Editor’s note: At NIWC Atlantic, our teammates are our strongest asset. As such, their safety and well-being is paramount. This recognition ceremony occurred prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
A Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic employee received the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for Community Service in Government during a ceremony at the annual BEYA science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Conference held Feb. 15 in Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Kelly Jordan, NIWC Atlantic data scientist and a Goose Creek, South Carolina native, earned the award due to her leadership efforts in NIWC Atlantic STEM outreach activities throughout South Carolina. Jordan established technical leadership aptitudes by mentoring, advocating and developing future Cybersecurity Engineers, Computer Scientists and Information Technology leaders in NIWC Atlantic STEM Educational Outreach based programs. She has a long-standing history of active participation in local community and career development events since March 2012.
Additionally, Jordan founded a non-profit, STEM Outreach advocacy program called Girls Really Excited About Tackling (GREAT) STEM. She develops workshops, mentorship programs and tutoring initiatives for young women who want to learn about STEM careers specific to computer science, information technology and cybersecurity. Jordan’s work as a data scientist also contributes to the Navy’s efforts to ensure that Department of Defense computer networks are secure from cyber-attack.
“Jordan is one of the most influential STEM leaders at NIWC Atlantic and senior leadership points to her as an example of why we must support and invest in STEM outreach,” said Michael Morris, NIWC Atlantic cybersecurity engineering and mission assurance competency manager. “Many young people made the decision to pursue careers in information technology and cybersecurity as a result of Jordan’s positive influence and work as a role model.”
Jordan, overcame many obstacles on her path to success. In many cases, she was the only minority female on a team as she advanced through the ranks. When asked how she felt about receiving the award, Jordan said, “It was overwhelming. I see myself in the students and I want to be the person that tells them they can do it.”
Each year, the BEYA STEM Conference brings students and professionals together for three days to share their experiences and career information. Participants network with attendees from around the country while participating in seminars and workshops that explore STEM career paths. The goal of the conference is to create connections between students, educators and STEM professionals while facilitating partnerships with individuals and their local STEM resources.
The BEYA STEM Awards are among the most competitive awards in science, engineering and technology management, with thousands of professionals in STEM having been nominated for this honor over BEYA’s 34-year history.
“Jordan is a true inspiration not only for her story, but for the exuberance and excitement that she brings to all of her STEM events,” said Kelly Thompson, NIWC Atlantic STEM outreach operations manager.
Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems from Charleston Southern University in 2005. She also earned a Master of Business Administration from Charleston Southern University in 2009.
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities