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Charles Stewart in office setting.

Boeing Photo by Bob Ferguson

Charles Stewart is a space engineer, a computer scientist, and he holds a master's degree in business administration. It seems, however, that he's just getting warmed up, as he now eyes a doctorate degree with the help of Boeing's Learning Together program.

Learning: A lifelong journey

Charles Stewart loves learning: "It's amazing how the more I learn; the more I want to learn."

That's saying something given how much Stewart already knows.

He's a real-life rocket man working as a Space Shuttle flight engineer for Boeing in Houston. What's more, Stewart is a computer scientist, with degrees from Southern University at New Orleans and Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.., has an MBA from American Intercontinental University, which he earned with assistance from the Boeing Learning Together program, and recently completed coursework in product lifecycle engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

"The more education I'm getting, the more I'm enjoying it," Stewart said.

But that's not enough for Stewart. He's considering again leveraging Learning Together Boeing's continuing education and tuition assistance program to earn a doctorate degree in the management of engineering and technology.

"The more education I'm getting, the more I'm enjoying it," Stewart said.

Stewart's professional prowess was recognized during the Black Engineer of the Year gala in February. He and a dozen other Boeing employees were honored there, with Stewart receiving a Modern Day Technology Leader award. The other Boeing honorees included thermal systems engineer Kareem Muhammad, who received a Most Promising Engineer or Scientist award and Jim Wigfall and Joan Robinson-Berry, who received Most Important Blacks in Industry awards. Wigfall and Robinson-Berry, respectively, help lead Boeing's supplier management and work placement efforts.

Space Shuttle Launch

NASA Photo

NASA Space Shuttle Launch at Kennedy Space Center

During the past three years, 45 Boeing employees have been honored by the Black Engineer of the Year organization.

Stewart's commitment to professional excellence is matched by his commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. His philosophy is "inclusion through infusion," the notion that to make a difference you have to get involved. He has done that throughout his life and, for example, today is president of his local Boeing Black Employees Association (BBEA) chapter and serves on the Houston Diversity Council. In February he received two Change Agent awards at Boeing's diversity summit.

Colleague Shelia Thorne hails Stewart as a "diversity rainmaker," adding that he "seeks out different perspectives and facilitates discussion and awareness of our commonalities."

Stewart appreciates the opportunities that come from working at Boeing. The company "opens doors by providing outstanding educational benefits (and) has an excellent diversity program," he said. "They create a work environment that makes you want to come to work, and they provide you with the tools to get the job done."