NSBE Gives Students Chance to See Themselves

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is a national student and professional based organization meant to provide a community for black and minority students in the STEM fields, especially engineering.

The university’s organization was restarted in fall of 2015 after going dark on campus.

“The purpose of bringing NSBE back was to ensure that minority STEM majors had a community in which they could express their identity and major simultaneously,” said NSBE president Aaron Townsend.

Townsend joined NSBE his freshman year and has been apart of the organization ever since. He did not see many people that looked like himself in any of his classes so he was pleased to see an organization with whom he identified with and could ask for help and advice in his major.

NSBE wants to provide a community and resources for anyone who wants them and is opened for any and all students on campus, no matter their major or ethnicity.

“I want to make sure that the campus knows that NSBE is not only for black students or engineers,” said Townsend. “Our unofficial motto is ‘You don’t have to be black or an engineer to be a part of NSBE.’”

Their goals are to provide opportunities for personal and professional success for people of color in engineering, and to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who, “excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.”

Members of this organization are encouraged to join and participate in their individual professional societies while providing general counseling to all members.

“A typical meeting for NSBE starts usually with a PowerPoint of some sort with a topic of discussion for the night,” said Brittany Woodson, treasurer of NSBE. “We try to keep it productive and fun, so we have study sessions; current events; icebreaker games; advice since most of us have taken the same classes; and much more.”

Through NSBE, minority engineers have people to relate to, and can find connections in the field through internships and, when the students graduate, a job.  

“To me, NSBE means that as a minority I am not alone,” said Townsend. “It allows students to be leaders while growing professionally. It allowed me to feel comfortable expressing multiple parts of my identity, while making connections with people in my field that understand my experiences.”

NSBE holds their meetings on Mondays at 7:30 P.M. in Maxcy 226.