SVCP Partner Blog Series: Ohlone College

by: Stacey Manzano & Laura Hudock

A speaker giving a speech during the 2nd Annual Women in Engineering and Computer Science Mentoring Dinner

Ohlone College hosted its 2nd Annual Women in Engineering and Computer Science Mentoring Dinner on Friday, March 9th, 2018 at the Newark Campus. Hosted by our Bioengineering Professor Rose-Margaret Itua, many Bioengineering students from Ohlone were in attendance, as well as members of the SVETP team who assisted with planning this event. It was a fantastic way to create a meaningful network and learning opportunity for students from six different community colleges, and gave industry professionals a chance to mentor aspiring engineers and computer scientists. There were over 150 professionals and students who participated in this year’s event. The professionals in attendance represented regional industry employers such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, Lam Research, Hewlett Packard, Risk Management Solutions, Equinix, Quanergy, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Synopsys, and The Clorox Company.

Students and mentors participating in a group exercise.

Ohlone Trustee Teresa Cox, the first African-American woman in the nation with a degree in Nuclear Engineering, was the keynote speaker and gave an inspirational talk.  Ms. Cox has over 20 years of experience working for several Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley, and everyone at the dinner enjoyed her speech.  Claudia Galvan, leader of the Society of Women Engineers' local section in Silicon Valley, gave an amazing “Lightning Talk” about the importance of having grit and determination. There was a free LinkedIn photo booth to assist students with starting or optimizing the online networking site; students enjoyed being mentored by professionals who sat at their table. The Director of Dance and Director of Health and Wellness at Ohlone College led the audience through a dance exercise and a lesson about mindfulness. The theme of the dinner was “have your cake and eat it too,” so how to maintain a healthy work-life balance was highlighted throughout the evening. This theme seemed to spark a lot of discussion among the mentors and mentees.

Particpating students and mentors taking a group picture.

This event was also a wonderful way to celebrate the sixth month anniversary of the SVETP Bioengineering program that was launched at Ohlone College in Fall 2017. The Associate’s Degree program in Bioengineering prepares students for entry-level positions in the bioengineering industry, such as those in regional national laboratories. Students in this program develop a solid foundation in chemistry, biology, physics and engineering. We are very excited about the Bioengineering Program at Ohlone College, and the opportunities it will bring students who are trying to obtain entry-level jobs that require two years of college-level science and engineering.  

For more information on this event and/or Bioengineering contact Rose-Margaret Itua at:


This guest blog post was provided to Silicon Valley Career Pathways by Ohlone College as part of the SVCP Partner Blog series. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or visit our website,, for more information.