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Nominations Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to be an engineer or scientist to be nominated for a HENAAC Award?

Individuals who are not technical professionals can be nominated in the Community Service and Education categories. However, the individual must work to recruit, train, mentor, counsel or promote careers in STEM. In special circumstances when a non-technically trained individual has made a large impact at a STEM organization, that individual may be considered for a Special Award based on the recommendation of the Selection Committee for the category in which they are nominated.

Do you need to be Hispanic to be nominated/receive a HENAAC Award?

No. There are two award categories in which a non-Hispanic may be nominated, and three additional awards that they may receive. The two categories are Education and Community Service, and the other awards are the Chairman’s Award, Diversity, and Vanguard Award (see “Special Awards” on page 4). Non-Hispanic nominees, however, must perform work or outreach activities that strongly impact the Hispanic community’s participation in STEM.

Do you need a STEM bachelor’s degree to win a HENAAC Award?

In most cases, a person needs a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-based major to be eligible for awards other than those listed in Question #1. However, for military candidates and technicians, on-the-job training and breadth of experience will be considered in lieu of a 4-year degree.

How are the Engineer of the Year and Scientist of the Year selected?

You may not nominate an individual for the Engineer or Scientist of the Year. These individuals are selected from among the top candidates submitted in all professional categories. These honorees can be leaders working in any area of the STEM Enterprise. The Selection Committee seeks individuals, who model the technical excellence and leadership that significantly impact an industry, a field of science and/or engineering, academia, the Hispanic community, and our nation.

How is the 2024 nomination process different from previous years?

The nomination deadline this year is May 26, 2024. In 2020, the nominations review committee began a paperless, fully virtual online nomination process. This new process necessitated a few changes in how you will upload your nominations. Although you will continue to upload nominations through a web portal on our website, the portal will request each document in a PDF format.

The nomination portal will open in early March for you to start uploading information. For more details, please visit our website www.greatmindsinstem.org.

Note: All information submitted via the nomination portal is protected and secure. Only authorized reviewers and administrators will have access to nomination information.

Do you have to be a U.S. Citizen to be nominated?

No. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to be nominated or honored.

What information is requested for the online nomination form?

Once you create an online profile on the GMiS website nomination portal, you will be able to start your nomination process and see the nomination form. This form requests the following:

Nominator:
– Full Name, Title and Contact Information (including email and phone number).

Nominee
:
– Full Name, Title and Contact Information (including email and phone number).
– Type of industry where nominee works & years of professional experience.
– Levels of education, degrees & universities where individual matriculated.
– Information on nominee’s ethnic background.

What is the nominator statement?

Nominators must submit a statement which is a brief description, in 1,000 words or less, of why the individual they are nominating is deserving of the HENAAC award. A strong nominator statement should guide the selection committee reviewers on the important information on which they should focus while reviewing the nomina- tion. The focus of this statement should be based on the criteria of the award category for which the individual is being nominated.

How many letters of recommendation should be included?

There should be a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) letters of recommendation dated in 2024. Letters can be written by a supervisor, co-worker or someone who has experienced the value of the person’s contribution in their specific field. Each letter should be unique and not a repeated form letter. Any additional letters received after the 5th letter will not be considered during peer review. Letters should be included as PDF files in the nomination packet, not as web links to external files.

What is an acceptable length for the biography?

The biography should be no more than 3 pages and should be a personal and professional history including challenges and obstacles the nominee is comfortable in disclosing. The biography should include significant early-life experiences and motivating factors leading to their success or persistence in STEM. Bio should also include background, struggles and achievements, awards or commendations, family history, special projects, unique hobbies, or other important details. The biography should include information not discussed in the letters of recommendation.

May candidates be nominated in more than one category?

Yes. However, we do not recommend nominating a candidate for more than two categories in the same year. On the online nomination form please list under category the two categories where you would like the nominee to be considered. For example: Professional Achievement Level I & Outstanding Technical Achievement. You do not need to submit two separate packets. GMiS will ensure the nominees are reviewed by the respective selection committees.

