NORCO, Calif. – An engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona in Norco received a national Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award, recognizing her achievements in promoting equal opportunity, mentoring minorities and encouraging students to pursue the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
As this year’s Navy civilian awardee, Karon Myles was among 11 other active duty and civilian winners from the Navy, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Defense Contract Management Agency and Defense Logistics Agency being recognized for their distinguished service.
“I was very honored to receive this,” said Myles who attended the 35th Blacks in Government Annual National Training Institute held in Dallas Aug. 19-22. The warfare center’s Deputy Technical Director, Dianne Costlow, joined Myles for the award presentation held during the Department of Defense Future Leaders in America’s Government Student Symposium and Meritorious Award Ceremony.
In nominating Myles, Capt. Eric Ver Hage, NSWC Corona commanding officer, called her an outstanding advocate for minorities who has gone to great lengths to “foster a culture of inclusivity and to advance the ideals of the Blacks in Government organization.” The captain said her award was justly deserved.
Myles – who holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tuskegee University and a Master of Science degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills – is head of the warfare center’s Weapon Systems Assurance Branch that assesses the life-cycle of combat weapons systems.
She has worked at the Navy base since 1986 and also serves as the commanding officer’s African American Special Emphasis Program Manager to ensure the command is at the leading edge of equal opportunity employment, recognition and education.
Myles is a member of a number of professional organizations and has provided valuable leadership as a role model and mentor to Inland Empire college engineering students. She is president and a charter member of the Greater Riverside STEM Chapter of Blacks in Government, which also received accolades when two Corona high schoolers, mentored by chapter members, competed at the national meeting and won for outstanding achievement.
Remaya Campbell of Santiago High School won first place in the oratorical competition with her speech, “Parents Just Don’t Understand: Bridging the Communications Gap between Parents and Teens.”
Mitchell Tran, who graduated in June from Centennial High School, won first place in the webpage competition by producing his website on the theme, “Cloud Computing – Advantages and Disadvantages of Using that Elusive Server in the Sky.”
‘I am so very proud of these students. They were awesome!” Myles said.
She said she is dedicated to pushing talented young people into the science and engineering fields, just as she was encouraged early in her career when she began work in 1980 as a design and construction engineer for Gulf Oil Refinery in Santa Fe Springs.
Myles began her federal government service at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, where she was part of the team that conducted some of the last overhauls of the famed World War II battleship USS Missouri before it was decommissioned. In 2004, she was promoted to her supervisorial position at the warfare center, where her team has gained a national reputation for their assessments.
Her citation reads: “In appreciation for your dedicated support to promoting the tenets of civil/human rights, equal opportunity and human relations. Through your active participation in the many organizations that promote and support the advancement of blacks and women, you have displayed an exceptional character that distinguishes yourself as an outstanding leader, role model and mentor.”
NSWC Corona is the Navy’s center for independent assessment, measurement science and range systems engineering. From its headquarters in Norco, the center employs some 2,200 scientists, engineers, administrative staff and support contractors around the country to gauge the Navy’s warfighting capability.