The Dean’s award is presented during the Engineering Deans Recognition event at the annual BEYA STEM Conference. Nominees for this occasional award are committed to preserving engineering, scientific, and technical education programs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The success of these programs lies as much in their timeliness as in the needs of society and the corporate and public sectors. The nominee is also effective in generating interest in STEM among racial minorities and strives to make a difference in the lives of marginalized students seeking careers in STEM.
Born and raised near Grambling State University, Larry O. Harris has always appreciated the value of the Black College experience. As a result, he passed on a scholarship to an Ivy League university to attend Tuskegee, where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in physics and mathematics.
As the assistant program manager for testing and evaluation at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC), Harris has continued his pursuit of excellence while mentoring junior engineers and associate program managers.
NIWC-Pacific provides technological and engineering support critical to information warfare for the U.S. Navy, as well as for Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard programs.
During his acceptance speech, Harris thanked the BEYA Selection Committee for the award and the support of the NIWC San Diego community.
“All of this would not have been possible without God, the love and support of my mother, father, and my family,” Harris said. “My wife and two granddaughters are here. I’ve often been asked by the younger generation: What keeps you going? What gets you up in the morning? It comes down to this: I want to honor the sacrifice my parents made and acknowledge their pain and suffering. I hope to instill that same dedication in my daughter and two granddaughters so that they see the boundless potential we all have to make each other’s lives better and filled with purpose.”