By Stephen Satkowski
USACE - Far East District Public Affairs
KUNSAN, South Korea -- Kenith Ward, Project Engineer at Kunsan Resident Office, was awarded the Modern Day Technology Award at the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference held in Washington D.C. Feb. 9-11.
Each year the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Conference recognize and honor minorities who have made significant contributions and breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields.
“Being multiracial (African American/Korean), this award reflects values that both my mother and father instilled in me when I was younger,” Ward said. “With my father being prior military and my mother being Asian, I think both of them teaching respect as a key component of life got me to where I am at now.”
Ward began his Corps career as an intern at the Savannah district in 2009. Before arriving at the Far East District in 2013 he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan as an office engineer.
“One thing I will never regret is moving around with the Corps,” said Ward. “I was able to learn and work with great people including quality assurance representatives, program analysts, counsel, and various contract administration personnel. It allowed me to fully understand the Corps process and how everything is interconnected.”
Ward praised his past supervisor at the district’s Central Resident Office, Jamie Hagio, as well as his current supervisor at Kunsan Resident Office, Chris Martin for helping him attain this recognition.
“They allowed me to learn under more experienced personnel,” explained Ward. “I may not know everything about construction, but I am willing to learn and work in a team environment. This includes working as a team with other district branches, the user, and the contractor.”
BEYA’s first event was held in Feb. 1987 at Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland. The BEYA STEM Conference is a talent-rich environment for recruitment, networking and professional development. In attendance are college representatives and thousands of elite professionals and students from across the country that represent the upper echelon of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines and careers. More than 100 companies and organizations support the rise of new graduates into technical careers such as; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lockheed Martin, Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Cooperation., U.S. Army and U.S, Navy.