Our 2024 BEYA Winners Work on the Cutting Edge

Mar 11, 2024 8:10 AM ET

At SAIC, we value our people for their unique perspectives, life experiences, values and skills. We empower our employees to succeed by developing their potential and enabling them to bring their authentic selves to work and consistently deliver innovative solutions for our customers. We are proud to highlight the winners of our 2024 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) in the “Modern Day Technology Leader” and “Science Spectrum Trailblazer” categories for their outstanding achievements in a STEM profession. They exemplify all of our talented people, who apply their expertise and determination to our customers' missions so that we can solve the most difficult challenges and succeed together.


Senior Operations Research Analyst 
BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader

Samford Anderson is a senior operations research analyst, managing the planning and execution of U.S. Army constructive experimentation, overseeing the outcomes, analyzing data and producing experiment reports for the organization. He joined SAIC as a doctrinal and mission command expert, and in that role he has successfully planned and executed constructive simulation experiments and war game events to inform science and technology investments in force design of Army combat unit formations.

Anderson is an Army veteran. Throughout his 29-year military career, he was assigned many positions of increasing authority and responsibility in which he led multicultural organizations comprised of service members, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors to achieve objectives in support of the national defense strategy. He is a member of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, the Military Officers Association of America and the American Legion.

Anderson earned a certificate in electromagnetic warfare data analysis from Georgia Tech, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regent University. He is also a Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional Master level.


Senior Program Manager 
BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader

Marcus Hill is a senior program manager in the Information Technology Office within SAIC’s Business and Customer Experience Office. Hill joined SAIC as software engineer supporting several Department of Defense initiatives and eventually transitioned to leadership roles in research and development, profit and loss, and IT. He has led several program management offices and supported the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' $1.3 billion Revolutionary Information Technology Service program, implementing a technical business management framework and plug-in that enabled insight into financial spending and budgets to improve decision-making. His current focus is on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Most recently, he led the Separation Management Office in executing the divestiture of SAIC’s logistics and supply chain management business, valued at $350 million.

Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace science engineering from Tuskegee University and an MBA from Rollins College, and is pursuing a doctorate in business administration at the University of North Alabama. He is a member of SAIC’s Multicultural Employee Resource Group and is active in community service through his church. He is a certified TBM Executive for technology business management, has a Project Management Professional certification, and is a member of the North Alabama Chapter of the Project Management Institute and the ITIL Foundation.


Cybersecurity Specialist 
BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader

Deja Noel is a cybersecurity specialist with SAIC’s Governance, Risk and Compliance team. Her role includes identifying, assessing, reporting and mitigating risks; evaluating international travel requests regarding company assets; and reviewing enterprise software requests. Noel joined SAIC as an intern, where she learned about cybersecurity working in corporate operations. Noel’s journey from novice to accomplished professional underscores her commitment to contributing significantly to the protection of digital environments and critical data.

Noel is a member of the leadership team for SAIC’s Women’s Employee Resource Group. She spearheaded the group’s annual blood drive in collaboration with the American Red Cross, overseeing event coordination. In addition, Noel has actively contributed to volunteer initiatives supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and participated in Feeding America events.

Noel earned her bachelor’s degree from Seminole State College of Florida.


Program Analyst Manager 
BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer

Donald Tarpley is a program analyst manager, serving as an invaluable principal advisor for lifecycle logistics strategy, execution and continuous improvement for property and program management for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate. He is a highly sought-after expert and invaluable leader of a seven-person team, responsible for loss prevention for more than $125 million in accountable personal property assets per year. In 2022, he and his team were awarded the DHS Under Secretary’s Award for Science and Technology Program Management Support.

Tarpley is a member of the National Property Management Association in Northern Virginia and serves as a consultant for a community of interest with the DHS Personal Property Committee. As a dedicated blood drive volunteer with the American Red Cross, he has contributed to more than 1,000 lifesaving efforts each year.

Tarpley earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and is working to obtain Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.


Systems Engineering Manager 
BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer

Geataeus Willocks is a systems engineering manager in SAIC’s Space and Intelligence Business Group. She joined SAIC as a radio frequency systems engineer supporting the Special Programs Directorate within the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, where she successfully advised and led acquisition programs in electronic warfare space control.

Throughout her career, Willocks has held numerous positions of increasing authority, leading teams focused on atmospheric traffic control and research and development with particular emphasis on propulsion technologies, X-ray vision and super-hearing.

Willocks earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Ohio State University and her master’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves as a mentor to middle school girls through Tech Trek, an organization sponsored by the American Association of University Women to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM.


Learn more about our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at our DE&I page.