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Air Force Named Among Top HBCU Supporters

By Tech. Sgt. Amaani Lyle/Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2009 - In a 2009 survey, U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine recently named the Air Force among the "Top Supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities."
USBE & IT magazine and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science at Howard University, Washington, D.C., saluted top corporate and government agencies at a recognition luncheon during the HBCU Response and Professional Connections conference May 29.
Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III accepted the award on behalf of the Air Force while joining fellow Top Supporter award recipients and other conference attendees.
"The Air Force is extremely proud of its outstanding relationship with Historically Black Colleges and Universities," General Newton said. "Engineering and technology skills are a top priority, the Air Force will continue to tap into the incredible talent that these fine institutions yield."
Deans from 11 Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited HBCU and minority-serving engineering programs recognized the Air Force's stalwart commitment to diversity and will recognize the service in the May 2009 edition of USBE & IT magazine.
"The Air Force has long been in the forefront of embracing diversity," said Rose Gault, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for diversity. "This award speaks to the fact that diverse perspectives are not only valued and accepted, but absolutely critical to our service's overall mission accomplishment."
General Newton said the Air Force's long-standing alliances with HBCUs enable the service to keep recruiting and retaining diverse talent as a top service priority.
"The commitment to diversity and equal opportunity is mission-critical to the Air Force and is essential in allowing each Airman to reach his or her potential," General Newton said.
According to a USBE & IT press release, survey participants considered among other factors support for infrastructure modernization and enhancement, research, scholarships, advisory council involvement and career opportunities. 

The virtues of tapping diverse talent extend well beyond individual organizations, but to the nation as a whole, said Diane T. Jones, a USBE & IT spokesperson.
"America's future in the market place depends heavily on the development of students from minority-serving institutions, which are dedicated to producing the best scientists, technologists, mathematicians and engineers," Ms. Jones said. "We applaud the effort of the 2009 top supporters, who remain committed to minority-serving institutions." 

Ms. Gault concluded that "all Airmen will be treated with respect and dignity without exception because Airmen who work in a diverse environment learn to maximize individual strengths and combine individual abilities and perspectives for the good of the mission."