INI Alumna Earns Black Engineer of the Year Award

March 04, 2013

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Excellence is "not an act but a habit," Aristotle once said, and INI alumna Marachel Knight (MS7) is one leader who emulates this notion. She was honored in February with the President's Award at the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), an annual tradition that recognizes innovators in technology, business and the broader community. The BEYA awards are organized by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other sponsors.

Marachel is a technology innovator and a dedicated executive at AT&T, where she has worked for 17 years. She earned U.S. Patent No. 8064876 for "Systems for Use with Multi-Number Cellular Devices" in 2011. Her invention makes an impact on mobile technologies by allowing a device to serve multiple purposes, such as business and personal uses. She has filed for two other patents that are pending.

At AT&T, Marachel is the Vice President of Program Management for strategic programs. Marachel previously served as Chief of Staff for the Senior Executive Vice President--AT&T Technology and Network Operations (ATNO).  AT&T boasts the nation's largest 4G network and maintains nearly one million miles of network fiber. An avid football fan, Marachel is particularly proud of the project work she led to install distributed antenna systems in stadiums and other high capacity venues, the largest being the equivalent of 200 cell towers.

In addition to her professional achievements, Marachel volunteers on the INI Alumni Leadership Council, which is an advisory board of about a dozen alumni selected from the department's 24-year history that provides guidance to the administration on achieving the INI's mission. Having earned her master's degree in information networking in 1996 through a Southwestern Bell Corporation (now AT&T) scholarship, Marachel's career at AT&T began upon her graduation from Carnegie Mellon.

"Marachel stands out as an achiever, a thinker, and someone who puts forth sincere care and effort to be involved," said INI Director Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis. "We are very proud to call her one of our own."

Explore this topic further. Read Marachel's story of professional perseverance in her own words on

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