By Ms. Kristen P Skopeck (Albuquerque District, USACE)August 28, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., -- The Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation's Great Minds in STEM 2012 HENAAC award winners include two District teammates: Arthur E. Maestas, chief, Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering Branch, in the category for Civil Engineer; and Carlos Felipe Salazar IV, chief, Construction Branch, one of two HENAAC Luminaries. Both employees will be recognized at the Salute to STEM Military & Civilian Heroes Awards Dinner at Disney World in October.
"What an awesome accomplishment," said District Commander Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant. "The entire District is so proud of Art and Carlos and congratulates them on this achievement."
A press release from Great Minds in STEM" announced that HENAAC has been recognizing award winners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for 24 years and that those selected are America's best and brightest engineers and scientists within the Hispanic community.
"Since I have young children, I've noticed a positive trend in the promotion of science, technology, engineering and math education, which creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators," Gant said. "Work in the Corps depends on employees having a solid knowledge base in STEM areas, so I recognize that the promotion of STEM is of dire importance to the sustainment of this organization."
In the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in STEM-related fields by 2018, but not enough people to fill them.
"With the HENAAC recognition there is a responsibility for Art and Carlos to mentor employees and students working with the Corps," Gant said. "And, as the leaders of tomorrow, it is important for today's youth to take an interest in STEM classes and careers."