Midshipman Receives Black Engineer of the Year Student Athlete Award
POSTED ON: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:00 PM by MC2 Dana Legg
ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Fortson, 21, of Claremont, California, received the 2020 Student Athlete Award at the annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM conference in Washington D.C. Friday, Feb. 14.
The award recognizes the drive and determination of talented students who perform highly in the classroom and in their respective sports.
“Each day I find something new to motivate myself,” said Fortson. “Whether it’s seeing my teammates push themselves physically, or seeing my former company mates doing great things in the fleet, they all make me excited to put in the work and do my best to keep improving.”
Fortson is the captain of the USNA Women’s Soccer Team, and is ranked 16th in her class with a cumulative 3.92 GPA.
“It was an absolute honor and privilege to coach Sydney Fortson for four years,” said Carin Gabarra, the Navy Women’s Soccer head coach. “Her passion to make a difference in her community, immense drive in the classroom, and fiercely competitive nature make her an excellent candidate for this award.”
Fortson was the 2019 Senior Class Award winner in NCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer. She earned honors as a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American, twice, and as a Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year, twice.
“Midshipman Fortson is a leader and the epitome of a student athlete,” said Marine Capt. Rebecca Carlson, the Navy Women’s Soccer officer representative. “She is a role model who inspires confidence in those around her, and people want to follow her because of her mental and physical toughness, her commitment, and her humility.”
Fortson majors in Aerospace Engineering and upon commissioning will serve in the submarine community.
“Receiving this award is an honor,” Fortson said. “I’m extremely grateful to the people who nominated me, and to everyone who wrote my letters of recommendation.”
Each year, the BEYA STEM conference brings professionals and students together to share their experiences and career information. It aims to connect students, educators, and STEM professionals while facilitating partnerships with individuals and local STEM resources.
As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service for 175 years, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.