Hermes González-Bello ’89 M.S. ’95 and Maria Ramirez-González ’89: A Life Together, Starting in STEP
Stevens has always been a close-knit community that fostered achievement. And STEP – the Stevens Technical Enrichment Program – has built both careers and families.
Maria Ramirez-González ’89 and Hermes González-Bello ’89 M.S. ’95 are one example: the couple met at Stevens through STEP and later married, later welcoming children Diego and Ana Paula.
Both were teenagers when they emigrated from Cuba to West New York, New Jersey. They quickly realized they were not prepared for college.
“We heard about a school in Hoboken that offered a program called Bridge,” González-Bello recalls.
They began attending Saturday tutoring sessions and enrolled in the STEP Bridge Summer Program, where they received academic enrichment as well as the support of people who believed in them. The sense of community and belonging inspired them to forge successful careers.
Today Hermes is president of Hach, a Colorado-based firm offering products, chemistries, services and software for drinking, waste and industrial water applications. He also serves on President Nariman Farvardin's President’s Leadership Council. Maria enjoyed a successful career of more than 25 years at IBM before focusing her time on philanthropy.
In 2018, the couple received the Varoujan Mazmanian (M.S. ’71) STEP Exemplary Service Award from Stevens, in recognition of their longtime support of, and service with, STEP. Their matching challenge to alumni helped the university meet its goal to raise $75,000, which was used to endow a new STEP scholarship.