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Adedeji B. Badiru, the Dean of the Engineering and Management graduate school at the Air Force Institute of Technology, recently received an award at the BEYA (Becoming Everything You Are) Conference for his commitment to youth development and mentoring in STEM education.

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He believes in the power of education to change the world and has dedicated his career to mentoring the next generation of leaders.

“This prestigious award results from years of support, inspiration, and motivation from all my coworkers. Those I have mentored have gone on to great things in society. My lifelong commitment to public service led me to start the Association of Military Industrial Engineers in 2011, promoting and advancing educational programs’ efficiency and effectiveness for government workforce development.”

Candice M. Smith is a distinguished leader at Boeing who heads a global team of technical experts. Her team aims to create innovative products and services that connect people and communities while promoting safety and sustainability.

Candice is passionate about nurturing the next generation of leaders and innovators. She manages Boeing’s technical fellowship and serves as the board chair for Project SYNCERE, where she advocates for youth, STEM education, and independence through innovation. As a member of Delta Women, Candice is actively involved in social change initiatives in Chicago.

“The universe conspires for your success,” Candice said at the BEYA gala in February, where she received the 2023 Professional Achievement in Industry Award. “From my fingertips on lifesaving technologies to chance encounters, I’ve sought to solve problems and enrich lives. When young, I read books to escape reality. Yet, I couldn’t write a more compelling story than the adventures unlocked by STEM, defeating adversity with countless collaborators,” she said.

Kelly T. Davis, a lead information technology specialist in the United States Army Communications-Electronics Command Software, was another awardee.

Kelly is a technical lead in the Army, where he has energized a group of engineers, solved challenging issues, and provided secure and efficient cyber products. He is also a senior DevOps engineer with glass-wall solutions and develops video games for his company, Nighttime Studios, during his free time.

“Essentially, it is all about knowing you can,” he said in his acceptance speech. “That’s been the mantra throughout my life. Knowing you can, trusting yourself and the people around you, and not being afraid to ask questions. They are critical components of what propelled me to where I am today. Knowing that I can stems from my preparation and dedication has paved the way for the opportunities and chances to display my talents, hunger, desire, motivation, and professionalism.”

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