NIU NSBE to host August leadership conference

Logo of the National Society of Black EngineersThe National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) is proud to host the 2013 Insight to the Regional Leadership Conference, a premier training program, Aug. 23 through 25 at the Holmes Student Center. Attending will be NSBE leaders from chapters across the Midwest.

The student-governed organization is dedicated to the success and leadership of African American engineering and technology students. NSBE groups across the nation are working to improve the composition of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education crisis.

By the year 2018, the United States of America will experience a shortfall of over 250,000 engineers. While 43 percent of students in college today are African American, Latino or Native American, only 15 percent of engineering careers are held by minorities.

NSBE hopes to tackle this crisis by first dealing with retention.

“If we can help young black men and women develop leadership skills, they will graduate prepared to meet 21st century challenges,” said Solomon Mason, the conference coordinator. “We urge them to study together, network, ask tough questions and seek help when needed.”

The members of NSBE will attend the three-day conference and gain life-changing leadership training and extensive skill-building expertise.

“Attending national conferences not only provides a valuable experience to our students but it also exposes them to role models and mentors ship opportunities enabling them to find mentors for success,” said Promod Vohra, advisor for the NIU-NSBE chapter and dean of CEET. “NIU graduates are well prepared and are quite competitive in their fields.”

The agenda for the event consists of NSBE parliamentary procedures, board management, membership retention, fundraising, public relations and program implementation. While the training workshops are beneficial for the NSBE society, the lessons can be applied in every day applications.

“This conference facilitates maximum benefit to our students” Vohra said. “Their interaction with their peers, leaders and businesses opens new doors of opportunities for them.”

“We are anticipating great things happening this year for us, and the goals that we have set will surely get us there,” Mason said.

Joshua Lazenby, current NIU NSBE president invites all students to attend the NSBE informational meeting at the beginning of this fall semester.

NIU NSBE’s big plans this year are to improve on the group’s strategic lead, organization and fundraising which will fulfill their ultimate goal of satisfying the NSBE mission to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

By Mary Jane Meisenheimer

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