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AROUND TOWN: Latina rocket scientist plays it for laughs at Cinco de Mayo

May 15, 2014 Updated: May 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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photo - El Cinco de Mayo board member Carmen Abeyta greets luncheon emcee Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Univision anchor and news producer.
050214 Photo by Linda Navarro 

050214 Photo by Linda Navarro
El Cinco de Mayo board member Carmen Abeyta greets luncheon emcee Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Univision anchor and news producer. 050214 Photo by Linda Navarro 050214 Photo by Linda Navarro  

Descriptives not usually found together: a screamingly funny rocket scientist. And it's no oxymoron.

Add Puerto Rican, Latina schtick and motivational speaker and you have Shayla Rivera, keynote speaker for the May 2 Cinco de Mayo luncheon at Hotel Elegante. To say she was a hit is an understatement.

Rivera had worked on NASA's shuttle and space station programs before adding stand-up comedy, which led to TV shows and a tour, "Rocket Science and Salsa."

Education was the luncheon focus and local Robert Armendariz and UCCS scholarship recipients were named: Taryn Arcarese, CSU; Bailey Bush, Texas Christian University; Ignasis and Pedro Gutierrez, University of Iowa; Raelynn Martinez, CSU-Pueblo; Angelo Ortiz-Mejias, UCCS.

The luncheon kicked off the weekend of Cinco de Mayo celebrations including a fiesta and car show.

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