National Society of Black Engineers | Wikipedia audio article


The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE),
was founded in 1975 Purdue University located in West Lafayette, Indiana by six undergraduates
and a faculty advisor. It is one of the largest student-run organizations
in the United States, with core activities centered on improving the recruitment and
retention of Black and other minority engineers, in both academe and industry. NSBE is an organization that provides opportunities
for personal and professional success, and remains unmatched by any other organization
to date.NSBE has more than 30,000 members worldwide, with 2,000 elected leadership positions,
18 regional conferences, an annual international conference, and an annual national convention. Since its inception over forty years ago,
NSBE has grown to include approximately 310 collegiate student chapters, 99 pre-college
programs, and 88 professional chapters with their 6,000 technical members. A professional staff operates NSBE’s World
Headquarters in Virginia. In addition, NSBE has a number of corporate
partners and affiliations that facilitate its mission and primary directives, which
are essentially engineering excellence and community service. NSBE’s Board of Corporate Affiliates (BCA)
are businesses interested in diversity, and include companies like Chevron Corporation,
Boeing, General Motors, Dow, IBM, United Technologies, Dell, all branches of the American Military,
DuPont, 3M, Toyota, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, and many other note-worthy
industries. With its corporate partners, dedicated students
and professionals, NSBE has accomplished more for Black engineering students and working
engineers than any other organization in the world. One notable member of this organization is
Victor J. Glover. (Astronaut)==History==
When Anthony Harris was an undergraduate student studying engineering at Purdue University
in West Lafayette, Indiana, he became aware of the alarming attrition rate by minorities,
as early as their sophomore year. Determined to fix the leaky pipeline of Black
students from freshmen year through graduation and beyond, Harris approached the university’s
administration about establishing a minority mentoring/networking society in 1971. There was quite a bit of initial resistance,
but finally a fledgling Black Society of Engineers (BSE) was founded in 1975 by John Logan, Edward
Coleman, George Smith, Stanley Kirtley, Brian Harris, and Anthony Harris (nicknamed ‘The
Chicago Six’), along with their designated faculty advisor, Arthur Bond. Anthony Harris proposed that the group change
its name to the Society of Black Engineers (SBE) in 1976. In that first year, the organization had grown
to 32 schools and 48 students from around the country, all of whom were in attendance
at the first National Conference. There were six critical motions that were
passed at this 1976 conference: The National Symbol was chosen
A rough draft of the National Constitution was written
The organization was divided into six geographic regions
The first National Chairperson, John Carson, was officially elected
The organization was renamed the Society of Black Engineers (SBE)
Purdue became the first National HeadquartersAlso in 1976, SBE was incorporated as a nonprofit
organization in Austin, Texas, and became recognized as a tax-exempt organization
under the Internal Revenue Code. In 1978, SBE gained national exposure by participating
in the National Academy of Science conference on “Minorities in Engineering”. In 1982, the second National Headquarters
was established in Washington, D.C.; a building in Alexandria, Virginia was purchased in 1987
to house the rapidly growing organization. In 1997, SBE had become a significant presence
in engineering whereby it was the first minority organization to serve as lead sponsor for
National Engineers Week, a premier industry event. The theme then was “Engineers Make a World
of Difference”, and this distinction for SBE was one of its many milestones. The society changed its name to the National
Society of Black Engineers in the year 2000. NSBE’s growth continues as the organization
has grown to include dozens of international chapters. Today, nearly 20% of NSBE members reside outside
the United States and Canada. A larger building in Alexandria was purchased
in 2005, and is the current World Headquarters, as opposed to the former National Headquarters.==Mission==
NSBE’s primary mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers
who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.” NSBE offers its members leadership training,
professional development, mentoring opportunities, career placement services and more. It is NSBE’s goal to expand its mission and
vision to as many countries around the world as possible, thereby creating a global network
of Black engineers, scientists and technologists that support each other, and the cultures
they impact. NSBE also has recently started a campaign
that its sole purpose is to graduate 10,000 Black Engineers annually by the year 2025
(Graduate10K.nsbe.org).==Brand logo==
