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Posted 1/28/2013

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By Jean Pavlov and Terry S. Hines

Timothy R. Brown, a senior project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, responsible for leading interdisciplinary project delivery teams in the execution of large scale civil works projects, is the recipient of this year’s Special Recognition award for the 2013 BEYA STEM Conference. 

The 27th Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Global Competitiveness Conference convenes in Washington, D.C. Feb. 7, 2013 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The BEYA is one of the most prestigious and competitive honors in science, engineering and technology management. The BEYA STEM Conference is a talent-rich environment for recruitment, networking and professional development.  College representatives and thousands of elite professionals and students from across the country representing the upper echelon of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines and careers attend this conference.

In the BEYA 27-year history, thousands of America’s most creative and innovative professionals have been nominated for this nationally recognized honor, yet fewer than 700 have achieved the distinction of being a Black Engineer of the Year honoree.

Statistics show that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) enrollments are declining in our country exactly at the moment when the global economy is driving up demand for STEM professionals.

“A STEM scholarship helped me through college,” said Brown.”  “If it wasn’t for me accidentally finding out about this scholarship, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Brown said that when he was attending Florida A&M in 1998 he almost had to drop out because of a lack of funds.  Luckily, he overheard a fellow student in the hallway talking about losing his scholarship due to bad grades. 

“Since I had good grades, but no money, I ran over to the admissions office and asked about the scholarship the other guy lost, and I applied for it and received it!  It saved me,” he said.

That STEM scholarship was called the Florida-Georgia Alliance for Minority Participation Project (FGAMP).  The FGAMP project is comprised of a group of universities committed to increasing the production of minority graduates in science, engineering and mathematics. 

When the BEYA Awards were launched by Dr. Tyrone Taborn more than 20 years ago, there were few role models for students of color in STEM.  Taborn, CEO of Career Communications Group, which publishes U.S. Black Engineer & IT magazine, joined with engineering deans of Morgan State, in Baltimore, Md., and Howard University in Washington, D.C., to change that.

“That is why this award is sentimental to me,” said Brown. “If not for them, I might not be here today. I might not be an engineer.  I might not have been able to finish my degree.  Tyrone Taborn is one of the good guys.  He’s one of the people who really gives back to the community and the things he does make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

Brown will be receiving his Special Recognition Award at the Deans Breakfast.

Like his mentor, Tim Brown now gives back to the community.  Brown serves his community as a mentor and tutor, and performs lawn service for the elderly. He received the Jacksonville District Community Service Award in recognition of his selfless service. He volunteers at local elementary schools, serves as head coach for youth sports teams, is a merit badge leader for Boy Scout troops and co-chairs the father’s auxiliary of the Jacksonville Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc., a non-profit youth leadership organization.

Brown also received the BEYA STEM Modern Day Technology Leader award, NATO International Security Assistance Force Service Medal, two Commanders Awards for Civilian Service, and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

 “I know how STEM impacted my life,” said Brown.  “Getting an award like this from this group means a lot to me on a deep personal level and I hope to continue to keep giving back and investing in people.”

Black Engineer of the Year Award engineering Jacksonville District math science STEM technology U.S. Army Corps of Engineers