Derek McGowan is the 2018 Dean’s Award winner.
As Lockheed Martin’s program manager for higher education, McGowan drives diversity and inclusion in STEM programs at minority-serving institutions.
Because of his work, US Black Engineer magazine’s Top Supporters of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Engineering Survey ranked Lockheed Martin number 1 for its support of HBCU engineering schools for three years in a row and a Diamond supporter in 2017.
“Derek is a rock star on campus and truly has a passion around ensuring every student has a pathway to success,” said Rainia L. Washington, vice president, Global Diversity and Inclusion at Lockheed Martin. “He puts everything into developing relationships with the deans, faculty, and students. Derek is our jewel and we are proud to present him with our first-ever HBCU Engineering Dean’s Award!”
With Lockheed Martin since 2001, McGowan now manages the Minority-serving Institution strategy, responsible for recruiting at HBCUs and Hispanic-serving Institutions and enhancing the diversity pipeline of technical talent.
He develops strategic plans for programs while working as a business partner with executives and other leaders to develop a robust diversity and inclusion strategy and program.
At Tuskegee University, for example, McGowan’s support for the college’s pre-engineering Freshman Accelerated Start-Up Training for Retention in Engineering Curricula (FASTREC) program has been exemplary.
Through McGowan’s actions, at least 40 pre-engineering high school students are impacted each summer as they receive math and science prep before they join the Tuskegee University College of Engineering program as freshmen.
McGowan has been a role model to students, giving seminars and delivering keynote speeches at the university’s pre-college summer programs.
He earned an undergraduate degree from St. Leo University and has two classes to complete a dual master’s degree in HR management and training and development from Webster University.
“My dad reached 10th grade when he quit high school to join the Air Force for a better way of life,” McGowan said in his acceptance speech. “He used to say he had more children than stripes, but we were not going without.
“Using his GI Bill, he finished his degree. Following his footsteps, all 5 sons proudly served. My stay-at-home Mom instilled great values: humility, commitment, and the importance of giving back. Lockheed Martin has given me the opportunity to do that. Few things in life are the work of just one person. This BEYA Deans Award is no exception. I thank my beautiful wife Deborah, of more than 34 years…and all who played a role in this award,” McGowan said.