Engineering alumnus sees powerful opportunities for students in university diversity initiative

During his time as a student at Tennessee Tech University, DeWayne Allen valued the education he was receiving and the lifelong friendships he was making.DeWayne Allen

In appreciation for all that Tech gave to him, Allen includes the university in his philanthropy in hopes of making a difference for future generations of underrepresented students. He gives to the Tennessee Tech Diversity Scholarship Fund to ensure that underrepresented students will have the opportunity to join the Tech family, regardless of their financial situation.

“I wanted to support this initiative because frankly Tech needed this effort to ensure that it meets its mission, vision and core principles for all students, particularly those of color and African-American descent,” he said. “As someone who participated in various early DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts as a student, it has always been a part of my plan to give back to things that directly supported those efforts.”

As an advocate for underrepresented students, Allen draws from his own experiences. He strives to be an example for those students and show them that if he can do it, they can do it too.

“I have a goal in life to leave a positive legacy wherever my life journey takes me,” he added. “Giving to Tech is an important part of that goal.”

Allen graduated from Tech in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Today, he is employed with Raytheon Technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina. He works in corporate development and strategy, working on integrating the recent merger of Raytheon Technologies and United Technologies.

He said that his time at Tech was both challenging and rewarding, because he came from somewhere with a different environment than campus. He had to learn to network and use all the resources available to him to adjust to campus. Allen turned this experience into a strength that has allowed him to progress through corporate America.

“I would tell students entering the workforce to just trust their abilities, and they will bring value to the workforce even as a new hire because they are able to think differently and bring a unique point of view,” he said.

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