This is #WhatAProgrammerLooksLike.
Carolina “Caro” Manel-Romero is a talented and experienced programmer with a passion to empower young Latina women in technology. In Spring 2021, she was one of six recipients of the Applause Program from Women in Technology UCI (WiT). The program is dedicated to honoring individuals who embody WiT’s mission to Advance. Inspire. Empower. Act. through the impact of their work, accomplishments and by fostering an inclusive culture at UCI through their words, values, actions, and attitudes.
Caro brings over 27 years of programming and IT experience to BioSci. She moved from Chicago to California when she joined UCI in 2017. She briefly worked in the Identity and Access Management team in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) before moving to BioSci in 2018. As a senior web application developer in BioSci’s computing department, her role focuses on the daily operation, security and development of the school’s web based applications and web sites. She works closely with stakeholders, our partners in OIT, and also provides technical tools necessary to aid any school project for faculty and staff. When asked about what she enjoys the most about working at BioSci, Caro said, “My work at the School of BioSci is more than rewarding. It feels great to work for an amazing school, let alone a top public university. Through the websites I operate, I can contribute to letting the world know about us.”
Before starting at UCI, Caro worked in media agencies in the U.S., working with clients such as the Chamber of Commerce in Illinois, the US Government, and national and international companies. However, Caro’s desire to help Latinas led her to also work as the STEM coordinator for Dare to Dream: Get Educated!, a nonprofit organization that works with the Hispanic community to encourage young Latina women to study or work in STEM related fields. Her primary focus was to reach out to the local community, schools, and businesses to provide enhanced learning and opportunities in STEM for Latinas through conferences hosted by the nonprofit. “Our goal is to engage young Latinas and get them excited about STEM,” explains Caro. “Not enough Latinas, and girls in general, are introduced to these subjects properly at a young age, or they feel that they are not wanted. We want to make sure they know they are needed in these fields.”
After three years of settling in her role at UCI, Caro’s desire to make a community impact is still a driving passion in her life. She joined the recently created Inclusive Excellence Climate Council for IT at UCI. The goal is to bring more diversity, equity and inclusion in the IT community by establishing an annual workplan and strategies.
When Caro is not empowering Latinas or working, she enjoys hiking with her family. She likes big challenges like Mount Baldy in LA or the Arches in Utah, climbing tall peaks or trekking long and difficult trails. She also loves to dance.