Will you accept entire theses, papers, research, books, & video clips?

It is not necessary to include documents in their entirety. If the candidate has written a thesis, a book, or paper, please do not include these documents. With a limited amount of time to review each nomination packet, reviewers will not have the time to read such documents in depth. However, it is imperative to inform the committee of these accomplishments either in a brief summary or list. The only category that should submit more detailed research information is Outstanding Technical Achievement – however summaries are still the best option for sharing this information. Video Clips: Please do not submit any multimedia clips. The committee will not have time to review video clips during the selection process. However, if the nominee is selected for an award, Great Minds in STEM may ask the organization for video clips that may be used in the award presentation.

May I re-submit a 2023 nomination packet?

Yes. GMiS encourages individuals who were not selected to be nominated again. This is a very competitive process and many deserving individuals do not receive an award on the first nomination. If an individual was previously nominated, we encourage you to review the packet and enhance it with any additional information or accomplishments from the previous year. Even if the packet is left as is, GMiS requires new letters of recommendation with a current 2024 date. Letters of recommendation from previous years, have a tough time competing against current letters of recommendation submitted in nominations for other candidates and are not advisable.

Is a past Award Winner eligible to receive a second award?

Yes. An individual who received an award in the past may be eligible for a different award. It is advisable however that a fair amount of time has passed between awards. Candidates who have won in the past will only be eligible to win a different and higher award than the one they previously won. For example, if an individual won a Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Award in 2010, this person could be eligible to win an Outstanding Technical or Professional Achievement Award in 2024 depending on their employment trajectory.

Is GMiS Conference attendance mandatory to win?

Yes, with a few exceptions. Traditionally all winners must be able to attend the conference which is taking place in Fort Worth, Texas, November 6-9, 2024. If a winner is unable to attend (in any capacity), the next highest ranked candidate in that category will be declared the winner. Typically, the only exceptions to this rule are for women on maternity leave or their partners, a personal or family illness or emergency, or service men and women who are on active duty or stationed abroad. In these rare cases, a leader from the organization or a family member may accept on the winner’s behalf.

Does my company have to be a sponsor of the GMiS Conference for me to apply and win an award?

No. The nomination and peer-review selection process is independent of conference sponsorship. GMiS has many winners from companies and organizations that are not conference sponsors.

When / how will nominees be notified if they’re selected for an award?

GMiS will first contact individuals who nominated the winners via email. Winner announcement will take place on our website during or before the second week in August, 2024. Photos of individual award winners will be showcased on the website. A press release and a formal letter of notification with details about the conference, awards show, rehearsals, etc. will be mailed and sent by email by the third week of August 2024. The nominators of individuals who did not win will receive letters and certificates of recognition indicating that their candidates were not selected for an award by the end of August 2024.

Who makes up the Selection Committee?

The Selection Committee is composed of various Great Minds in STEM stakeholders, including many past award winners who have expertise in their given discipline. These committee members are di- vided into sub committees to evaluate the nominations. For example, the members of the Outstanding Technical Achievement Committee are primarily individuals with doctoral and master’s degrees. These committees report to the Selection Committee Chair(s), who will make the final award selections. The Chairs(s) of the committee is/are the university representatives (e.g., deans or presidents) of the Confer- ence Academic Hosts.

What are the components of a complete nomination packet?

A. Online Nomination Form (see question 6 for requirements)
B. Nominator Statement (see question 7)
C. Resume
D. Full Job Description
E. Organizational Chart
F. Biography (see question 9)
G. Recommendation Letters (see question 8)
H. High Resolution Color Photograph (suitable for media use)
I. Synopsis of Key Research (for technical award categories only)
J. Articles / Additional pertinent information about individual (not required but accepted)

Can you nominate for a Luminary or Military STEM Hero Award?

No. Individuals cannot be nominated directly for the Luminary or STEM Hero Awards. To be considered for one of these award categories the nominee must first be nominated in one of the HENAAC Award Categories. The Selection Committees will recommend individuals for these awards.