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Jennifer Samaniego

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Inspiring Leader

Peru and Ecuador
Red de Aprendizaje Inmersivo
I am Jennifer Samaniego, a professional in the Information Systems career and Master in Data Science, I am passionate about and motivated by the use of immersive technologies and their implementation in various areas, mainly in education, and for this reason, for more than 5 years I have been carrying out the function of Educational Innovation Analyst at the Private Technical University of Loja, this passion for technology and education has allowed me to manage the training of the Virtual Reality University Club with professionals in training from different areas but who share the same vision of the implementation of this type of technology to generate significant changes in the teaching-learning processes for the benefit of the community. My involvement in this type of project has allowed me to be part of the founding team of the RAIN Ecuador Immersive Learning Network, of which I serve as Deputy Director, which has allowed me to make strategic alliances to generate projects with Latin American institutions aligned to the use of this technology.

By 2019 I led the opening of a University Club where the main objective is to train students from various areas who are interested in generating disruptive spaces in the classroom. As well as the organization of the Virtual Reality Day event in its first edition in Ecuador. 2020 was a great year as the Virtopsy project reached first place in The Global Online Laboratory Consortium call at the University of Georgia, Atlanta USA. In this same year, UTPL appointed me to lead the initiative to create an immersive learning network in Ecuador, managing to adhere as a founding member to 3 Institutions of Higher Education in Ecuador, and by 2022 there are 11 adhered educational institutions, with projects carried out in this learning network. On the other hand, this year within UTPL, with the work team, we participated in the II International Prize of the MetaRed Magazine, where we obtained first place at the level of Higher Education Institutions in Ibero-America. In 2023, as part of the projects that I carry out in the Immersive Learning Network, I led the participation in the Metaverse Community Challenge carried out by IDB Lab and Meta, where they selected communities with the greatest impact from the implementation of immersive technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Being one of the 10 communities selected to participate in a residence in the offices of Sao Paulo, Brazil, it was gratifying to be the only representative of Ecuador.
About diversity and inclusion promotion
By fostering a culture of openness and honesty, we create an environment in which team members feel secure sharing their opinions and perspectives. This, in turn, promotes teamwork and offers opportunities for personal and professional growth. Building confidence within the team ensures that spaces for constructive dialogue can be cultivated, ultimately facilitating the team's overall development.
About me as a leader
During my teenage years, I faced tough times at home. Completing my university studies seemed really difficult, but I never lost my motivation. I learned that despite the fear, we must take risks for our dreams. Now, I work in a field where mostly men are involved, specifically in immersive technologies. However, due to my passion for my work, I've managed to break barriers and collaborate effectively with my colleagues. Together, we've worked on projects that have made a real impact and are valued by Higher Education Institutions for their use of these technologies in Ecuador. I want to encourage girls, teenagers, and women to dream big and believe in their potential.

As a leading woman, I always defend gender equality and inclusion. I currently lead the XR Mujeres project where we seek to empower the use and creation of immersive technologies from an early age in order to empower other women in the area in which I work.
It is very clear to me that to achieve our goals we must have perseverance, passion, and dedication, but it is essential to generate joint work, which is what will really allow our most remote dreams to come true and together be able to take small steps that improve our environment and community.