Rita Oliveira is a Program Associate for the Energy and Sustainability Program. She is also the Office and HR Manager as well as Assistant to the President. Rita holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Portugal and MBA from National University, in San Diego. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked as a collector at Chase Home Finance in San Diego and as an Assistant Manager for F. Abecassis in Portugal.
Rebecca (Becky) Hernandez serves as the Assistant Director of the STEAM Program for the Institute of the Americas, a not for profit organization located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.
Becky graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley (formerly the University of Texas – Pan American), Edinburg, Texas, with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. In addition, she spent her last two years as an undergraduate working on a research project involving a brain parasite that manipulates its fish host behavior. Ultimately, this undergraduate research project culminated in her first publication, in the Journal of Parasitology.
After graduating, she worked as a high school Pre-AP chemistry teacher at IDEA College Preparatory in Mission, Texas. Given her interest in STEM, she served as a mentor for students participating in the science fair competition and participated in both the annual STEM event hosted by her campus as well as the one hosted by her undergraduate institution.
Later, her passion for marine biology (and parasites) led her to Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, where she first worked as a Laboratory Technician and subsequently received her M.S. in Marine Biology. There, she focused on examining how California Killifish used their behavior as a defense against parasites.
Prior to his current position at the Institute, Carlos did freelance work as Web Developer, Graphic Designer and Multimedia consultant. He also worked for JVC Electronics and for the marketing department at The LandAmerica Financial Group the third largest title insurance group in the US, where he worked as Junior Web Developer and Graphic Artist. A native of Spain, Carlos moved to San Diego, California in 1999. In 2001 he graduated as Web Designer at the North Media Center. From 2001-2004 he attended San Diego City College at the Graphic and Multimedia Design Department.
Diana Rodríguez has been Energy & Sustainability Program Associate for over nine years. Diana also is the Institute’s Facilities Manager. Prior to joining the Institute, Diana worked assisting the DCM at the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, D.C., for seven years. She holds a BA on International Trade from Los Libertadores University in Colombia.