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It was a beautiful day when State Representative and The lifelong accomplishments of Mauricio J. Guadamuz were celebrated by friends, family, and colleagues April 30 when the Georgia Legislature issued an official  proclamation commending the Lockheed Martin systems engineer at a Statehouse ceremony and LISTA Ga Tech Council Founding President. The chief author of that proclamation, Rep. Pedro Marin, paraphrased the formal document with words of praise and respect for Guadamuz, whom he called “a role model for anyone who believes in the American Dream.” “There’s a saying in Spanish ‘Honor serves honor’ and that applies to Mauricio,” he said from the podium. “Mauricio has gone by the call of duty in being a professional and in giving back to the community.”

Guadamuz, center, is flanked by AE Prof. Stephen Ruffin, the current director of the Space Grant Consortium, and former AE faculty, Dr. Erian Armanios, Guadamuz’s first advisor and the former director of the Space Grant Consortium.

A 2000 graduate of Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Engineering masters program, Guadamuz, a Nicaragua native, has led Lockheed Martin’s efforts to increase minority hiring and improve its research collaborations with top universities. In 2010, he was accepted into Lockheed’s highly competitive Technology Officer’s Corporate Engineering and Technology Ph.D. Program, which allowed him to return to Georgia Tech. His doctoral studies focus on modeling new value-added technologies to improve affordability of systems. Guadamuz’s return to school is a wise investment, according to Dr. Alexander Eksir, Lockheed’s vice president for Quality and Mission Success and Guadamuz’s supervisor.“With Mauricio, we are investing in human capital, which is more than our obligation as a corporate citizen, but the future of our country,” he said. “And by promoting individuals of his caliber, we are ensuring the sustainability of what we all enjoy in this democracy, which has been built on the sacrifices of others.” In accepting the proclamation, Guadamuz gave thanks to his father, who left a war-torn Nicaragua in the early 1990s with nothing to fuel him but the determination to have his family survive — and thrive. “Who knows where I would be now, if he had not done that? I am an American by choice.” Guadamuz said. Turning to his own career, he quickly added “My success is not an exception. If you nurture, if you help, if you love any child, they can do what I did.” Guadamuz has been very active in the Latino community, where he frequently does STEM-related outreach and mentoring and has served as the Atlanta Chapter President for Latinos in Information Science and Technology Association (LISTA). He was the 2013 recipient of the Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) Virtuoso Award and was also nominated to receive the 2013 LISTA Rising Star Award.

“Mauricio is the poster child of what Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) is all about”, said Jose Marquez-Leon, CEO and Founder of LISTA. He is the kind of person that thrives on learning and growing. He loves to learn- any opportunity for him to take in more knowledge is amazing to him, but not only does he learn but then he takes what he learns and gives it back to his community. He is a great Corporate Citizen, He is a great Teacher and most of all he is a great technologist. With Mauricio the sky is the limit. 

Lockheed Martin Vice President for Quality & Mission Success Alexander Eksir was on hand to congratulate his colleague, Mauricio Guadamuz.

None of these achievements or accolades surprised Dr. Erian Armanios, a former Georgia Tech professor who served as Guadamuz’s advisor during his first stint at Tech.  Now a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Armanios flew to Atlanta to celebrate the proclamation’s official release. “It’s nostalgic, really, to see Mauricio get this because I remember him as a masters student, wondering if he should get a Ph.D., and I knew, then, he had the talent and the drive,” said Armanios. “They key was that he had a circle of supporters around him — his family, his Georgia Tech family, his work family – and he had a very strong faith.” That extended family was everywhere apparent at the Statehouse, where clusters of strangers quickly became friends as they spoke about Guadamuz. “He was always engaged in helping Latinos to find out more about engineering and the sciences,” said AE’s Dr. Stephen Ruffin, who now administers the Space Grant Consortium and Sloan scholarship programs that helped Guadamuz finish his masters degree. “What’s great, to see him now, is that he has achieved so much more confidence in himself. He has established himself as someone who will be successful and it shows.”   For Mauricio J. Guadamuz, it’s his children’s futures that benefit the most from his hard work. Here, he is seen with Georgia and Mauricio Jr. At home, are Lia, 11/2 and a soon-to-born sibling. See the entire slideshow of the day’s celebrations.