NSBE claims national award for first time

April 19, 2012


Staff Reporter


For the first time, Tech’s chapter of National Society of Black Engineers received the National Distinguished Chapter of the Year award during the 38th Annual NSBE Convention in Pittsburgh.


Tech’s chapter, established 27 years ago, received first place, beating 120 NSBE collegiate chapters nationwide.


Trevan Jenkins, a senior professional aviation major, said the award is one of the highest a collegiate chapter can receive.


“I was nervous, still in shock,” he said. “I couldn’t believe we actually won and received the award in front of 8,000 participants.”


The chapter won other awards, including the Retention Program Award, Region 5 Technical Out-Reach Community Help Chapter of the Year and Region 5 Chapter of the Year, which includes chapters from 10 states.


Jenkins said they received all those awards because of their outstanding performances on a variety of public service and student activities within the Tech community.


“Only University of Florida won the national award two times,” he said. “We want to win the award back to back, hopefully three times in a row.”


Jenkins said Tech’s chapter is dedicated to NSBE’s mission statement, which is to excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.


The chapter was also awarded cash prizes totaling $10,000, which they plan to use to improve NSBE programs and create new community service projects.


“Funds will be used for the promotion of a recycling program, retention study program, Walk for Education and an informal science fair for kids,” he said. “We are also planning to begin NSBE Juniors in Ruston High School.”


Kendall Belcher, a senior civil engineering major, said the chapter organized numerous projects, including the Walk for Education, a science fair at the Boys and Girls Club and recycling initiative programs.


“We have a small group, only 20-30 members, compared to some schools that have more than 100 members,” he said. “We really worked hard this year to put on our projects and proved we can do better than other colleges.”


The chapter is also initiating study-related help through various projects such as study sessions twice a week in Bogard Hall, said Michael Aromeh, a senior chemical engineering major.


“Volunteer students are helping others with science and engineering courses,” he said. “It is like the study capsule for those who need to improve their grade.”


Carrie Kelly, budget manager and executive administrative assistant at the College of Engineering and Science, said she is excited Tech’s chapter received NSBE’s highest award.


“They had committed so much time and effort in accomplishing NSBE’s mission,” she said. “They had set their goals to achieve the national award by recruiting new members and rendering community service while excelling academically.”


Belcher said Tech’s chapter will be extending its programs beyond the campus and will serve the community.


“This is just the stepping stone for better years to come,” he said. “There is nothing that can stop NSBE from doing better and achieving more awards in the future.”


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