Disney Cast Members Among HENAAC’s 23rd Annual Top STEM Professional Award Winners and Annual Luminaries

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 25 – Great Minds in STEM™(GMiS) announced two Disney Cast Members among the 23rd Annual HENAAC Award Winners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic.

Ivan R. Diaz, director of Parks Development & Integration, received this year’s Chairman’s Award. GMiS named Manuel (Manny) Dumas, manager of Engineering Services at Downtown Disney, a Corporate Luminary honoree.

The nomination and selection process is a 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,” according to Anna Park, executive director of Great Minds in STEM.

The HENAAC Selection Committee, comprised of representatives from industry, government, military and academic institutions, chose the top candidates for the awards. Final decisions fell to the Selection Committee’s co-chairs: Dr. Marwan A. Simaan, Dean and Florida 21st Century Chair and Distinguished Professor of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Dr. Amir Mirmiran, P.E., FASCE, FACI, Dean and Professor of the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University (FIU).

The winners will be honored during the HENAAC Conference October 6-8, 2011 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.