Roberto Paniagua
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Roberto Paniagua (BBA11), an account executive at Google in Chicago, has been named the 2021 Tippie Young Alum of the Year.

Paniagua has been extremely involved in the life of the college since he began his studies in economics at the Tippie College of Business in 2007.

As an undergraduate student, he was an Iowa Edge peer leader and was awarded the prestigious Hancher Finkbine Medallion for his fundraising efforts of more than $50,000 for the Tippie Build program (a partnership the college has with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity).

One of his nominators said, “I was always impressed with his sensibility and desire to set himself apart from other business students. It was apparent that Roberto was far from your average student.”

While an Iowa Edge peer leader, he mentored first-year students of color and first-generation college students, facilitated community building among new students, and gave students a personalized introduction to campus.

Paniagua had such a positive experience in Iowa Edge that when he was hired by Google, he made a goal of creating a similar experience for early career Hispanic/Latinx employees at the company. His vision became a reality and Tippie’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts were paid forward when a three-day summit was held for Hispanic/Latinx “Googlers” from all over the country in 2019.

He has also served on Tippie’s Young Alumni Board, been a panelist for the Tippie Gateway Program, helped secure space in Google offices for a Tippie Women in Business conference, and is a generous mentor to Tippie students and alumni.

One of Paniagua’s mentees said, “I have no doubt that because of Roberto’s assistance, I was able to arrive at my career goals faster. His passion for assisting underrepresented professionals in the workplace, mentorship capabilities, and stellar character is a true representation of a Tippie alum that deserves to be honored.”

Paniagua spoke to Tippie Magazine in 2016 about his work since graduation and his involvement in the life of the college and its students. “I was raised understanding the value of hard work and the value of giving back,” he explained. “That was the roadmap that I used to think about how I would spend my time at Tippie and in my present job.”

In addition to his duties at Google, Paniagua makes a point of helping his community. He is the director of the board of directors for My Block, My Hood, My City, which introduces teenagers to a variety of neighborhoods in Chicago, and is co-chair of La Casa Norte, an organization fighting youth and family homelessness.


The Young Alum of the Year honor of is awarded once a year to an alumnus of the Tippie College of Business who has achieved a distinguished level of professional/career success, is engaged in the life of the college, and is under the age of 40.

Meet Tippie's 2021 Alum of the Year, Sue Taylor.