continuing his education in New York and Florida. He is a registered engineer in Puerto Rico and in Florida, and has held teaching positions in Florida, and Puerto Rico. Dr. Martin-Vega has received numerous awards and is active in the promotion of science education.
- Zoe Saldana, an actress and recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Vision Award, grew up in New Jersey. Of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, Ms. Saldana is known for her portrayals of strong women and for her outspoken support of human rights. She currently resides in California.
- Zulma Toro-Ramos, Dean of Engineering at Wichita State University, also began her education at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez before going on to the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech. She is both the first woman and the first Hispanic individual to hold the position of Dean of Engineering at Wichita State. Dr. Toro-Ramos is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and the Society of Women Engineers.
- Mariela Ure, senior vice president of Wells Fargo’s Hispanic enterprise segment strategy, was born in Puerto Rico and went to school in Florida. At Wells Fargo, Ms. Ure oversees the development of business and marketing plans to Hispanic communities and serves on the board of directors of the Wells Fargo Foundation. She is also a Florida and North Carolina certified Guardian Ad Litem, serving as a child advocate volunteer for abused and neglected children for more than 10 years.
This list demonstrates Puerto Rican influence in academia, engineering, entertainment, business and philanthropy. These four individuals, all with Puerto Rican roots, are prominent members of their communities located throughout the United States.