Disney Cast Members Nominated for National Awards in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., (July 19, 2011) — Five cast members from Walt Disney World Resort are nominees for honors at this fall’s Great Minds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) conference. The event aims to promote STEM careers in underserved communities.

Committees made up of representatives from industry, government, military and academic institutions recently held a summit at Walt Disney World to select this year’s award nominees, who represent the best and brightest Hispanic professionals and promising students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.   

“October will mark our 23rd year honoring the achievements of engineers and scientists who are stellar role models and who happen to be Latinos,” said Anna Park, executive director of Great Minds in STEM. “We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate these accomplishments at Walt Disney World for the second year in a row.”

Park said the nomination and selection process is a very competitive and rigorous one, with a pool of more than 200 applicants vying for a handful of awards ranging from “Outstanding Technical Achievement” to “Most Promising Engineer or Scientist.”

Cast members from Walt Disney World Resort nominated for honors include: Ivan Diaz, director of parks development and integration; Marissa Suarez, senior mechanical engineer; Manny Dumas, manager of engineering services; Ricardo Lopez, technical specialist; and Sandro Freitas, information technology specialist.

Winners will be announced at the Great Minds in STEM conference October at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Disney has sponsored the conference since 2004.

To learn more about Great Minds in STEM, visit http://www.greatmindsinstem.org/