Medalla de Oro Symbolism

The Medalla de Oro Award honors professional members of MAES, industry supporters, and members of academia.  These individuals are highlighted for their outstanding achievement and contributions in science and engineering as well as service to the Latino community.  The Medalla de Oro Award is the highest honor that MAES can bestow upon any member.  Each recipient of the Medalla de Oro Award presents a Madrina/Padrino Scholarship in their name to a worthy MAES student member to symbolize the MAES concept of a “Bridge to the Future”.  This establishes a lifelong relationship in which the Medalla de Oro Award recipient provides guidance and serves as a mentor for the young scientist or engineer.

The award itself consists of a beautifully engraved medallion made of gold to remind everyone that it was this precious element that brought together our ancestors over five hundred years ago and made us what we are today.  The narrative on the medal is in English and Spanish to signify our bilingual culture resulting from the acculturation of our forefathers in a new nation. The message states that we will build bridges for all humanity and accept our duty to share those bridges with others.  We also believe that we have the right to use all bridges, as science does not belong to anyone. The MAES logo is placed in the center plane to signify the role MAES accepts to serve as a “Bridge to the Future” by promoting the advancement of Latinos in Science and Engineering.

The Aztec calendar in the background, the significance of which still lies unexplored and hidden, depicts the great technological heritage of the many Latino cultures. The four elements from ancient science: earth, water, fire, and air, are represented on the rim of the medal to recognize other cultures and influences which add to our great and diversified community. At the forefront there is a futuristic building in the shape of a pyramid to signify the contributions that will be made by future generations of Latinos.

The Medalla de Oro Award was designed by Arturo Cano.  Mr. Cano sought an award to honor individuals with a dedication to service, aspirations of greatness, and commitment to humankind.  The award he designed carries with it responsibilities and strict disciplines.  It carries with it the challenge to individual men and women to make most of their abilities and talents.  It carries with it the responsibility of hard work, so that the well being of our community may be improved.  It demands self-reliance and self-discipline.  It also requires that individuals conduct themselves so that their life demonstrates the dignity of humanity.

The Medalla de Oro Award was first awarded at the 7th annual MAES National Symposium.  At each conference the Medalla de Oro College, comprised of all past Medalla de Oro Award recipients in attendance, meet to evaluate nominations and select the new recipients.

All attempts have been made to collect complete and accurate information for this archive.  Should you identify any corrections or have additional information to fill in missing blanks, please let us know.

1983 (Ventura, California)

Manuel Castro

Ralph Gonzalez

Samuel Mendoza

1984 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Yolanda Garza

Pete Tafoya

Robert Von Hatten

1985 (Anaheim, California)

Oscar Cano

Admiral Benjamin Montoya

Celso Ovalle

1986 (San Antonio, Texas)

Ralph De La Parra

Frank Guevara

Mike Orozco

1987 (El Paso, Texas)

Al Mejia

Dr. Fred Norwood

Jose Perez

1988 (Los Angeles, California)

Herb Bustillos

Nancy Gutierrez

Manuel Jaquez

1989 (Anaheim, California)

Orlando Gutierrez

Johnny Terrazas

1990 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Dr. Roberto Mcintyre

Fred Rodriguez

Alex Saenz

1991 (Houston, Texas)

Lupita Armendariz

Enrique Colorado

Rey Trevino

1992 (San Antonio, Texas)

Richard M. Delgado

Robert Gomez

Frank Moreno

1993 (Long Beach, California)

Curt Eley

Richard Martinez

Carolyn Vallas

1994 (San Antonio, Texas)

Arturo Gaytan

Maria Pizarro

1995 (Los Angeles, California)

Chuck Gonzalez

Dan Sveller

1996 (Orlando, Florida)

Oscar Gamboa

Margaret Gonzalez

Keith Marrocco

Richard Navarro

1997 (El Paso, Texas)

Al Barela

Pat Bryant

Fernando Rico-Cusi

1998 (San Diego, California)

Hiram Betancourt

Jack Pollock

Fabian Rivera

1999 (San Antonio, Texas)

Michael Acosta

Dr. Hector Carrasco

Colonel Ismael Ortiz

2000 (Santa Clara, California)

Jose Hernandez

Connie Medina

Alfredo Ramirez

2000 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Cathy Allen

Dean Elder

Luis Franco

Nehemias Ramos

2001 (Houston, Texas)

Esther Gonzales

Enrique Gonzalez

George Salazar

2002 (Anaheim, California)

Captain Kathlene Contres

Hugo Lira

Frank Robles

2003 (Phoenix, Arizona)

Jesus Benitez

David Burris

Jeff Salinas

2004 (Austin, Texas)

Gary Cruz

Raul Munoz, Jr.

Rafaela Schwan

Vanessa Sustaita (posthumously)

2005 (San Jose, California)

Senturnino Franco

Robert Navarro

Mark Perez

2006 (Houston, Texas)

Louis Cancino

Manny Sanchez

Arturo Torres

2007 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Jesus Cardoso

William Davis

John Florez

2008 (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Gilberto Florez

Carlos Ramirez

Jorge Ramirez

2009 (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Lizette Macias

Gloria Martinez

Dale Rimmey

2010 (Anaheim, California)

Dr. Mike R. Lopez

Irene Rico

Captain Silvestre del Rosario

2011 (Oakland, California)

Gilberto Saenz, Jr.

Antonio de la Serna

Lt. Cmdr. Mark Venzor

2012 (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Alma Rosales

Juan Zuniga

Nancy Lowery

2013 (Houston, Texas)