ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Anna M. Park, CEO & Board Member, Great Minds in STEM

Anna M. Park
Monterey Park, CA
CEO & Board Member, Great Minds in Stem

Anna M. Park is CEO and board member of Great Minds in STEM, a non-profit organization that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational awareness programs for students from kindergarten to career. Great Minds in STEM provides resources for recognition and recruitment of Hispanics in STEM on a national level, connecting multi-areas of engineering and science arenas to the general population.

What were you surprised to learn about the Army through your involvement? 
I have been honored to be a part of the Army’s Strengthening America’s Youth (SAY) committee. By attending the various SAY Meetings and key events, Great Minds in STEM is able to stay current with the future needs of the Army. Because the Army shares its current reality, Great Minds in STEM can align its key programs to support the areas the Army is reaching-out to for our youth, college students and educators. The SAY meetings provide solid data and information that the public may not be aware of, and we applaud the Army for being candid with the committee on where they need our help as partners. I was most surprised to learn more about the Military Occupation Specialties across STEM fields that the Army has to offer.

What has been your most interesting or memorable experience with the U.S. Army? 
I have been fortunate to have many memorable experiences with the U.S. Army. A very recent memory was the promotion of Colonel R. Mark Toy to Brigadier General Toy on August 15, 2014 at the Eagle’s Nest in Cypress, CA. Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick shared with the audience the competition for this specific promotion from Colonel to General, and I was so proud of Brigadier General Toy and all he represents for the Army. The ceremony included words from Lieutenant General Bostick, Brigadier General Toy and his family. Brigadier General Toy’s wife, two children, his mother and in-laws each had a special role during the ceremony for this important promotion. As our Army brings forward the next set of Generals who will lead, it was an honor to be a part of this process and support Brigadier General Toy.

Great Minds in STEM has taken part of additional ceremonies which have meant so much to our organization. The Assumption of Command of Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick as the 53rd Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that took place at Fort McNair on May 22, 2012 and was another outstanding event. To be part of a ceremony that started back in July 1775 with Colonel Richard Gridley as the first Chief of Engineers inspired our organization and allowed us to better understand the historical impact of the Corps within the Army. Lieutenant General Bostick is a champion of STEM and has made it a key element in all he does to reach our youth and build the future workforce of the Corps.

In addition we attended the Change of Responsibility ceremony for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) on February 10, 2012 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Major General Nick Justice was the outgoing Commander, and he had been a stellar supporter of Great Minds in STEM throughout his tenure. Also, the fact that the U.S. Army Materiel Command was led by a Four-Star General, who happens to be a woman, General Ann E. Dunwoody, left us very proud to have a female at the top! Mr. Dale A. Ormond took over as Director of U.S. Army RDECOM, and his group has continued to remain engaged and supportive of Great Minds in STEM!

Why do you feel it is important to support the Army as a leader in your community? 
Our country needs to support our Army and make sure we are educating our students, teachers, principals, parents and sister non-profits on the numerous opportunities available. The changing needs and requirements to be a part of the Army allow for many options for both men and women and range from attending the Military Academy, applying for a civilian STEM position, various scholarship options, ROTC, e-Cybermission and other STEM competitions. Today, more than ever, there are multiple ways to engage with the Army. The Army is doing so much positive outreach across all age groups, and as non-profits we must do our part to share the opportunities to make sure our Army reflects our diverse country and that our future leaders in the Army have access to the important pathways and role models. 

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