HENAAC awards
Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, presented awards to two high-school students and two future military officers at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- America's national security depends on maintaining excellence in science and engineering. A U.S. Army leader recognized four of the country's future leaders before hundreds of military officials and students Oct. 6.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, presented awards to two high-school students and two future military officers at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference.

Syonaa Singh from Hope Community High School and Ricky Rutland from Evans High School won Android tablets because of their outstanding efforts during a team-building exercise to design and build a tent using only newspaper and masking tape.

Justice also helped to honor cadets from the University of Buffalo Reserve Officer Training Corps and U.S. Military Academy.

Joshua Davison, a sophomore at Buffalo, is studying biomedical sciences and Italian. His goal is to become an opthamologist.

"I decided to join U.S. Army ROTC because to me, the most important science is the science of vision," Davison said. "If anyone deserves proper eye care, it's Soldiers who are serving. I think everyone can agree with that.

"If you're pursuing a STEM a career, you should pursue it because you know you're helping other people. That's the biggest bonus you'll get. It's bigger than a salary," Davison said.

Bret Everett, a West Point cadet studying civil engineering, plans to use his education to develop improved energy sources.

"After I graduate, I hope to use my knowledge and skills that I've developed at West Point to help the United States utilize its energy resources efficiently and safely," Everett said.

Everett conducted research with the Army Corps of Engineers to create alternatives to using diesel generators during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He described how a trip to a rural Chinese village inspired his work.

"Even though the people were living in slum-like conditions, each building had a solar-powered water heater," Everett said. "I wondered to myself, if rural China can do this, why can't the United States? This sparked my interest in renewable energy."

Page last updated Thu October 6th, 2011 at 00:00