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    Black, Female, Engineer, Leader: Joy Allen’s Commitment to Excellence

    Official Portrait of Joy Allen

    Photo By Neil Mabini | Joy Allen, a technical high grade in the Acquisition & Readiness Assessment Department...... read more read more



    Story by Brianna Alexander 

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division

    Throughout her 10 years of service to the Navy, Joy Allen has maintained a strong work ethic while advocating for inclusion and being a positive influence for others; something that has been instilled in her throughout her life.

    Allen serves as deputy department head for Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division’s Performance Assessment Department, which serves as the independent analysis and assessment agent across several warfare areas including Air Defense, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Surface, Strike, and, Cyber. The department's expertise is utilized across unit level, multi-ship, and strike group compositions, and she ensures everything runs smoothly and assists with daily, high-level operations that are critical to warfighter success and capability.

    Allen first began her journey in the engineering field 16 years ago while living in her hometown of Cliffwood, N.J. She attended Rutgers University, where she said she experienced one of her proudest moments: Graduating with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering. Allen recalled this time in her life as a pivotal and defining moment on her path to success.

    “It’s a very hard degree to get,” said Allen. “When I was in school, engineering was a male-dominated field, and you didn’t see a lot of black people in my major, either.”

    Even so, Allen joined organizations at the university filled with other students who looked like her, and who were prospering in engineering. Seeing other African Americans graduate with an engineering degree helped fuel her goals and gave her a sense of community, she said.

    “That gave me motivation, because if they could do it, I could do it,” she said. “I'm just grateful for that community and for the dean, who helped push me through during times when I wanted to give up.”

    Thankfully, giving up wasn’t a part of Allen's plan. After graduating in 2003, she began her first job at a civil engineering firm, broadening her skills and experiencing a different side of engineering than what she was accustomed to while earning her degree.

    “Switching from the teachings of industrial engineering to civil engineering was a little strange,” she said. “But it was actually a good experience."

    After a year with the firm, she transferred to the Department of Defense and began her journey working for the Army at Picatinny Arsenal. In 2012, Allen was given the opportunity to relocate to California, where she joined NSWC Corona, which provides analysis and assessment for the Navy, gauges its warfighting capability, and serves as a leader in NAVSEA data analytics. The command utilizes networked data environments, data and visualization, and measurement technology to bridge the Navy’s data silos, enabling informed decision-making for the warfighter.

    Cherell Ward-Rucker, systems analyst for the Acquisition and Readiness Assessment Department, credited Allen for maintaining a positive work atmosphere and helping her branch achieve its goals from 2019-2021, when Allen managed it.

    “She’s always motivating the people around her,” Ward-Rucker said. “Anytime I told her I was going to do something, she tried to help make it happen. Her encouragement made me feel like I could accomplish anything.”

    Allen’s positive attitude was developed early in life. She said she was fortunate enough to grow up in a positive household that taught her the importance of having others in your corner. She thanks her parents for teaching her what a strong support system looks like and gives them the credit for shaping her into the successful person she is today.

    "I was blessed to grow up in a two-parent home,” Allen said. “They've always been supportive of me. Anything I've ever wanted to do, anything I've ever wanted to try. They believed in me and pushed me full steam.”

    Allen said her grandfather, a civil rights advocate and the first black police officer in Roselle, N.J., also made a huge impact on her upbringing.

    “He was always out there fighting for African American rights,” she said. “He would always tell me, ‘If anyone can do it, Joy can!’ To have someone as accomplished as him believe in me made all the difference.”

    When Allen wasn’t around her family, she spent most of her time involved in her community and attending church events.

    “Where I grew up, all the neighbors knew one another, so I had a very strong support system outside of my home,” said Allen. “Growing up in the church helped shape me as well.”

    Church gave her spiritual insight that she said she practices to this day in her ministries. She facilitates a women’s Bible study group weekly, where she guides women on how to handle life issues based on what she’s learned through her church studies growing up.

    With all the encouragement Allen received, she said her focus now is to inspire others as much as she’s been inspired. She believes highlighting one's accomplishments is a good way to remind people where they started.

    "When we read about peoples’ success stories, whether they’re in sports, media, engineering, science, or something else, there's usually a back story,” she said. “Knowing those back stories keep us humble and allows us to feel that we can succeed, too.”

    Allen said she believes Black History Month is a perfect opportunity to shape the next generation and educate ourselves and others that black history is American history.

    “Racism and bigotry still exist,” she said. “But we have the opportunity to teach our children differently and improve humankind.”

    With Allen's love for leadership and commitment to public service, she plans to continue her work in women's Bible study and eventually enter the Senior Executive Service, where she would be able to assist in leading America’s workforce. Never forgetting her roots, she hopes bringing her culture and her expertise to other departments will continue to help spread diversity and inclusion and remind people about the importance of highlighting accomplishments and building others up, no matter their race.

    “I believe Black History Month brings light to how we've contributed to society, and it really dispels a lot of myths and stereotypes that people have been led to believe,” said Allen. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work in a leadership role for America’s Navy.”



    Date Taken: 02.01.2023
    Date Posted: 02.01.2023 14:53
    Story ID: 437650
    Location: CORONA, CA, US 
    Hometown: ROSELLE, NJ, US

    Web Views: 290
    Downloads: 0