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Within a year, Gayla Turner McMichael led outreach events engaging more than 13,000 students, including 2,800 at the elementary level, 2,200 in middle school, 6,400 attending high school, and 1,400 in post-secondary situations. Her leadership efforts translate into better access to higher education for thousands.

McMichael is outreach and diversity program manager for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). She is the 2015 BEYA winner for Promotion of Education.

“If AMRDEC is to continue to be viewed as the premier aviation and missile research organization for providing war-fighting capabilities to the brave military men and women who support our nation, it will be in large part due to the commitment and dedication of Ms. McMichael,” says William A. Colson, director, Systems Simulation, Software, and Integration.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), a major component lab of the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, is the Army’s focal point for research, development, and engineering services for aviation and missile technology. Thus, it designs, conducts, and participates in educational and community outreach activities and experiences – the blood lines of a highly technical organization. It is these programs that are entrusted to Gayla McMichael.

McMichael provides leadership and oversight of all AMRDEC educational and diversity programs.
McMichael is committed to preserving engineering, scientific, and technical educational programs and enhancing minority opportunities to participate in science and engineering by implementing current and new outreach programs. She has established Army ties with seven Education Partnership Agreements to Alabama A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University, Tuskegee University, Clark Atlanta University, Jackson State University, Prairie View A&M University, and Alabama State University.

“Ms. McMichael’s commitment and dedication to recruiting talented young scientists and engineers allow the AMRDEC to continue to be viewed as the leader for providing war-fighting capabilities” to the military, says James Lackey Jr., AMRDEC executive director.


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