It has been several years since then-President Barack Obama made improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), an education priority. In the ensuing period since Obama’s stated agenda, experts have said America would need to add one million more STEM professionals by 2022 to meet the nation’s evolving workforce needs.
There has also been an extensive call of action for African Americans to enter STEM fields and, arguably, no organization has done more than the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a nonprofit organization based whose mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
“The NSBE has helped introduce many youth to STEM through its NSBE Jr. program, Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) camp and it has helped many college student through their collegiate experiences by providing avenues for study groups, mentoring, personal and professional development, and leadership opportunities,” said NSBE Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter President William Redmond. “For professionals, it has provided an avenue to give back to help positively impact the community through volunteering, mentoring, and serving as role models for both pre-college and collegiate students.”
The Baltimore Chapter of NSBE was started in March 1989 as one of the first 10 NSBE Alumni chapters in the country. In June, the Metropolitan Area Chapter (NSBE-BMAC) announced its Legacy Achievement Award Honorees at a ceremony in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. The honorees are: Dr. James West, who has authored numerous journal and conference proceedings papers and holds over 250 patents; Earnestine Baker, executive director-Emerita of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Dr. Eugene M. DeLoatch, who served as the inaugural dean of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., School of Engineering at Morgan State University.
“The purpose of the event was to celebrate the chapter’s 30th Anniversary by providing special recognition through Pre-Collegiate and Collegiate Chapter Excellence Awards, the William Thomas Batten Jr. Leadership Award, and Legacy Achievement Awards,” Redmond said.
The president noted that the one bit of information that could easily be missed about the NSBE is that it provides a bevy of great resources.
“One of the best ways to get the most of the NSBE experience is being actively involved either as a leader in the organization whether its local, regional or national,” Redmond said. “The earlier that people get involved the better. I have been actively involved because it is my responsibility to give back and pay it forward to help bring along the next generation of engineers.
“In the process of doing so, some of my best personal experiences and career advancements can be directly attributed to my various leadership roles in NSBE.”
To learn more about the NSBE or for details on becoming a leader at NSBE, visit: www.nsbe.org.