The whole group of mentors present at the certification.
Photo credit: Vectorial Films

As the end of 2021 approaches, we celebrate the certification of 28 women in STEM who became the first generation of PROVOCA mentors, a trained group of professionals and students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that will provide mentoring to girls and young college students who decide to pursue a career in these disciplines. 

The PROVOCA mentors program is an AUI/NRAO initiative, designed and implemented with the support of LideraMujer between May and December of 2021. The program included trainings, coaching sessions, networking meetings, roundtable discussions and a final project that each participant presented in front of their peers. A total of 28 women completed the program and were certified as PROVOCA mentors.

 Paulina Bocaz, representative of AUI/NRAO in Chile and leader of the initiative, congratulated the first PROVOCA mentors for sharing their life experiences and opening a path for other women to follow. “This certification represents the completion of a cycle, but is also the beginning of a wonderful journey, in which each mentor will be able to inspire and support underserved students. In 2019, we raised the visibility of female STEM professionals and girls, contributing to breaking down cultural biases. Now that the PROVOCA mentors are certified, our next goal is to introduce them to the community, so that girls and young women from all over Chile can get to know them and find the support they need to pursue a career in STEM. We hope that the power of this network will be exponential,” Bocaz said.

 While all PROVOCA mentors are women studying or pursuing a career in STEM, each has a unique life story. Some have suffered terrible losses and have overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable, whereas others had the support of their families and teachers. However, they all share the mission to forge a future of broader participation and less barriers for girls and underrepresented minorities.

 Soledad Candia, executive director of LideraMujer, described the program as a “people-centered experience, distinguished by its inclusive design and systemic perspective, based in co-learning and shared insights. The project consists of more than 350 hours of training. The methodology included a module on self-awareness and empathy, relational skills, operational skills, mobilization and transformation. Without a doubt, this network generated solidarity between the mentors to carry out their collective projects.”

From left to right: Mentors Andrea Araya, Soledad Fuica and Camila Martínez, who are also a part of ALMA
Photo credit: Ítalo Lemus

AUI/NRAO will launch the first call for students interested in participating in a PROVOCA mentorship in April 2022, aiming to attract high school and early college students. The requirements and details of the 2022 mentoring program will be available next March on the AUI/NRAO Chile website.

The proud members of the first generation of PROVOCA mentors are the following: Alexandra Suárez, astronomer; Amelia Bayo, astrophysicist; Alejandra Rojas, astrophysicist; Andrea Araya, linguist and lead documentation specialist at ALMA; Bárbara Sepúlveda, computer engineer; Cristina Figueroa, industrial civil engineer; Camila Navarrete, astronomer; Catalina Arcos, astronomer; Camila Martínez, software engineer; Cecilia Montero, physics engineer; Claudia Gaete, digital and multimedia communicator; Daniela Rojas, graduate in astronomy; Darlene Sobarzo, engineering student; Fabiola Arévalo, cosmologist; Francisca Tapia, master’s student in science specializing physics; Guillermina Ponce, engineering student in industrial automation and control; Javiera Toro, engineering student; Karín Bustamante, civil engineer in mines; Karina Páez, master’s student in information technologies and computer science; Leslie Pedrero, industrial designer; Loreto Bradford, master’s in financial management; Liza Videla, astronomer; María José Ganora, engineering student; Paulina Assmann, physicist; Priscilla Leiva, civil engineering student in mines; Paola Arévalo, civil engineer in chemistry; Tatiana López, engineering student; and Soledad Fuica, electronic civil engineer.

Mentors Liza Videla, Bárbara Sepúlveda and Loreto Bradford, who are also a part of ALMA.
Photo credit: Ítalo Lemus


 PROVOCA is an AUI/NRAO initiative that aims to increase the participation, retention and promotion of women and other underrepresented minorities in STEM. It began in 2019 by raising the visibility of female role models in STEM through a communications campaign (original web series is available at https://nrao.cl/iniciativas/provoca/).

The mentoring program seeks to broaden the reach and impact of PROVOCA with underserved students.

In Other News…

Stanley Whittingham on development in Chile: “Perhaps in 15 years they will no longer have internal combustion vehicles”

This news article was originally published on FUTURO360.com on Jan. 19, 2022.The chemist referred to encouraging the production of clean energy in order to stop the damage that has been caused during the last 30 years, which has encouraged global warming. In addition,...

Next Generation Very Large Array Strongly Endorsed by Decadal Survey

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on Nov. 4, 2021. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has published its report and the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) received high priority...

IMAGE RELEASE: Moon’s Tycho Crater Revealed in Intricate Detail

The National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) have released a new high-resolution image of the Moon, the highest-ever taken from the ground using new radar technology on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT).

ACEAP Ambassador Heads into Space as First African-American Woman to Pilot Spacecraft

Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program participant pilots SpaceX Dragon spacecraftToday Sian Proctor, a participant in the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP) has successfully piloted the Inspiration4 mission carrying her and three other...

NSF Awards Funding for Next-Generation VLA Antenna Development

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) $23 million for design and development work on the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA), including producing a prototype antenna.

Andean Science Diplomacy: Interview with Chile’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Silva

Ambassador Alfonso Silva Navarro leads Chile’s Embassy to the United States since September 2018. His extensive diplomatic career includes being the Chilean Ambassador to Canada, India, and Jamaica, as well as being the Director General on Foreign Affairs at Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NANOGrav & Green Bank Telescope Poised to Make Groundbreaking Discoveries of Gravitational Wave Universe

For the next three years, astronomers from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) will have increased access and new technologies to use on the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in their breakthrough scientific studies of gravitational waves.

Astronomers make first clear detection of a moon-forming disc around an exoplanet

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter /submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner, astronomers have unambiguously detected the presence of a disc around a planet outside our Solar System for the first time.

AUI and Accumen Partner to Increase Crisis Resilience to Natural and Manmade Disasters for Healthcare Sector

AUI and Accumen, Inc. announced they are partnering to provide services to improve crisis resilience to manmade and natural disasters for the healthcare sector at a historically challenging time.

New Scholarship Established by the AUI Board of Trustees

AUI and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) today announced the establishment of the AUI Board of Trustees NAC Bridge Scholarship Award.

You are now leaving AUI

You will be redirected to the related partnering organization's website.

You will be redirected to
in 4 seconds...

Click the link above to continue or CANCEL