Michael McCullough, former CEO of Booz Allen, led the company to join BEYA in developing the STEM talent pipeline when less than 2% of engineers in the United States were African American, and only five historically black colleges and universities had ABET-accredited engineering programs.
Many of these students needed help to get internships in industry or government, and most had never met an engineer who looked like them.
To change the narrative, engineering deans of Howard University and Morgan State, and the publisher of US Black Engineer magazine created the Black Engineer of the Year Awards.
Over the next 30 years, Booz Allen Hamilton continued to be a partner of the BEYA STEM Conference, and there are now sixteen ABET-accredited HBCUs. The company has recruited at the annual career fair, held professional development seminars focused on STEM skills, and received several awards at the BEYA Conference.
In 2019, Anthony “Tony” Mitchell, an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, became the 33rd individual named Black Engineer of the Year. Mitchell led the development and execution of the management consulting firm’s Justice, Homeland Security, and Transportation business. In the community, Mitchell serves as a board member of United Through Reading, an organization dedicated to uniting US military families through the gift of reading.
The Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) Conference has exposed more than 100,000 students to role models in STEM careers. Over 10,000 men and women have been nominated for Black Engineer of the Year Awards, and ~900 have received category awards, with 38 selected as Black Engineer of the Year.
Hosted by Career Communications Group, Inc.’s US Black Engineer magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the 38th annual BEYA STEM Conference will take place in February 2024. Booz Allen’s 2024 award recipients will be honored for their innovative STEM leadership.
The honorees include Pioneer Award winner Matice Wright-Springer, a senior vice president in Booz Allen’s aerospace business. Her career began in 1988 as the nation’s first African-American female naval flight officer.
BEYA’s Most Promising Scientist award goes to Shavonn Watkins, an agricultural development expert in Booz Allen’s civil business. Drawing on her global network to build and expand client work, Dr. Watkins is dedicated to serving as a bridge for agriculture-based technologies and innovation to reach and benefit all humanity, especially resource-poor and underserved populations worldwide.
Science Spectrum Trailblazer awards go to Mokeli Pelamoko, a senior lead data scientist specializing in the power of statistics and machine learning to uncover valuable insights, and Derek Turner, a data engineering expert in Booz Allen’s global defense business. With his deep dedication and expertise in data engineering, Derek enriches the STEM community with his invaluable contributions.
Modern-day technology leaders include Andrew Ajilore, a leading developer in Booz Allen’s global defense business; Betel Asfaha, who has orchestrated seamless system integrations as an implementation member of the Product and Technology Ecosystem and Management Services (PTEMS) project with the US Department of Veterans Affairs; Tanishia Bailey, a technology expert in Booz Allen’s civil business who has played an instrumental role in a three-year project to modernize CMS’s plan management system and operations; Gerald Battiste, a senior data engineer for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH); and Cornelius Bryant, a lead electrical engineer in Booz Allen’s global defense business, specializing in electrical integration of aircraft, helicopters, and air vehicles for the military.
Since 2005, BEYA has recognized over 100 Booz Allen employees for their engineering, science, and technology excellence.