story by: Yol-Itzma Aguirre

Colombiana-Argentinas, the identical twin sisters – Alma and Susana – were born and raised In El Paso, Texas. Like many of us in Texas, the sisters are first generation and understand exactly what it means to navigate the world as the ‘first one’ to walk an unpaved path, often encountering additional hardships and obstacles, but never giving up. With the love, sacrifice and support of their family, the sisters each set out on their own individual paths to become an engineer and achieve their dream; they now have called NASA their home-away-from-home, for over a decade

ALMA STEPHANIE (UTEP Alumna) the “Material Girl” is a Materials Engineer at the Johnson space center in Houston. Not only does she get to work with the actual materials that come together as part of bigger project, but she also has the task of investigating the materials that will keep people safe, whether a space suit or space vehicle.

SUSANA (NMSU Alumna) is a Chemical Engineer and the standard test manager at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. She gets to work on testing the materials for ignitability and flammability to ensure that (in basic terms) nothing blows up or will possibly blow up and if so, for how long will it burn. The facility test anything that will be sent up, to ensure the safety of our astronauts and their surrounding environment.

left: Alma Stephanie Tapia | right: Susana Tapia-Harper | photo credit: TECHNOLOchicas
left: Alma Stephanie Tapia | right: Susana Tapia-Harper

As Latinas continue to break barriers in the S.T.E.M. fields; the engineer duo continue to be actively engaged with different groups and organizations to promote Latinas in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering And Math) like ‘TECHNOLOchicas‘ hoping to inspire the next generation of Latinas, to continue to dream big, that anything is within the realm of possibility and nothing is out of reach, not even the stars.

Spanish Version

English Version

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