EPCC Computer Science Professor Receives National Award during Hispanic Heritage Month
Dr. Christian Servin, Associate Professor of Computer Science at El Paso Community College (EPCC) was awarded a 2021 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Award during the virtual Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Annual Conference.
This award in the category of Most Promising Engineer-Advanced Degree is for education distinction. It recognizes Servin as a role model to inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM and his efforts to motivate professionals to continuously connect with the Hispanic community. At EPCC, Servin has strengthened the Computer Science degree program by designing, implementing and aligning the curriculum with nationally-recognized standards and guidelines as well as influenced nationwide curricula. Servin was selected from a nationwide pool of nominees through a highly-respected peer review process.
GMiS has recognized the achievements of America’s top engineers and scientists from the Hispanic community. These STEM leaders,
Dr. Christian Servin (R)
innovators and champions represent the best and brightest minds our nation has to offer. Servin’s selection honors his contribution at the highest levels of academia. HENAAC award winners, including Servin, exemplify how leaders in the Hispanic community are stepping up in leadership roles that are transforming our community, region and nation.
“EPCC is nationally recognized for not only enrolling Latino students but also for graduating them. This is possible because of the powerful impact of professors like Dr. Servin who not only guide our students in the classroom but also serve as inspirational role models for success,” EPCC President, Dr. William Serrata said. “We congratulate Dr. Servin on being a recipient of the 2021 HENAAC Award and are proud of all he does to ensure today’s students are prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
Dr. Servin is a first-generation Mexican American graduate, the first in his family earning a Ph.D. He started his education career pathway in Music. One year of taking Music Composition in Piano, he changed his major to Philosophy. During the first two years of studying existential problems, along with analytical philosophy, he finally changed major to Computer Science.
During this process, he was questioned for changing majors that were not “related to each other”. Not many knew, that Christian recognized a transparent connection between these three fields of study. He noticed that many existential problems require mathematical formalism and have critical impacts in today’s society. This convergence of knowledge and experiences has made him a dynamic and engaging professor who is making an impact on EPCC students.
The HENAAC Award recognizes educators mentoring of students to ensure their retention and graduation as well as involvement to the Hispanic and other underserved communities as well as recruiting more Hispanic students to STEM fields. Dr. Servin has assisted, motivated, and encouraged a wide range of diverse students including early college high school, transfer, military students and returning working parents, to pursue a higher educational degree.
Since 2008, he has helped more than 600 students to complete their Associate of Science in Computer Science, and more than 200 students have successfully transferred to regional four-year institutions such as UTEP and NMSU. More than 23 of them have completed their master’s in software engineering with a concentration in cybersecurity, and currently, two of his former students are pursuing their Ph.D. degree. “Dr. Servin is an incredible mentor and role model for our students. He inspires students to stay in class, focus on their goals and continue on their educational pathway,” Dr. Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education said.
Dr. Servin has served at EPCC since 2008. “I am truly honored to receive such outstanding national recognition – primarily for representing my Educational efforts. I am thrilled to know the impact I have made in our community is noticed nationally and compared with similar efforts that top scientists and engineers do in America. I have no words to thank family, mentors, friends, and colleagues for their unconditional support and encouragement through all these years,” Servin said. “I am delighted to know that the work done at El Paso Community College will be used as a role model for the rest of the community colleges in America.”
Servin has been working diligently through many years to redefine the concept of “Hacker”. His objective as an educator is to recognize, train, and educate future ethical hackers and problem-solvers for our society. He believes that these days, society has adopted a misconception and misinformed definition for such an important concept in humankind. He decided to teach in a community college and prepare the new generations of hackers that will keep our society safe, transparent, and equitable.
“As a role model, my responsibility is to define the frontier of ethical correctness and reliable computing by contextualizing social justice into computing by developing activists in the classroom that represent society, the community, and humanity for the social good,” Servin said. “I educate the future Ethical Hackers that will define the frontiers of world-class computing solutions.”