N.C. A&T ALUMNA JOI CARTER RECIPIENT OF BEYA’S MODERN-DAY TECHNOLOGY LEADER AWARD

By: North Carolina A&T State University

Joi Carter ’14, a North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumna and senior principal systems engineer at Northrop Grumman, was recently recognized during the annual Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM conference as a 2022 Modern-Day Technology Leader awardee. The honor, BEYA notes, recognizes the “bright people who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology” in the workforce.

“I have been participating in BEYA since my undergraduate tenure at North Carolina A&T in 2014. To go from receiving the 2014 BEYA Student Leadership Award to now receiving the MDTL award eight years later in my professional career is a full circle moment for me,” said Carter.

Carter was among 15 employees from Northrop Grumman who received the award this year. She matriculated through A&T’s College of Engineering, earning a B.S. in computer science in May 2014.

“BEYA was amazing to see so many companies recruiting elite talent; it’s up close and personal networking with leadership at various companies all aimed at attracting top talent,” she said. “But also, being in a room full of people who could relate to my unique professional experiences that come with being Black in the workplace I think is very powerful.”

Carter came to North Carolina A&T in June 2010 after being selected to join the College of Engineering’s Helping Orient Minorities to Engineering (HOME) Program, a 5-week bridge program aimed to attract and retain high-achieving students in engineering and computer science.

During her time at A&T, she co-authored four published research papers as an undergraduate research assistant, presented research at the IEEE 2013 conference in Singapore, presented on the Cyber Security Panel at the 2013 Richard Tapia Conference, interned with two Fortune 200 companies, served as an undergraduate teacher’s assistant, served in leadership positions for the Association of Computation and Machinery (ACM) and Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) computer science organizations, joined six academic honor societies, and graduated summa cum laude with a 3.75 GPA.

She received a three-year full scholarship from her current employer, Northrop Grumman, after her freshman year. Not only did that scholarship come with money, it also came with internships and thus starting her career with Northrop Grumman. She interned in the software department in 2011 and 2013. In 2014, she started in the company’s Professional Development Program, then became a software engineer in 2016. She was promoted to principal embedded software engineer in 2019, and became a systems engineer in the SEA Program in 2020. In 2021, she was promoted to senior principal systems engineer.

Carter has held leadership positions in the African American Task Group (Northrop Grumman Employee Resource Group) and coordinated the first annual summer social for interns and new hires in 2016; an event that ran for four years until COVID-19. She served as the onboarding lead for the Software and Digital Technologies department, onboarding over 100 new hires into the organization, and was also accepted into the company’s Systems Engineering Associate (SEA) Program, a highly selective rotational and development program for mid-career technical leaders who demonstrate high performance and high skill levels in systems engineering. Carter has mentored Baltimore City High School students through the company’s High School Involvement Program (HIP) and a regular recruiting volunteer at multiple diversity conferences and HBCUs.

“I have truly learned that it is not enough to just work hard,” she said. “The best advocate that you can have for yourself, is yourself. But as you’re navigating your career, don’t forget to help bring others through that door with you. I truly believe that I am not just charting my path for myself, but I am doing it so that others can and will believe that they can do it too.”

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