Dr. Ymele-Leki Hosts US Air Force Members Visit

On Friday, April 7, 2023, the Department of Chemical Engineering hosted Air Force members from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Thirty-two enlisted members and officers of the 36th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron visited Howard University (HU) for orientation on engineering programs and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs.

Members and officers of the 36th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron visit HU ChemE program

The visiting group was led by Colonel Stefanie Watkins Nance, Chief of Operational Medicine at Defense Health HQ of the United States Air Force and a medical doctor graduate from the College of Medicine at HU, and Captain Aristide Badje, Chief of Occupational Health and Training Program at the United States Air Force and a HU chemical engineering graduate.

Col. Stefanie Watkins Nance (US Air Force), Dr. Ymele-Leki, Capt. Aristide Badje (US Air Force), and Cmdr. Alexander Boakye (ROTC)

Dr. Patrick Ymele-Leki, Interim-Chair of the department, and Alexander Boakye, ROTC Battalion Commander and Class of 2023 graduate from the chemical engineering program, introduced the Air Force members and officers to the various engineering programs and research opportunities available at HU. Dr. Ymele-Leki highlighted several projects currently underway in the BEDD research program. His presentation also featured examples of former BEDD students and chemical engineering students and their current endeavors. Incidentally, Captain Badje was also a student of Dr. Ymele-Leki.

After hearing about examples of Howard Chemical Engineering graduates and their current occupations (engineers, bankers, military officers, doctors, lawyers, etc.), several junior members from the Squadron were interested in using their military benefits to pursue higher education and degrees in engineering. Many of the participants expressed their interests in the chemical engineering program. Colonel Watkins Nance was impressed by the department’s ability to connect chemical engineering to nearly any profession. “As an Alumni, all I can say is that I am proud!” said Captain Badje.