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Great Minds in STEM Announces the 2013 HENAAC Award Winners

Christopher Hernandez (Northrop Grumman) and Dr. Annabelle Rodriguez-Oquendo (U of Connecticut) Headline Awards.
MONTEREY PARK, CA, August 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Today, Great Minds in STEM is proud to announce the HENAAC Award Winners for 2013. These outstanding role models in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will be honored at the 25th Anniversary HENAAC Conference, October 3-5, 2013.

For a quarter century, Great Minds of STEM has honored the best and brightest STEM minds America has to offer. The Class of 2013 is no exception. Each honoree is peer-reviewed and selected by a committee of representatives from industry, government, military and academic institutions. Dr. Nicholas J. Altiero, Dean School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University, and Dr. Steven Johnson, Dean College of Sciences at the University of New Orleans, co-chaired this committee. Tulane University and the University of New Orleans are the lead Academic Hosts of the 25th Anniversary HENAAC Conference.

The HENAAC Award Winners will be honored at one of two recognition events - the HENAAC Awards Show and the HENAAC Awards and Luminary Luncheon. Both of these events will take place during the Conference, which will be held October 3-5, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, LA.

Engineer of the Year
Christopher M. Hernandez
Vice President Advanced Weapons Systems
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Scientist of the Year
Annabelle Rodriguez-Oquendo, M.D., F.A.H.A.
Linda and David Roth Chair of Cardiovascular Research
Professor of Cell Biology
University of Connecticut Health Center

Albert V. Baez Award
Peter Soliz, Ph.D.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
VisionQuest Biomedical, LLC

Executive Excellence
Arturo (Art) A. Rosales
Director of Operations
Commercial Satellite Systems,
Space and Intelligence Systems
The Boeing Company

Outstanding Technical Achievement
Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas, Ph.D.
Director of the Brain-Body Dynamics Lab
Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering,
USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Professor, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
University of Southern California

Outstanding Technical Achievement
Santiago C. Grijalva, Ph.D.
Director Power Systems Engineering Center
Energy Systems Integration Facility
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Pioneer Award
Gustavo A. Stolovitzky, Ph.D.
Manager Functional Genomics
& Systems Biology Group
Computational Biology Center

Vanguard Award
Daniel H. Lopez, Ph.D.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Lifetime Achievement
George A. Salazar
Chief Engineer
Human Interface Systems Branch
NASA Johnson Space Center

Carol M. Craig
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
& Chief Financial Officer
Craig Technologies

Education - Administrator
Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Ph.D.
Vice President, Office of Engagement & Professor
Florida International University

Education- Professor*
Oscar Marcelo Suarez, Ph.D.
Professor, General Engineering Department
University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez

Professional Achievement II
Commander George Perez, Jr.
Commanding Officer
U.S.S. New Mexico, SSN-779
U.S. Navy

Professional Achievement II
Carlos A. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Chief, Chemical Sciences Division
National Institute of Standards & Technology
U.S. Department of Commerce

Professional Achievement I
Ivette Nunez
Systems Engineer 3
Huntington Ingalls Industries-
Ingalls Shipbuilding

Santiago Rodriguez Diversity Award
Lucy Sorrentini
Principal, Diversity &
Inclusion and Leadership
Booz Allen Hamilton

Civil/ Environmental Engineering
Sheila E. Hint, EIT
Environmental Engineer
Buffalo District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Information Technology *
Jose E. Moreira, Ph.D.
Research Staff Member
Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Community Service*
Victor M. Castillo, Ph.D.
Group Leader, Quantitative Risk Analysis
Computational Engineering Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Advanced Degree - Ph.D. *
Ana Maria Rey, Ph.D.
JILA Fellow & Associate Research Professor
Physics Department, University of Colorado

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Advanced Degree - Ph.D. *
Francis Samalot, Ph.D.
Materials Engineer/Scientist
Satellite Development Center
The Boeing Company

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Advanced Degree -Master's
Daniel Baca
Senior Systems Engineer, Orion Program
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Advanced Degree -Master's
Tony Argote, Jr.
Technical Specialist, Charging Controls
General Motors

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Advanced Degree -Master's
Captain Ryan J. Silva
Director of Students & Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
U.S. Air Force Academy
U.S. Air Force

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist -Undergraduate Degree
April R. Polo
Senior Operations Engineer I
Raytheon Integrated Defense
Systems Operations

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist -Undergraduate Degree
Anabel Ugalde-Huebe
Lead Production Engineer & Six Sigma Black Belt Engineer
Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol Plant
The Dow Chemical Company

*These individuals will be honored at the HENAAC Awards and Luminary Luncheon which
will be held on Friday, October 4, 2013.

For more information on the HENAAC 25th Anniversary Conference or the Great Minds in STEM organization please visit

About Great Minds in STEM
Great Minds in STEM is an education, national 501c3 nonprofit, whose vision is to be a national leader in keeping America technologically strong by promoting science, technology, engineering and math careers especially in underserved communities. Now, in its 25th year, it remains the only national entity, which has consistently recognized the esteemed technical achievements of STEM role models through a selective, peer-reviewed process. For more information, please contact Julie Magallanes-Guevara, Manager of Public Affairs at (213) 435-9934 or (323) 262-0997 ext. 628 and visit the Great Minds in STEM website at

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