Bettie Kathryn Grant, Class of 1976

  • bk The 2017 Distinguished Alumnus honoree is 1976 Maclay graduate Bettie Kathryn (B.K.) Grant.  B.K. was a member of Maclay’s state championship basketball team as well as a member of the softball team, Anchor Club, and was selected a Key Club Sweetheart. After graduating Maclay, she attended Clemson University where she earned her degree in Forest Management. 

    B.K.’s career has encompassed more than 35 years of science and technical operations support in Alaska, Central and South America, and Antarctica.  B.K. worked for the United States Forest Service in Petersburg, Alaska from 1980-1986   B.K. first deployed to Antarctica in 1990 to work for the logistics contractor to the National Science Foundation (NSF).  In 1991, B.K. took a position at Amundsen-Scott South Pole station and within 3 years moved into oversight of satellite communications and operations at the station, operated by NSF. In 2002, she became the Area Director of the South Pole Station overseeing the operations, management, and coordination of over 250 personnel, working with NSF, United States Air Force, research universities, subcontractors, and others.  Through her leadership, the South Pole staff completed successful Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) projects, including The South Pole Station Modernization project valued at $168M, and IceCube Neutrino Detector Array, valued at $270M. She also coordinated the first mid-winter medical emergency evacuation from the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station in 1999. 

    BK’s Antarctic career has spanned several contractors, including Antarctic Support Associates, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Leidos. BK is currently the Deputy Project Director for the Leidos Antarctic Support Contract responsible for operation of NSF’s three permanent research facilities, two research vessels and oversight of up to 750 Leidos and subcontractor staff.  Leidos provides scientific, engineering, systems integration, and technical services for the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, NSA, NSF and other civil agencies.

    B.K.’s professional reputation exemplifies her amazing talent to lead multiple agencies, complex logistics, operations and maintenance, and manage staff in harsh, 24 x 7 work environment. She has repeatedly shown her significant capability for leadership and displays an established operational and management approach that promotes integration of diverse entities to achieve desired results.

    B.K. has received many NSF Outstanding Service and Dedication Awards, Employee Morale Support awards, and has received several Lockheed Martin Best of the Best awards, including the NOVA award B.K. has made 25 deployments to the Antarctic and the South Pole over her career.  B.K. was recognized in 2002 by having a geographical feature named after her.  Grant Valley is located in the Darwin Mountains of Antarctica and honors B.K.’s many years of work and dedication to the support of science on the continent.