Dr. Lindy Dejarme and Dr. Kelly Carter were each presented the EKU College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Award during ceremonies on Sept. 12, 2022. This award is the college's highest honor and is presented to individuals who have made impactful contributions to the college.
Dejarme was born in the Philippines and obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Mindanao State University, an M.S. degree in analytical chemistry from Bucknell University, and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue University.
He has served as research leader at Battelle Memorial Institute for close to 30 years and has been on a field assignment as a senior chemist at Bluegrass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) in Richmond, Kentucky, since 2014.
As a scientist, he has developed analytical methods for the analysis and detection of chemical warfare agents, biological warfare agents, small molecule and protein-based toxins, illegal drugs and explosives. He has also designed and built analytical instrumentation and laboratory tools. Furthermore, he has developed destruction technology for PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and emerging contaminants in water throughout the world and in the United States.
Dejarme has been a strong supporter of the College of STEM through philanthropy and service. He currently serves on the college’s Dean’s Development Cabinet.
Dejarme’s inclination toward helping others was inspired by his childhood. He explained, “I am appreciative and thankful of America’s kind heart. I remember as a three-year-old lining up for flour, rolled wheat, bulgur, dried milk and melted butter. The bulgur brown bag had an American flag with two clasped hands in front in a shaking configuration and below it was the written words: Donated to the Filipino People by the United States of America.” Not yet knowing how to read, Dejarme’s siblings read it to him, and he recalled, “I understood then that although the items we received were free for me and for my family, someone paid for them. I cannot pay for what I received, and no one asked for repayment. I can pay forward.”
Carter is a data scientist with CACI (Consolidated Analysis Center, Incorporated) International, where she supports U.S. national security sector clients. She is also an NCAA Division I coach for the North Carolina State University rifle team. Her expertise spans artificial intelligence (AI), cyber operations, communications engineering and emergency operations. A retired army colonel, she served 32 years in the U.S. military.
Carter holds a certificate in artificial intelligence strategy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in business with a specialization in homeland defense from Northcentral University, an M.S. in strategic studies from the US Army War College, and a B.S. in mathematics from Eastern Kentucky University.
She currently supports the Customs and Border Protection Agency using AI techniques to address significant law enforcement challenges. She previously supported the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in which she conducted AI Kaggle-style challenges, drawing in commercial AI experts.
A distinguished army career culminated with Col. Carter’s posting as deputy commander for 311th Signal Command. Additionally, she served as adjunct faculty for the U.S. Army Senior Service College, instructing and guiding over 1,700 senior U.S. and international military officers, civilians and interagency executive students.
Carter was the speaker at the College of STEM’s 2022 Annual Alumni Lecture Series, where she explored the nuances surrounding decisions made by humans relative to those made using artificial intelligence and artificial general intelligence. She reminded the students in attendance of the power of hard work, persistence and believing in oneself.
“I was told by one of my professors that I would not succeed in mathematics, and I should change my major to another subject. However, through hard work, persistence and believing in myself, I succeeded and went on to have a long and successful career involving artificial intelligence, cyber operations, communications engineering and emergency operations,” Carter said.
“The only ‘No’ that makes a difference are the ones we tell ourselves. You can accomplish anything that you are willing to work for,” Carter said.