AFIT associate dean earns Modern-Day Technology Leader Award

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Reginald Turner, associate dean of the Air Force Institute of Technology’s School of Systems and Logistics, was selected to receive the Modern-Day Technology Leader Award from Career Communications Group, publisher of U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine.

The award recognizes men and women who demonstrate outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering and math. 

It will be presented in February at the 37th BEYA STEM Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The Black Engineer of the Year Awards conference’s goal is to create connections between minority students, educators and STEM professionals while facilitating partnerships with individuals and their local resources.

Turner is being recognized for his efforts in founding and successfully executing the Air Force’s first-ever Historically Black Colleges and University Digital Literacy Summit. He pulled together a group of highly skilled and dedicated representatives from AFIT, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Central State University and Infinite Management Solutions to hold a two-day summit.

Thought leaders, practitioners, students, advocates and other interested parties from the Air Force, HBCU community and industry were assembled to develop actionable strategies to build STEM capacity and capability at historically black colleges and universities, enabling them to be Air Force partners in addressing the most challenging digital-transformation concerns. Organizers said the summit was an overwhelming success, and the next event is being planned for September.

“I am proud of Dr. Turner’s and the Air Force’s contributions in expanding diversity and inclusion with the STEM outreach to historically underrepresented areas of society,” said Col. Craig Punches, AFIT’s School of Systems and Logistics dean.

Turner said he was honored to lead the inaugural the HBCU Digital Literacy Summit.

“This event was long overdue as evidence by the tremendous turnout from the (Department of Defense), DAF, AFRL senior leaders, leadership and students from several HBCUs, industry and the like,” he added. “I am so proud to be associated with such a diverse group of professionals who are committed to the HBCU cause.”

As associate dean for AFIT’s largest professional continuing education school, Turner is responsible for daily operations, including executing an annual budget of $12.5 million across four departments offering more than 120 courses in acquisition management, logistics, contracting, systems management, software engineering and financial management. He also serves as the school’s chief academic officer with responsibility for the management and professional development of over 120 faculty and staff members to include military, civilian and contractor personnel.

Turner has a diverse professional background spanning nearly three decades of dedicated, exemplary service. He has worked in the intelligence, research and development, and education career fields, as well as program and technical management. Turner joined the AFIT team in 2020 after serving five years in AFRL’s plans and programs branch.

He has been recognized by the undersecretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions as an acquisitions subject-matter expert.

Turner entered the Air Force in 1993 through the Air Force ROTC program at Tuskegee University with a degree in electrical engineering. Upon commission, he was selected as a research fellow to pursue studies at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he earned a master's degree in electrical engineering.

He went on to earn a doctorate of philosophy in electrical engineering from AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management in 2008.