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Corps recruits students at Arizona STEM conference

South Pacific Division
Published Sept. 29, 2021
More than 60 participants visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers booth and displays during the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. The conference hosted more than 2,000 American Indigenous Science, Technology, Engineering and Math participants.

More than 60 participants visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers booth and displays during the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. The conference hosted more than 2,000 American Indigenous Science, Technology, Engineering and Math participants.

Current and previous American Indian Science and Engineering Society student representatives visit the U.S. Corps of Engineers booth during the AISES National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. The AISES National Conference is the largest college and career fair in the U.S. for Indigenous students and professionals.

Current and previous American Indian Science and Engineering Society student representatives visit the U.S. Corps of Engineers booth during the AISES National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. The AISES National Conference is the largest college and career fair in the U.S. for Indigenous students and professionals.

Col. Antoinette Gant, commander of the South Pacific Division, right, along with other Division and District leaders, presents a letter of intent to Anabella Noguera, a senior civil engineering student at the University of California-Los Angeles, during the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix.

Col. Antoinette Gant, commander of the South Pacific Division, right, along with other Division and District leaders, presents a letter of intent to Anabella Noguera, a senior civil engineering student at the University of California-Los Angeles, during the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix.

Christopher Luna, left, shakes hands with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil engineer Neil Tugaoen, right, at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. Luna, a mathematics and physics graduate, discussed engineering possibilities with Tugaoen, who is a fellow Arizona State University alumni.

Christopher Luna, left, shakes hands with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil engineer Neil Tugaoen, right, at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 in Phoenix. Luna, a mathematics and physics graduate, discussed engineering possibilities with Tugaoen, who is a fellow Arizona State University alumni.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division was among several agencies recruiting potential employees during the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference Sept. 24 at the Phoenix City Convention Center.

The AISES National Conference is the largest college and career fair in the U.S. for Indigenous students and professionals in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field.

“Promotion of diversity in the federal workforce is a command priority,” said South Pacific Division Commander Col. Antoinette Gant. “I felt it was important to personally attend the conference, welcome any participant questions and support diversity in the STEM professions.”

More than 60 participants visited the Corps’ booth to discuss civil works projects and apply for available positions during the college and career fair. Event sponsors included NASA, Microsoft and Arizona State University.

“Of all the engineering firms, federal agencies and universities present, the Corps had one of the largest showings,” said Garrett Kaspala, a hydraulic engineer with the Division. “The presence of our division and district leaders shows our commitment to building a diverse office and finding exceptional candidates.”

The three-day conference featured more than 100 live and virtual sessions, as well as more than 180 in-person and virtual exhibits. Participants experienced professional development discussions, networking opportunities, student presentations, a college and career fair, awards and cultural events.

“The experience was an enormous success,” Kaspala said. “We met several outstanding candidates and got a chance to have conversations about our programs and projects.”

At the conclusion of the college and career fair, the Corps’ Los Angeles District awarded a letter of intent to hire to Anabella Noguera, a senior civil engineering student at the University of California-Los Angeles. Noguera attended the event to support her local AISES chapter, make connections with other American Indigenous and explore career opportunities. She heard of the LA District’s VA hospital project and decided stop by the Corps’ booth to learn more about civil and structural engineering projects.

“I can’t thank the Corps enough,” Nogurea said, after the presentation. “I’m honored to receive this offer. This is a career that I am passionate about pursuing.”

The Corps’ mission is to provide engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges and employs more than 32,000 people worldwide.

For more information about U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ careers, visit www.usace.army.mil/careers.