NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University graduates continue to make great inroads in industry and career achievements.
At the recently ended 27th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Global Competitiveness conference (Feb. 7-9) in Washington, D.C., four TSU graduates were recognized in several key categories of the prestigious awards.
The awards recognize the achievements of African Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It also encourages young black Americans to pursue careers in STEM fields.
This year’s award ceremony was hosted by the Council of Engineering Deans at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Lockheed Martin Corporation, US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, and Aerotek.
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineer, who was at the conference, is a member of the Council of HBCU Engineering Deans.
The conference, which is attended by hundreds of “elite” professionals and students representing the top tier of people in STEM, allows participants the opportunity to acquire and retain talent, and to learn and network among the best and brightest technology minds in the country.
The TSU graduates and recipients of 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Awards include:
Modern Day Technology Leader award: Lamar Blackwell – a 1996 TSU graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering – As systems engineer staff, Blackwell is the Flight Controls Airworthiness Certification Lead at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Sheldon Rashad Greene – 2006 M.S. Electrical Engineering. Recognized for his “proven” ability to stand out as a technical contributor in the defense system and industry, Green is Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon. He develops software architecture and requirement specifications at the giant defense contractor. He is also part of the engineering program at Northeastern University in Boston, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Engineering Management and Leadership. Green recieved his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida A&M University.
Tretessa Johnson – 1995 B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Johnson is Senior Staff Reliability Engineer at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz. She also holds an MBA degree from Arizona State University.
Community Service award: Rhonda Thomas – 1980 B.S. Electrical Engineering. Thomas is a General Engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C.
“On behalf of the College of Engineering, we want to congratulate these alumni for representing a high level of technical competence complemented by leadership skills in the workplace, said Dr. Hargrove. “Our educational challenge is to continue to produce quality graduates through innovative instruction and experiential learning that acknowledges an employment investment of our major industry and government recruiters.”
This is not the first time TSU graduates have been recognized at the BEYA awards. Previous two-time BEYA award recipient Terrence Southern – 2003 B.S. Computer Science – was recognized in the Modern Day Leader category in 2007, and at the 2012 conference he took the award for Most Promising Engineer.
In talking with the award winners, one thing is common. They all credit their TSU preparation for their academic and career successes.
“TSU provided me with the foundation that has allowed me to thrive academically and professionally,” said Thomas, adding that her involvement with the alumni association has taught her the importance of giving back especially to the youth.
For Southern, the two-time BEYA award winner is particularly thankful for the mentoring and leadership skills he developed at TSU as a resident assistant and founder of a professional organization.
“I find that to be successful in academia or in the work place, one must learn to prioritize, complete tasks, and learn to efficiently use time,” he said. “My TSU family prepared me for great challenges after college, which have helped me along the way.”