CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) employees are provided opportunities worldwide to grow with the organization and continue to influence potential future employees of the organization.
Ken Ward, a Far East District resident engineer, has been a member of USACE for more than 10 years. He was hired as a local intern at Fort Gordon, Ga., after completing his civil engineering degree at Georgia Southern University.
“Working with the Corps of Engineers became the first option I had and I enjoyed it once I got onboard,” said Ward. “I actually started out as a construction representative and was eventually transferred to an engineering position.”
Ward came to the Far East District in 2013 as an office engineer at Central Resident Office on Osan Air Base. He said there he dealt with a lot of negotiations and contract administration. Later he moved on to other areas within the district.
”I got a promotion to be a project engineer at Kunsan Resident Office, where I led a lot of the O&M projects [Operations and Maintenance Program],” said Ward. “I applied and was selected for a resident engineering position here at Camp Humphreys last year.”
To help address the nation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) challenge, USACE employees participate in mentorship programs, science fairs, robotics competitions, teacher-training workshops, recreational events, STEM camps and other educational opportunities.
Ward is no stranger to participating in enrichment programs such as STEM and he is currently the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) program director for the district.
Initially, Ward was asked to volunteer with the STEM program, but since that time has continued to provide support whenever possible.
“I have always liked volunteering around the community and working with kids,” said Ward. “It’s fulfilling to work with kids and spark their interest, and it’s something I have been trying to do every year.”
Last summer, Ward was in charge of guiding two university students who came to the district as interns participating in the AMIE program.
“Being a minority myself, I wanted to get involved with this program a little more” said Ward. “It’s rewarding to have someone look up to you and ask you questions and eventually become a mentor to the participants of the AMIE program. I’ve kept in contact with last year participants, they have been talking with me and asking for advice to help them with their future.”
As for now, Ward plans to remain with the district for the foreseeable future and has a few personal and professional goals he’d like to accomplish.
“I want to get married to my fiancé, earn my MBA [Master of Business Administration], and earn the Professional Project Manager certificate,” said Ward.