University of Massachusetts Amherst mechanical engineering sophomore Samuel del Pilar of Flushing, New York, is one of 75 students nationwide selected for scholarships from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC). He is the second UMass Amherst engineering student to receive a HENAAC scholarship, the first being Rafael Santana, who graduated in 2004 with a degree in computer systems engineering.
The HENAAC Scholars Program addresses the “immense need” of the United States to produce more domestic engineers and scientists. The goal of the program is to foster college retention of Hispanic undergraduates with a 3.0 grade point average or higher; to encourage their graduation with a technical degree in four-to-five years; and to contribute to Hispanic communities by producing role models for future generations.
HENAAC was established in 1989 as a means of identifying, honoring, and documenting the contributions of outstanding Hispanic-American science, engineering, technology, and math professionals. Corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, the military, and the business community at large have submitted thousands of nominees over the last 19 years for this prestigious recognition.
The HENAAC vision is “keeping America technologically strong by promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, especially in underserved communities.” (September 2009)