ARLINGTON, Va. – Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6 Lt. Gen. John Morrison mentored high school-aged students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects during the 35th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference on February 12.
Morrison joined a team of mentors that included Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) Dr. Raj Iyer, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Eric Jones, and Navy Rear Adm. Eric Ruttenberg.
The mentors engaged with student, addressing their concerns with facing challenges. “Throughout the course of your life, you’re going to continuously run into challenges all the time, but how you react to that challenges will make the difference. This helps you improve as a person,” Morrison discussed. He further added, that, “It’s all about people and when you look at our military, our nation and when we all come together it doesn’t matter what our backgrounds are or where we’re from, it’s about harnessing the strength of the folks that work with you, work for you and above you.”
Fellow mentor and Army CIO Dr. Iyer emphasized the tools that pursuing STEM programs provides.
“Technical talent is much needed in this country. This is why we are having these events and why the Army is so committed to helping build the next generation of technology leaders, Iyer said. “We need to build excitement around STEM and develop a passion so you guys can succeed.”
Normally held as an in-person event in conjunction with the annual National Engineer Week, organizers conducted the 2021 BEYA STEM conference virtually to recognize excellence and leadership among black engineers while offering training, workshops and continuing education credit opportunities. The event brings together engineering professionals, service members, employers, academics, and students each year.
“Career Communications Group, Inc. hosts the annual conference that affords national exposure, promotes awareness of STEM careers, recognizes accomplishments in STEM, promotes diversity and inclusion, and offers educational and developmental opportunities for STEM professionals,” according to the U.S. Army Equity and Inclusion Agency.
The mentoring session marked BEYA’s midpoint, and followed plenary remarks by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
In a conversation moderated by Vice Adm. (Retired) Anthony Winns, Gen. Brown offered numerous recommendations to high school students in attendance, talked about the importance of mentoring to his career and explained how he applies it to people with whom he comes in contact.
“My dad was my first mentor,” Brown said, who then highlighted the important role of his first flight commander in furthering his professional development as an Air Force officer.
“Don’t take short-term satisfaction going for long-term goals,” he said. “Don’t self-eliminate. Always put your name in. The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘no.’”
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Lt. Gen. Morrison's bio (link)
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