Bakersfield College and Mesa Program to Hold Annual MESA STEM & Pre-Health Conference on Saturday April 1, 2023


Friday, March 10, 2023

Bakersfield College and BC's Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program will host their annual conference on Saturday, April 1 at the Panorama Campus aimed to educate the community about Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and Pre-Health education. This year, attendees will hear from guest speaker, Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born woman in space who earned her Electrical Engineering degree from UCLA and worked for NASA. Earlier this week in honor of International Women's Day, Mattel's Barbie announced the latest launch of role model dolls, one of which is modeled after Katya and features a navy blue flight suit.

Katya Echazarreta

Connie Gonzalez, BC's MESA Program Director and Chemical Engineer is thrilled for the chance to host this event and have Katya on campus. She says, “Katya's inspiring success story reminds us of the great potential in our Community College students who dare to dream big!” Dr. James McGarrah, BC Physical Science and PI of the HSI STEM Dept of Education grant added, “Kern County is in a higher education desert, expanding the vision of our students is critical for them to see themselves as belonging at the table, which they most certainly deserve to be at.”

The conference at Bakersfield College is partnering with MEDPEP at UCLA, Kern Medical and other industry and governmental agencies. This event is designed to facilitate career exploration and networking with STEM and Pre-Health professionals, students, and partners. Participants will learn about opportunities that can further their education and careers in STEM or Pre-Health via workshops, a resource fair, and keynote speakers. College advisors, financial aid counselors, four-year universities, industry leaders, and student organizations will be present to answer questions participants may have about college and their discipline.

The goals of the conference are to educate and inform the community about the educational system and what STEM and Pre-Health educations are like. In addition, we aim to augment student learning in all areas with a special focus in STEM and Pre-Health, improve community and industry partnerships, and further develop local talent with a special focus on first-generation college students, minorities and underrepresented communities.

Tickets for the conference are $10 and local high school students, college students, community members, and parents are welcome to attend.