Our History

Great Minds in STEM is at the forefront of implementing innovative programs and partnerships focused on the continuous expansion of STEM education opportunities for our nation’s underserved communities.

1989

The first HENAAC Conference was held as a means to identify, honor and document the contributions of outstanding Hispanic STEM professionals. Rear Admiral Benjamin Montoya selected as first Engineer of the Year.

1989
1998

The GMiS Hall of Fame founded to recognize the world-class achievements of the most accomplished past HENAAC award winners. 14 members were inducted in its inaugural class to mark the organization’s 10 year anniversary. The Hall of Fame now has 35 inductees.

1998
1999

The inaugural GMiS College Bowl is held. This very popular conference competition provides an experience unlike any other for entities to interact with students.

1999
2000

The GMiS Scholars Program launches. Since then over 1,500 STEM students have received scholarships total-ing more than $4.6 million. GMiS continues to award hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel grants and registration assistance to university students attending the HENAAC conference and serving K-12 programs.

2000
2001

The Viva Technology Program was created to engage underserved and underrepresented youth, teachers and parents in STEM opportunities so they could gain understanding, appreciation, motivation and access to STEM-related education and career fields. Since then, Viva Technology has been implemented in 18 states and the District of Columbia, reaching over 137,000 students, teachers and parents!

2001
2004

Future STEM Leaders Awards launches to honor the next generation of our nation’s U.S. Department of Defense personnel by highlighting Cadets and ROTC students for their academic and leadership achievements.

2004
2008

The STEM-Up Initiative, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive community-based program, was introduced in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles. The initiative implements a value chain of opportunities to create Awareness, Inspiration, Motivation and Skills for students from 20 public schools, their parents, and teachers. Locally based STEM entities are actively engaged in associated activities.

2008
2014

MentorNet, established in 1997, becomes a division of Great Minds in STEM. Through MentorNet, GMiS offers structured virtual mentoring year-round, leveraging technology to match STEM students with professional mentors. Any STEM student at an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. and professionals with STEM degrees may join.

2014
2015

Timeline Heading

GMiS, along with its 6 sister engineering diversity organizations, receives support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a collaborative research project titled ASSIST, to increase the representation of underserved, early-career, engineering faculty. The success of this project led to a broader NSF INCLUDES award (#1649384) for a design and development launch project titled LEVERAGE.

2015
2016

GMiS enters into a historic partnership with the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI) for the GMiS Conference.

2016
2018

GMiS receives presitigious NSF Administered Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in Washington, D.C.

2018
2018

GMiS is awarded the inaugural U.S. Army CCDC HBCU/MI Student Design Competition.

2018
2019

GMiS introduces the first recipients of California Medical Scholarships, a program that provides financial assistance for underrepresented students pursuing medical degrees in California.

2019