UPE Successfully Kicks off Fall 2021 with Series of In-Person Workshops


BIG NEWS! Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the largest student organization for technology at Florida International University (FIU), has resumed their in-person workshops for Fall 2021!

After hours of tabling around campus, which attracted interested parties and allowed them to meet the team and organization, UPE was able to impressively gather over 170 students for their annual Fall Kickoff Meeting! The meeting was held on Friday, August 27th, and is recognized as UPE’s first major event of the semester. By attending, students got to learn more about UPE’s membership process, benefits, programs, and more! They also had the opportunity to meet fellow members and win awesome swag, such as t-shirts, bottles, hats, and other sponsored items. 

Before detailing the organization’s success thus far, we need to answer the simple, yet pertinent question of “What is UPE?” first. UPE is a student-run organization that aims to empower students to succeed in the world of technology. Recognized by UPE National, Florida Board of Governors, The Miami Herald, FIU News, and more, FIU’s UPE welcomes students from all academic backgrounds and skill levels who are interested in technology to join and learn more about the field.

Members do so by involving themselves in various workshops and activities offered by the club’s plentiful (free!) programs, including:

  • UPE Code – Software Development
  • UPE Design – UI/UX & Graphic Design
  • UPE Ignite – Community Outreach
  • UPE InfoTech – Information Technology
  • UPE Leap – Mentorship & Career Development 
  • UPE Make – Hardware Development 
  • UPE SparkDev – Project Development
  • UPE ShellHacks – Hackathons

UPE Code was responsible for hosting the organization’s first program event in the new semester. Their event was an Intro to Git and GitHub workshop, which was organized in-person on Friday, September 3rd. With almost 80 attendees, UPE Code taught fundamental git utilities through the command line interface and GitHub Desktop and how to customize markdown files. Participating students also learned how to stand out to recruiters by creating a pull request to a public UPE repository with their name imprinted on it.

Zackary Santana, Director of UPE Code, expresses his joy over the event’s success by sharing the following, “The Git/GitHub event ended with 50+ active collaborators on UPE’s repository. It was exciting to see everyone’s request, using GitHub features, fill up on the repository page and to accept each one.” Leading the workshop helped Santana navigate through and resolve common authentication errors too, thereby exemplifying the constant learning process that is programming.

Exactly a week after the Intro to Git and GitHub workshop was UPE Design’s Intro to UI/UX workshop. On Friday, September 10th, 70 students learned the fundamentals and tools of UI/UX, the role of UI/UX in tech and software development, how to obtain a job in the field, and more! Kimberly Cruz, Director of UPE Design, is particularly happy about the return to physical events. “Being able to expose UI/UX in person to fresh new faces was a great experience in which many learned about the topic, its importance and walked away with more creativity than ever before”, she describes.

Following Intro to UI/UX was UPE Leap’s Resume Tailoring workshop, which not only marked the program’s first event of the semester, but also their first event ever! The presentation was held on Thursday, September 16th and had attracted more than 40 participants. These lucky individuals got the chance to learn how to structure their job resume for a flawless recruitment season and to experience a classic resume roast, allowing for a better demonstration on formatting for tech-specific resumes and ways to stand out to recruiters.

A UPE Leap member supports the efforts of Co-Directors Andy Labrada and Daniel Saleh by revealing how the workshop actually helped them create their first resume. “I learned about the resume workshop … and I knew I had to come. I now feel comfortable enough to be able to complete my resume due to the amazing feedback I received from the Leap members”, the member says. Labrada and Saleh are most glad to hear this positive feedback to their assistance, for they highly encourage all UPE members, and students in general, to attend resume workshops for their future careers.

Last but not least, the final program event UPE had before ShellHacks, which one may learn more about here, was an Intro to Robotics workshop directed by UPE Make. The event was hosted on Friday, September 17th, during which almost 60 students were taught how to build their own line-follower and obstacle avoidance robot from scratch! By doing so, the participants learned all they needed to know to start their next robotics project as well as the basics of programming and using sensors with Arduino. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miguel De Jesus, Director of UPE Make, had been extremely challenged by the transition to virtual instruction. However, with the gradual return to physical events, he looks forward to bringing more cool projects for his members and he finds the “robotics workshop to be a step in the right direction” to do so. 

With even more big plans in store, UPE has solidified yet another promising semester! If you’re interested in the organization and/or any of the programs, the UPE community welcomes you on https://discord.gg/upefiu. See you there!

Written by: Liana Louise Adaza