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.
Francesca Carrillo-Díaz graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) in 2017 with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in Latin American studies. Upon graduating, she worked for the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education (JI), a nonprofit on the USD campus. During her time at JI she helped coordinate various STEAM camps and events for elementary school children.
In 2019, Francesca joined the Institute of the Americas (IOA) as a STEAM Program Associate. She has helped organize various in person and virtual events for local and Latin American students such as the annual residential summer Science Camp and nonresidential day camps called STEAM Labs. She has also worked with the STEAM Team to coordinate professional development workshops for Latin American STEAM teachers at the IOA headquarters in La Jolla, California, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and most recently through virtual platforms. In 2021, Francesca also plans to help IOA re-engage with the broader San Diego/Tijuana community by restart their arts & culture program.
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.
Jacqueline Sanchez serves as Energy & Sustainability Policy Associate at the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California, where she focuses on energy and sustainability policy development issues with countries in Latin America. Jacqueline has actively participated in climate change and renewable energy endeavors including being part of the U.S. Department of Energy and APEC program: “Women Empowerment in the Renewable Energy Sector” where she was amongst the 13 finalists and travelled to Singapore to join the final phase of the program; becoming a Climate Reality Leader for Al Gore’s Initiative: The Climate Reality Project; and participating in California’s Governor’s: Global Climate Action Summit.
Prior to joining the Institute of the Americas, she worked for the British government as Senior Trade and Investment Officer leading the Renewable Energy and Environment sectors working at the Embassy in Mexico City as well as an assignment for 5 months at the Embassy in Quito, Ecuador.
Jacqueline holds two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Accounting with concentration in International Business from New Mexico State University (NMSU) and an MBA from Mexico’s Institute of Technology (ITAM) in Mexico City. Her postgraduate education includes a diploma in Project Management from ITAM and a certificate in Economics for Foreign Policy from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Ms. Sanchez has several years of experience in international business development covering different sectors and she has a broad knowledge of the U.S., U.K., Mexico and other markets in Latin America. Jacqueline has worked, lived and studied in the U.S., Mexico, France, and Ecuador, and speaks Spanish, English and French.