DVIDS – News – Recognition of the impact of STEM education since 2007: Cantu named honorary Seabee

NAVFAC Southwest Environmental Restoration Manager Allison Cantu, was named an Honorary Seabee at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) National Joint Engineer Training Conference on May 14 in Orlando, FL.

“It was an incredible honor and a total surprise,” Cantu said. “I am so honored to be recognized for doing what I love. The rewards always outweigh the effort as I learn as much from the campers as they do. I benefited from an exceptional high school chemistry teacher who advanced my career in engineering and in turn motivated me to provide inspiration to the next generation of engineers.”

Cantu was recognized for her selfless dedication to leading the Navy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Construction Camps for SAME since 2007.

“Alison Cantu has been the camp director and driving force behind the SAME Navy Seabee STEM Camp for more than a decade,” said Rear Adm. (Ret.) Mark Handley. “Alison worked side by side with Seabees from the Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, California, fully embracing the Seabee ‘Can Do’ spirit and positively impacting hundreds of high school students, inspiring them to pursue STEM education. This program gave these students an appreciation for the careers of US Navy Seabees and military engineers. This is tremendous recognition for Alison for her selfless service and leadership. She exemplifies the Seabee Memorial inscription “With compassion for others…” that the Seabees are known for.”

The Chief of Civil Engineers of the Navy and the Chief of Staff of the Seabees award the title of honorary Seabee to individuals whose efforts have promoted the Seabee legacy and credibly reflect on the achievement of the overall Seabee and Navy missions.

Seabees are the Navy’s uniformed construction troops, born out of great need at a time of national peril after the US was stunned by the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. From the island hopping campaign of World War II, to the cold of Korea, to the jungles of Vietnam, the mud of Bosnia and Kosovo, the sands of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the mountains of Afghanistan and the oppressive heat of Iraq. the Seabees built bases, bulldozed and paved thousands of miles of roadways and runways, and accomplished a host of difficult construction projects. Seabees have fame, honor and prestige as an organization that “can deliver” even when faced with seemingly impossible obstacles.

SAME’s STEM Construction Camps offer high school students interested in a very unique STEM experience the opportunity to spend a week on a military base learning engineering, construction and design, while developing leadership skills and maximizing the potential of explore a career in STEM.
Led by SAME professionals and other volunteers from the military and engineering communities, for more than 20 years the SAME Camps program has focused on hands-on, project-based learning that provides hands-on opportunities to explore STEM fields and chart a course for future education and career opportunities.

SAME camps have an impressive track record of producing thousands of engineers and STEM leaders. They provide a rigorous experience for students interested in exploring STEM skills and careers. Throughout the week, campers will get a sense of what it takes to become a STEM professional and learn what options are available to explore that interest from high school to college and beyond. Each camp has a unique curriculum with hands-on activities conducted in a competitive environment that promote teamwork, leadership, project management and problem solving.

For more information about the Naval Construction Force, visit

For more news from the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, visit

Date of recording: 05-14-2024
Date posted: 20.05.2024 11:15
Story ID: 471719

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