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Panel Discussion for Unidos

Panel discussion for Unidos on September 21, 2022.

Panel discussion for Unidos on September 21, 2022. 

Please click on image to view the presentation. 

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the museum is hosting a panel discussion on the theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a stronger Nation”. 

As of 2020, there were 341,000 active duty members of the Navy of Hispanic, Latino/Latinx descent.  Statistics reveal that out of that total:

- 83.7% are enlisted

- 16.3% are officers

- 79.6% are men

- 20.4% are women

- 16.4% are Hispanic or of Latino/Latinx descent

Our panelists will discuss their service, civilian and military, in the Navy.  They’ll talk about why they joined the Navy and the mentors who helped them in their careers.  They’ll also share lessons learned about building inclusivity and provide advice to future Navy leaders.

About the Speakers:

Kathryn Denise Rucker Krepp – Panel Moderator is the Director, Director’s Action Group, Naval History and Heritage Command.  Krepp is a former Coast Guard officer. She helped create the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), worked as Senior Counsel on the House Homeland Security Committee, served as Chief Counsel of the US Maritime Administration, and then advocated for the US ship recycling industry and the USS Olympia. Krepp is a Girl Scout leader, locally elected ANC Commissioner, trustee for the National Maritime Historical Society, and DC Ambassador to the Military Women's Memorial.

Denisse Soto serves as the Modeling and simulation Deputy to the Navy Modeling and Simulation Office, under DASN (RDA) CHENG and supports modeling efforts in areas of lethality, digital engineering, synthetic battlespace, interface and open architectures for interoperability, ship design, surface/air/undersea warfare, and cyber effects.

Prior to that, she was Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD), and Country Director for the International Engagement Office under OPNAV N94/ Office of Naval Research Global.

Dr. Soto has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez where she investigated the magnetorheological properties of ferrofluids. She has multiple scientific publications on the topic.   

Liz Chaluisant currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Programs for the Department of the Navy. In this role, she leads the integration and coordination of DEI for the Director on matters pertaining to policy, talent management, operations and culture.  Prior to her current assignment, Mrs. Chaluisant was the Chief Strategist for Marine Corps Systems Command’s Chief Engineer and Deputy Commander for Systems Engineering and Acquisition Logistics (DC SEAL). In this role, she advised senior management on changes to organizational structures in order to optimize distribution of functions and staffing of activities.

Originally, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mrs. Chaluisant is a graduate of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.  She has a BA in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Management. She is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE).

Lieutenant Commander Joanna M. Gonzales, JAGC, USN, is currently assigned to the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Defense, Washington, DC.  Previously, she spent one year in Korea as the Force Judge Advocate for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, and Commander, Navy Region Korea supporting the ROK-US alliance, USFK, Commander Seventh Fleet and PACFLT.  From 2020 to 2022 she served as the senior SJA for NSWG-10 and the newly formed NSWG-8, supporting world-wide SRO and undersea missions.  Early on in her career she worked for the Institute for Justice, and later the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration prior to entering law school at Loyola University, New Orleans, where she specialized Maritime and International Law.  While there she worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, as well as the Navy JAG Corps in General Litigation.

In 2012 after graduating from law school LCDR Gonzales reported to ODS and Naval Justice School in October 2012, then reported to her first tour of active duty to RLSO Japan.  While in Japan she worked in Command Services, Trial, Legal Assistance, Defense Service Office Pacific and as an SJA at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka as well as being deployed onboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73).

Born and raised in Washington, DC, she attended Creighton University, Omaha, NE graduating with a BA in English and Philosophy.  Her personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Meda, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Korea Defense Service Medal and Military Outstanding Service Medal.

Commander Jessica "Short Round" Barrientos, USN attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in May 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology - Space Operations.  Following commissioning, she attended flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL and NS Norfolk, VA earning her Naval Flight Officer wings in June 2007.  After completing E-2C Fleet Replacement training with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO ZERO (VAW-120) at NS Norfolk, VA her next assignment was with the Black Eagles of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE THREE (VAW-113).  While attached to VAW-113 Lieutenant Barrientos completed two WESTPAC deployments with the USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Exercise MALABAR, and RIMPAC 2010.  Her other tours of duty have included  NAS Patuxent River, MD , Carrier Strike Group TWELVE.  and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO SIX (VAW-126) where she served as the Administrative and Operations Officer deployed aboard the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN-75)

CDR Barrientos has over 2,600 flight hours in 19 models of propeller, jet, and rotary wing aircraft.  Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various service and unit awards.

Graphics banner for the panel discussion on September 21, 2022.

Graphics banner for the panel discussion on September 21, 2022.  

Published: Mon Apr 24 10:43:55 EDT 2023