April, 16

SAF Diversity, Inclusion leaders shine at Pentagon’s Arizona State University outreach event

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Leaders from the Secretary of the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion office played pivotal roles at the Defense Department’s “Taking the Pentagon to the People” event Sept. 12 to 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe.

The event aimed to enlighten students on employment, internships, scholarships and the vast opportunities within the DoD, spanning various fields including STEM, business and arts.

Spearheading the Department of the Air Force’s involvement, Col. Jenise Carroll, Secretary of the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion deputy director, and Kristine Billings, SAF/DI’s Affirmative Employment Program manager, made significant contributions to the event’s success.

Carroll was part of the Presidential Roundtable discussion where representatives from different agencies shared best practices on what they are doing to increase representation and opportunities for people in underserved communities through a united DoD effort.

According to Carroll, connections at these events are pivotal and help deliver tomorrow’s leaders within the DAF.

“Connecting with future leaders at academic institutions like ASU is pivotal,” she said. “It bridges the gap between the Department of Defense and potential bright talent, fostering an environment of growth and opportunity for the DAF.”

A recruitment squad from Air Force Personnel Center elaborated on the range of internships available alongside representatives from the 348th Recruiting Squadron and Air Force Reserve Command’s 944th Fighter Wing, who discussed officer and reserve enlisted opportunities.

Billings, who coordinated DAF recruiters for this initiative, said the event was a cornerstone in bridging the gap between the academic realm and the opportunities within the DAF and DoD.

“Our primary goal was to help unveil the myriad of opportunities within the DAF,” she said. “We’re not only educating students and faculty about the multifaceted career opportunities we offer, but also fostering a spirit of collaboration.  Events like this empower our youth, equipping them with the knowledge they need to align their career decisions with their unique interests, strengths, and skill sets.”

Concluding the two-day outreach, Carroll expressed confidence that the event made a lasting impression on all attendees. The DAF’s diverse opportunities were showcased, captivating the attention and imaginations of over 200 participants.

In her post-event reflection, Carroll confirmed the event’s success and emphasized a commitment to improving data analytics and ensuring consistent representation in future events.

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