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Women's Week kicks off with recognition of 10 outstanding women in the public school system

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Press Release

Permission is granted for the publication and use of the photos provided.

The photo shows from left to right (seated) Jenny Cosme Figueroa, Corporate Executive; Eng. Ivette García Dunlap, Electrical Engineer and Betsy Velázquez Rodríguez, Corporate Consultant.  Standing left to right: Reinaldo Camps Gerena of the founding group of CROEM 1968; Laida Pla; Dr. Lourdes E. Soto de Laurido, Acting Dean of the School of Health Professions at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico; Ing. Olga D. González Sanabria, Director of Engineering at NASA Glenn Research Center; Dr. Fabiola Cruz López, Epidemiologist; Sonia Martínez de Vargas, sports leader; and Roberto Rivera Ponce, leader of CROEM graduate students.

Women's Week begins with the recognition of 10 outstanding women from the public school system.

San Juan - Ten women graduates of the CROEM school who have excelled in their respective professional fields received the "Distinguished Women 2022" recognition, awarded by the Association of Graduate Students of the Mayagüez Residential Center for Educational Opportunities, known by its acronym CROEM ALUMNI as part of Women's Week.

"The performance of many CROEMITAS is known inside and outside of Puerto Rico. The simple effort in sacrificing as students to leave their homes to move to reside in this innovative teaching center, created by Dr. Ramon Claudio Tirado in 1968, places them as heroines. Being a student participant of CROEM requires being part of a permanent residential experience in an educational project with emphasis on science and mathematics, which places us, in front of ten (10) brave, enterprising women, above all, determined to fight to realize their dreams of a better quality of life for themselves and their fellow men.  There is no doubt that what they learned at CROEM (the number one school in the public education system) has led them to excel in their respective professional fields, understanding that there are thousands of CROEM students who today stand out not only as professionals, but also as exemplary citizens in our society," said Wilson Nazario, executive director of CROEM ALUMNI.

The emotional ceremony was attended by the well-known motivational speaker and international lecturer, Reinaldo Camps Gerena, one of the founding students of the center located in Cerro Las Mesas in Mayagüez, which has graduated more than 10,000 students.

"CROEM ALUMNI recognizes in this Women's Week Dr. Fabiola Cruz Lópezepidemiologist who played an important role in the management of the COVID pandemic protocol. We also recognize human capital specialist Betsy Velázquez Rodríguez; international real estate broker Adriana Vargas Hernández; the Dean of the prestigious UPR School of Medicine Dr. Lourdes E. Soto de Laurido; sports leader Sonia Martínez de Vargas; corporate executive Jenny Cosme Figueroa; electrical energy supply and production engineer Ivette García Dunlap; engineer Olga González Sanabria, who has been the highest ranking Puerto Rican in the area of administration and supervision at NASA; research scientist Dr. Greetchen Díaz Muñoz; and Senator Migdalia González Arroyo, a graduate of the Center.  These women have distinguished our school, which is why they are recipients of this recognition as part of Women's Week," concluded Reinaldo Camps Gerena, presidential delegate of CROEM ALUMNI and founding member of the school.

Details and professional information of the women who received the "Women of Distinction 2022" recognition awarded by the CROEM ALUMNI organization.

  • Dra. Fabiola Cruz Lopez, (CROEM 2009 graduate), Epidemiologist and who developed a protocol to address the data to be carried following the pandemic of COVID 19, creator of the first protocol for tracking cases of coronavirus in the islacon base in the Municipality of Villalba, Rather, our colleague CROEMITA challenged herself with a surveillance project from the Central University of the Caribbean, where she coordinated a research project with eight medical students in collaboration with Yale University and several laboratories in the country.  Upon the arrival of Governor Pedro Pieluisi, Dr. Fabiola Cruz Lopez became the epidemiologist at the Department of Health where she assisted in tracking the COVID epidemic.


  • Betsy Velazquez Rodriguez, Corporate Consultant, (CROEM 1989 graduate), is a leader in Public Policy and Human Resources with over 20 years of experience in her field. With a proven track record of success with her professional experience, both in the public and private sector with clients such as McDonald's.  She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and holds a Masters in Public Administration, which includes a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Interdisciplinary Studies. She is co-director of initiatives to help CROEM students participate in various meetings with U.S. universities such as Harvard, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Adriana Vargas Hernandez, outstanding executive in the international real estate world (CROEM graduate 1989). After finishing CROEM she moved to Miami where she has worked in the real estate sector being part of projects of global importance, awarded and recognized worldwide for her more than $3 Billion dollars in sales of Ultra Luxury Housing Towers; Adriana Vargas is respected and admired for her achievements in this field in the United States.

  • Dr. Lourdes E. Soto de Laurido, Acting Dean of the School of Health Professions at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (graduated from CROEM 1976), Professor and researcher at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Dedicated for more than 30 years to public service and to the formation of young people eager to achieve their professional goals. Global expert in health disparities, health promotion and research designs.

  • Sonia Martinez de Vargas, has dedicated her entire life as a sports leader, (graduated from CROEM 1972), has held various positions directing sports offices and projects.  She is co-founder of the Puerto Rican Women's Marathon held in San German, whose foundation is linked to the success that has given us the well-known athlete Angelita Lind, the angel of Patillas, trained by her husband, the well-known athletic teacher Freddie Vargas. She has been a stronghold and faithful collaborator of CROEM ALUMNI.

  • Jenny Cosme Figueroa, corporate executive (CROEM graduate 1977), has been linked to the private industry, specifically to provide services and spare parts for automobiles, considered as one of the experts in import and distribution of spare parts for automobiles.  One of three women who have dedicated the most time to CROEM ALUMNI, being also the leader of her CROEM 77 Class, she has shown to be always concerned about the welfare of CROEM.

  • Ivette García Dunlap, Electrical Engineer (graduated CROEM 1985), with 30 years of experience in the power generation, transmission and distribution industry in Latin America and the Middle East. Expert in wind farms. She has worked for major companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Schneider Electric, Asea Brown Boveri, General Electric, Siemens Power Generation USA, Siemens Energy in UAE and Siemens Wind Power. 

  • Olga D. Gonzalez Sanabria, (CROEM 1973 graduate), was Director of Engineering at NASA Glenn Research Center, becoming the highest ranking Hispanic at NASA Glenn Research Center. The engineer is recognized as a Puerto Rican scientist and inventor, and is considered the highest-ranking Puerto Rican in NASA's administrative area. She was responsible for planning and directing a full range of integrated services including engineering, manufacturing, testing, facilities management and aircraft services for NASA's Glenn Research Center.

  • Dr. Greetchen Diaz- (1997 CROEM graduate), is a scientist, educator, communicator and advocate for diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, especially girls and women. Throughout her professional career, Greetchen has participated in countless initiatives to promote these disciplines, both in Puerto Rico and in the United States. Her efforts include the creation of projects and collaborations in research, education, communication and scientific public policy. Greetchen, who volunteered at Ciencia Puerto Rico for nearly ten years, is currently the Director of the organization's Science Education and Community Partnerships Program. At Ciencia Puerto Rico, she founded the blog Borinqueña, focused on empowering Hispanic and Puerto Rican women and girls in STEM, and Semillas de Triunfo, a STEM girl ambassador program. For her achievements and trajectory, Greetchen is currently recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science as one of its "IF/THEN" Ambassadors, with the purpose of motivating the next generation of pioneers in STEM.

  • Senator Migdalia González Arroyo, (CROEM 1990 graduate), was an officer in the Municipal Revenue Collection Center - CRIM.  Outstanding in community work and public servant by profession, advocate of CROEM supporting the school in all its projects.