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During Tonya Y. Bazemore’s six years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including four with the Japan Engineer District I, she has been a critical leader on projects worth more than $20 million.
Project engineers are responsible for daily field administration of large construction programs for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Bazemore was recently the project manager for a $4.3 million Battle Command Training Center, in Japan, and used knowledge gleaned from her Tuskegee University bachelor of architecture degree to complete the project, with mostly Japanese contractors. It was the first military construction job to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, and became the first LEED Accredited Professional, and subject matter expert, in the Japan Engineer District Construction Branch.
While continuing her Corps job, Bazemore is also enrolled in the 18-Month U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Leadership Development Program, and completing her requirements for professional certification, Level 2, in facilities engineering. She is also working toward her professional architecture certification.
In 2007, Bazemore received her master’s degree in management from Colorado Technical University, and project management professional (PMP) certification a year later.
Prior to the Corps, the Washington, D.C. native, who was in Army ROTC at Tuskegee, served as an active duty U.S. Army Engineer officer. She was posted initially in Alaska, and then as an engineer platoon leader in Iraq. There she became the assistant civil engineer of a 900-soldier Combat Heavy Engineer Battalion, and received praise for her “meticulous organizational skills” and how she takes “the abstract and makes it real for soldiers.”
In 2006, after leaving the military she joined the Corps as a civilian working on projects in Georgia and North Carolina, before her current assignment in Japan. Bazemore, who was introduced to the Army Corps during a high school pre-engineering program, is an active math, science, and architecture mentor of middle and high school students, and to engineer interns and military cadets. On several occasions, students told their teachers that after working with Bazemore they wanted to become architects. She has also been a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recruiter at the 2009 and 2011 BEYA STEM conferences.
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