Alberto Roca Photo

Alberto I. Roca, PhD

DiverseScholar
Founder

Background

Dr. Alberto I. Roca is Founder and Executive Director of DiverseScholar, a non-profit that seeks to diversify the workforce in the STEM disciplines, the science communication profession, and the tech industry. Dr. Roca is a first-generation Peruvian-American from Houston, Texas, who received his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His training is in biochemistry, and his current research is in visual bioinformatics to analyze protein families. While conducting postdoctoral research, Dr. Roca created the web portal MinorityPostdoc.org, founded the Postdoc Committee of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and co-founded the Diversity Committee of the National Postdoctoral Association. He has been an invited speaker on minority postdoctoral issues at conferences such as the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. He works with trainees directly as a career coach and also connects institutional diversity stakeholders to job candidates especially for tenure-track faculty job searches. Dr. Roca promotes diversity in the tech community by supporting conferences such as Tapia, AlterConf, Latino Startup Alliance, and Latinos in Tech Innovation & Social Media (LATISM). Through DiverseScholar he is helping to diversify the open source software community by connecting the Outreachy and OpenHatch organizations to coders/scientists of color at the Tapia, SACNAS, and Open Source Bridge conferences. Dr. Roca has received the University of California-Irvine Chancellor’s Living Our Values Award and the SACNAS Presidential Service Award. He has also been a semifinalist for the Echoing Green social entrepreneurship fellowship every year since 2013.