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MITRE Systems Engineers Honored at Women of Color Technology Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Karina H. Wright
Eryn L. Gallagher
McLean, Virginia, December 20, 2005 — Three MITRE engineers were recently honored at the National Women of Color Technology Awards Conference for their technical accomplishments and professional and community leadership. Kidest (Mimi) Hailegiorghis was named a Technology All-Star, and Veronica Berryman and Andrean Colón-Padilla were named Rising Stars of Technology.
Technology All-Stars are accomplished women of color advanced in their careers, who have demonstrated excellence as leaders at work and in their communities. Rising Stars are women of color under age 30 who have been outstanding in helping shape technology for the future.
The awards were presented October 21 in Atlanta, Ga. The annual conference, sponsored by Career Communications Group, Inc., (CCG), publisher of CCG's Women of Color magazine, US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, and Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine, addresses the under-representation of minority women in technology and business.
Kidest (Mimi) Hailegiorghis
Kidest (Mimi) Hailegiorghis is a lead information systems engineer for the Advanced Architecture Technologies and Solutions department in the Center for Innovative Computing and Informatics at MITRE. She was recognized as a Technology All-Star for her leadership, innovative solutions to data management and information technology modernization programs, and her efforts to develop a mentoring program for new employees.
"For me, it was an experience of a lifetime," Hailegiorghis said of the award, adding that she was proud to represent MITRE at the conference.
Born in Ethiopia, Hailegiorghis came to the United States after graduating from high school. At MITRE since 1999, she has gained recognition as an expert in data management, data warehouse technology, software prototype development, and enterprise architecture. She played a pivotal role on several critical projects, including the IRS Customer Accounts Data Engine—which has been key to IRS modernization—and a Census Bureau upgrade to its Web-based services. The business case she helped design for the Census Bureau to make choices among investment alternatives became a model for other MITRE teams.
Hailegiorghis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems and Business Administration from Cumberland College and a Master of Science degree in Information Systems from American University. She has received numerous awards at MITRE, including the Software Engineering Center Recognition Award for Outstanding Technical Support to the Executive Information System (EIS) project and the Program Recognition Award for the Business Systems Modernization Office (BSMO) Program Management Outcome.
Named one of this year's Rising Stars, Andrean Colón-Padilla is a lead network and distributed systems engineer for the Enterprise Services Systems Engineering department in the Washington Command, Control, and Communications Center at MITRE. Her first work after joining MITRE in 2002 was support for the enterprise architecture effort at the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization.
That experience led to her next project, leading the task of developing a business process model under the Business Management Modernization Program for the chief technology office of the Department of Defense (DoD). She also led a research project to examine the issues related to operational rule sets with the DoD Global Information Grid.
"It was such an honor to just be nominated by MITRE for the Women of Color Technology Rising Star Award, yet I was fortunate to receive the award on behalf of minority women engineers," Colón-Padilla said. "I enjoy my work with MITRE not only for the culturally sensitive work environment, but also for the people I collaborate with on a daily basis."
In addition to her work, which has gained recognition both inside MITRE and with government agencies, Colón-Padilla was chosen as part of a panel to tell senior management how young engineers view working at MITRE.
Colón-Padilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science program in Systems Engineering at George Mason University. She has received several awards at MITRE, including a Special Recognition award for work done for the Washington Command, Control, and Communications Center.
In five years, "Rising Star" Veronica Berryman has contributed to important projects across MITRE from her place as senior network systems and distributed systems engineer for the Washington Command, Control, and Communications Center's Software Engineering and Computing department.
Berryman called the award "an experience of a lifetime, to be a national winner and become a role model for youths and women of the nation."
Her projects have ranged from being a support engineer for the Gateway to Virtual Collaboration—for the Joint Program Office of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)—to the Anti-Drug Network (ADNET), to Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security projects. She has taken classes in Chinese and Arabic to enhance her value on multilingual projects such as automated foreign language processing.
She also has made internal contributions, designing prototype collaborative team websites for her division and a variety of tools for project tracking and knowledge sharing. The project she considers her legacy, however, is the Professional Development Application (PDA) Online Training Tool for online application and tracking of training requests.
Berryman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Fayetteville State University and a Master of Science degree in Software Systems Engineering from George Mason University. She has received several awards at MITRE, including the Director's Award in Knowledge Management.
MITRE (www.mitre.org) is a not-for-profit company that provides systems engineering, research and development, and information technology support to the government. It operates federally funded research and development centers for the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service, with principal locations in Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va.
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