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NEWS | March 3, 2022

NSWCPD’s Alaina Farooq Wins 2022 BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award

By Brentan Debysingh

When you combine Alaina Farooq’s years of steadfast dedication to her areas of expertise with her continued leadership in the development of a positive workplace culture, it’s not surprising that she won the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award.

Farooq, a Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) with a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, was very appreciative of the award.

“To be recognized by BEYA for my work is an honor,” Farooq said. “The BEYA STEM Community is a staple in the Black community for excellence in education and STEM. Winning the 2022 Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award is truly a privilege.”

According to the BEYA website, the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award is a part of the BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) Category. The OAAs are granted to individuals in the workforce. These nomination applications are reviewed and recommended for an award by a panel of leaders from industry, government, and academia.

Over her 15+ year career, including four years at NSWCPD, Farooq has established a proven track record of analyzing and evaluating financial data and transactions to identify and recommend adjustments or improvements in financial or budgetary programs. In her current role, she serves as the lead COR for Propulsion Systems Contracts and oversees eight contracts (totaling $60 million+) that support multiple branches within NSWCPD.

Additionally, the Indianapolis native’s participation in the Conditional Found Report Process Working Group helped to rapidly identify root causes of process discrepancies and develop a new, more beneficial process.

“Ms. Farooq’s positive attitude, willingness to learn and to share knowledge have made her a role model for her peers,” NSWCPD COR Supervisor Terry Lott said. “I am fortunate to work with Ms. Farooq on a regular basis and to have her on my team.”

“As a COR, Ms. Farooq frequently represents NSWCPD with contractors and sometimes sponsors/customers,” Lott added. “Even in difficult circumstances, such as contractor compliance issues, she maintains professionalism, her collaborative nature, and helps to establish a solution as efficiently as possible.”

As someone who has consistently sought to enact positive culture across her environments, Farooq participated in the 2021 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Inclusion and Engagement Council, which was established to reaffirm NAVSEA’s commitment to build and maintain a workforce that draws from society, as well as encourage connection and collaboration.

“My motivation is for each person to have an equal opportunity for career advancement,” Farooq explained. “Removing roadblocks and barriers in the areas of development and advancement starts the path of equality. By participating on the NAVSEA Inclusion and Engagement Council, I was able to help develop a more inclusive place to work.”

As a part of this council, Farooq was a member of the Diversity Team that is creating a video series called NAVSpEAks to educate and empower employees to reach their full potential.

“The program started off as a ‘TED Talks’ kind of video platform for the NAVSEA community to connect employees to opportunities,” Farooq said.
Farooq also serves as a member of NSWCPD African American Employee Resource Group (ERG), the New Hire ERG, and the Women’s ERG.

In addition to the BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, Farooq’s NSWCPD awards include: Performance Quality Step Increase (June 2021), Bravo Zulu Awards (January, April, May 2021), Time Off Award (September 2020), Individual Cash Award (August 2020), On The Spot Special Act Cash Award (July 2020), Performance Award (July 2019), and Individual Cash Award (December 2018).