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The Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) recognize leaders who are developing innovation. The BEYA STEM Conference’s awards continue to provide leading employers with the opportunity to share the achievements of minorities in STEM. This year’s nominees were voted on by the BEYA Selection Committee members from hundreds of eligible entries.


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Category awards include Dave Barclay Affirmative Action, Career Achievement, Community Service, Education Leadership in K-12 Promotion of Education, Educational Leadership in College-Level Promotion of Education, Lifetime Achievement, Most Promising Engineer, Outstanding Technical Contribution, Professional Achievement, Research Leadership, Senior Technology Fellow, Student Leadership, and Technical Sales and Marketing. The 36th awards show will stream live and on-demand on STEM City USA. Here are the 2022 nominees for the top categories.

Community Service Award

  • Stacia M. Graham, program manager, F-15 U.S. Air Force Sustainment, Avionics Hardware, The Boeing Company
  • Jaynelle Pemberton, North Florida Water Group Leader, Jacobs
  • Veldesta B. Evans, manager, systems engineering 3, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Dave Barclay Affirmative Action in Government Award

  • Captain Gianna-Rose Acosta, F-15E lead weapon systems officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Via Van Liew, principal director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, The Aerospace Corporation

Most Promising Engineer in Government Award

  • Captain Deion Hardy, QF-16 deputy lead engineer, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/Air Dominance Division, U.S. Air Force
  • Daquan Styles, electrical engineer, Ship Self Defense System On-site Installation Coordinator, Dahlgren Division, Dam Neck Activity, NAVSEA Naval Surface Warfare Center, U.S. Navy

Most Promising Engineer in Industry Award

  • Shalisha Witherspoon, software engineer, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corporation
  • Shonda Witherspoon, software engineer, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corporation

Outstanding Technical Contribution in Government Award

  • Christine Dedrick, systems engineering lead, Infrared Countermeasures, U.S. Department of Defense Aircraft Survivability Equipment Project Office, IRCM Product Office, U.S. Army
  • James T. O’Neal, Jr., principal, health and life sciences, The MITRE Corporation

Outstanding Technical Contribution in Industry Award

  • Demia Readoux, senior manager, digital engineering solutions, Lockheed Martin
  • Wesley Leggette, distinguished engineer and chief technical officer, IBM Cloud Storage, IBM Corporation

Technical Sales and Marketing Award

  • Trevor Dunwell, executive director, tactical strike product area, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Raytheon Technologies

Professional Achievement in Government Award

  • Roderick K. Jackson, Ph.D., distinguished member research staff, laboratory program manager, building technologies research, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Brandice Weathers, Ph.D., materials research engineer, Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Professional Achievement in Industry Award

  • Philip June, vice president of safety and quality, Boeing Global Services, The Boeing Company
  • Maria Shaw, senior director, program management office, infectious disease developed markets, Abbott Rapid Diagnostics

Career Achievement in Government Award

  • Adedeji B. Badiru, Ph.D., dean, Graduate School of Engineering and Management, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Commander Desmond Walker, prospective executive officer, USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), U.S. Navy

Career Achievement in Industry Award

  • Denise Russell Fleming, vice president and CIO, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, The Boeing Company
  • Thomasina Russell Wright, program director, Huntington Ingalls Industries

Black Engineer of the Year

  • Theodore Colbert III, executive vice president, The Boeing Company, president and CEO, Boeing Global Services


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Over the span of four decades, the BEYA Conference has exposed 100,000 American students to role models in STEM careers. Hosted by US Black Engineer magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference will take place February 17-19. The 2022 conference theme is “BEYA STEM 365: Engineering Our STEM World to Engage, Learn, Evolve, Advance, and Thrive”

Legacy awards presented at the BEYA Historically Black College and University (HBCU) event include the Linda Gooden Legacy Award for Entrepreneurship, the Albert J. Edmonds Legacy Award in Federal Information Technology, the Joe N. Ballard Legacy Award for Public Engineering Services, the Rodney C. Adkins Legacy Award for Business Transformation, the Dr. John Brooks Slaughter Legacy Award for Higher Education and Leadership, the Anthony R. James Legacy Award in the Utilities category, the William R. Wiley Award for Research, and the Walt W. Braithwaite Award for Aviation.

Educational Leadership – College-level Promotion of Education

  • Bevlee A. Watford, Ph.D., professor, engineering education, associate dean, equity and engagement, executive director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech

Most Promising Scientist in Government Award

  • Karla Vanessa Morris Wright, Ph.D., principal member of technical staff, Sandia National Laboratories

Most Promising Scientist in Industry

  • Janelle Rowell, Ph.D., senior biotechnologies, The MITRE Corporation
  • Abdallah Diagne, Ph.D., research investigator, Corteva Agriscience

Research Leadership Award

  • Rakhee Palekar, MD,  chief scientist for public health and epidemiology, The MITRE Corporation
  • Tolessa Deksissa, Ph.D., director, Water Resources Research Institute, College of Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, University of the District of Columbia
  • Chris Jenkins, Ph.D., principal member of technical staff, Sandia National Laboratories

Senior Investigator Award

  • Paulin Buaka, Ph.D., technical advisor-applied mechanics durability team leader, Cummins Emission Solutions

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Laura W. Murphy, president, Laura Murphy & Associates LLC

Legacy Awards

  • The David Steward Legacy Award: Demetrias Jones, manager, information technology, Textron Aviation
  • The Dr. Eugene M. DeLoatch Legacy Award: Notashia Thomas, product manager, Highview technology group, CACI International
  • The Dr. John Tracy Legacy Award: Bernard Roberts, bearings, lubrication, and tribology engineer, The Boeing Company
  • The Arlington W. Carter Legacy Award: Charlisha “Charli” Greene, vice president, supply chain commodities, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company
  • The Dr. Christopher Jones Legacy Award: Elise Morris, engineer, Missile Defense Agency
  • The Rodney Adkins Legacy Award: Monica Lee, business technology solutions manager, Leidos
  • The John D. Harris Legacy Award: Trena Lilly, principal professional staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • The Dr. Lydia W. Thomas Legacy Award: K. O’Dale Satterfield, chief engineer – operations manager, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  • The Admiral Michelle Howard Legacy Award: Reginald D. Key, Jr., specialist, software engineering, L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
  • The Stephanie C. Hill Legacy Award: Ronald E. Moore, chief information security officer, General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • The Linda Gooden Legacy Award: LaTasha Taylor Starr, LM associate fellow and systems engineer senior staff, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
  • The General Lester Lyles Legacy Award: Captain Miranda Bray, F-15E fighter pilot, weapons/tactics officer, U.S. Air Force
  • The Dr. James W. Mitchell Legacy Award: Usang Ekpe, principal-wireless translations engineer, AT&T network engineering & operations, AT&T


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