Ann Banitt, a senior hydraulic engineer, was recently selected as a member of the 2024 class of Society of American Military Engineers’ Academy of Fellows.
Banitt, who has been with the St. Paul District for over 32 years, said she started with the Society of American Military Engineers, or SAME, just a year after she started with the Corps. She is also a Mississippi Valley Division regional technical specialist in hydrologic modeling and serves on the Corps’ national hydrologic engineering committee.
“It’s quite an honor to be nominated and selected. The whole application experience was a mentoring opportunity I didn’t expect,” Banitt said. “This has given me a new reflection on how my career has progressed and my contribution to the profession.”
According to the SAME website, the society has bestowed the title of Fellow on select members since 1972,
and only has about 800 members of the Academy of Fellows nationwide.
“The real focus of the SAME Academy of Fellows is to focus on mentorship and continue to promote the society, building relationships and trust between the government, industry and the community,” Banitt said.
There will be a formal investiture ceremony in May at the SAME’s annual Joint Engineering Technical Conference, where new fellows will share a commitment statement of what they intend to do as a fellow. Fellows provide guidance to the national SAME board, mentor local post’s leaders and make connections with other posts that don’t have a local fellow, Banitt said.
“When I first started with SAME, I was meeting new people and gaining some technical knowledge, but over the years I’m growing these relationships and will have opportunities in leadership and mentoring. I’m also becoming more aware of what industry is doing,” Banitt said.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Post, the post where Banitt belongs, also supports education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, opportunities, providing scholarships and grants to teachers and students.
“Those types of activities are something we’re all proud of, to extend the passion for STEM into our communities,” Banitt said. “SAME provides opportunities to sharpen our toolbox in leadership skills, set aside time in the month to learn new things and build relationships with other professionals.”