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As BEYA presented awards during the 2020 Conference in February, Ms. Linda Gooden was one of a select number of people who presented awards named after them. For more than five years, the Engineering Dean Breakfast at BEYA has been the place for special recognition honorees to receive Legacy Awards.

On February 15, the 2006 Black Engineer of the Year (standing right) attended the event to present Lockheed Martin employee Audrell K. Samuels with the Legacy award that bears her name.

“Ms. Audrell Samuels exemplifies the very definition of volunteerism through her significant accomplishments in her work with the STEM outreach program and her service to the Enterprise Resource Groups she belongs to and supports,” said Gooden. “Through her tireless efforts in STEM, Audrell has encouraged hundreds of young minds into the science, technology, engineering, and math fields with no end in sight. She celebrates diversity in others and brings an inclusive mindset into the workplace and into her community outreach efforts.”

The audience is always delighted to see past BEYA winners sharing the stage to celebrate with the year’s nominees.

“From a young age, I learned the importance of connections,” Samuels said on receiving her award. “As a 10th grader in Prince Georges’ County Maryland, I had the privilege to speak with President Ronald Reagan during his visit to my school. He took the time to connect with us as students. I also watched my mother start a tutoring program connecting inner-city kids with Georgetown University students. In college, I tutored through my sorority’s community service program. Recently, I fostered the Lockheed Martin STEM connection with hundreds of youth. I knew a connection was made when one student contacted me as Lockheed Martin New Hire. Each of us can connect with others and be dream makers.”

Samuels is currently a senior subcontract administrator at Lockheed Martin.

The Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Conference offers students and professionals information on the demands, education, training, and experience, as well as skills and requirements for jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce.

The Linda Gooden Legacy Award is named for 2006 Black Engineer of the Year Linda Gooden, founding president of Lockheed Martin Information Technology and one of the most respected business leaders in aerospace and defense during her 40-year career. She is currently chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

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