NSBE’s logo is a modification of the Purdue University SBE logo designed by George Smith. Smith, one of the original NSBE founders,
first created the logo in 1974 for the Society of Black Engineers letterhead. To get ideas for an SBE symbol, Smith looked
at the logos on the corporate recruiting brochures in his desk drawer. The “Torch” idea came from the Amoco logo,
the “Lightning Bolts” were inspired by the Zenith logo, and George chose the SBE capital
letter initials after looking at the RCA logo. George Smith’s first childhood ambition was
to become an artist, while he never pursued a professional art career, his distinctive
design continues to be a globally recognized symbol. George was the Chairman of the Society of
Black Engineers’ Publications Committee. He was also the “cover page artist” for the
initial SBE publications. His drawing of the Torch and Lightning Bolts
were prominently displayed on the cover of the 1st SBE Cornerstone news magazine which
was published in late November 1974. The torch’s green “N” was added in 1976 when
the society went national; the red flame symbolizes members’ everlasting “burning desire” to achieve
success in a competitive society, wherein one must positively affect the quality of
life for all people; the yellow lightning bolts represent the striking impact felt by
the societies/industries benefitting from member service and intervention.==Structure and governance==
NSBE was incorporated in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is owned and
managed by its members. The organization is dedicated to academic
and professional success, but more so, the significance of Black engineering students
and professionals around the world. NSBE has a dual structure consisting of a
national executive board of graduate/undergraduate students, and a professional executive board
of career engineers. NSBE has a national advisory board, and is
operated by a professional staff of 30 located at their World Headquarters in Alexandria,
Virginia. NSBE is divided into six geographical regions,
each operating under the auspices of the parent organization, but with their unique objectives
and finances for the year. Each of these regions has a number of student
chapters, with governing and leadership personnel who report back to headquarters. The regions each have annually elected members
of a regional executive board, with individual senators and professional advisors, all of
whom convene yearly at their six regional conferences. Each region has varying numbers of student
chapters, each with a mandatory minimum of ten members, with their own unique culture,
songs, and slogans. Competitive inter-regional rivalries are key
to driving NSBE’s program participation, community service, and academic scholarship.==International expansion==
In 1992, NSBE broadened the scope of its activities to include chapters and programs outside of
the USA, and established its first international chapter in London, England; the first international
summit was held at the newly designated World Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1998, NSBE held the first international
conference in Ghana, West Africa, and the first international annual convention was
held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2010. That same year, NSBE was instrumental in facilitating
28 minority students from St. Lucia matriculating and excelling in baccalaureate engineering
programs at several Illinois universities. NSBE now supports engineering students at
dozens of international universities, and offers career development to minority engineers
globally. NSBE directives mandate that the same light
that flows from the trademark NSBE torch to students and professionals in the United States
is also relevant for engineering students in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, Canada,
Australia and the Caribbean. Therefore, the organization is committed to
its international outreach activities, and vigorously supports its chapters around the
world. NSBE is committed to more than just academic
success abroad, and emphasizes community service as well. In 2013, NSBE officials visited a village
in Ghana and assisted engineers there in the design and construction of a superior fresh
water pump. With the generous assistance from its BCA,
the organizations provides financial support in the form of grants for engineering projects
and programs around the world.==Annual Conventions==
NSBE sponsors an annual meeting of 12,000+ attendees, where registered members can avail
themselves of professional education courses, personal development seminars, engineering
workshops, job fairs, career strategies, motivational speakers, entertainment, and much more. Their largest convention to date was held
in 2018, in Pittsburgh, PA [Region II], where they registered over 13,000 attendees. These conventions address/impact the state
of engineering, the status of Black engineers in the USA and abroad, emergent technology,
industry, and solidarity, all within the particular annual theme determined by the Convention
Planning Committee (CPC) Chairs. Every year, thousands of representatives from
colleges and universities, NSBE corporate partners, and non-BCA companies alike are
in attendance to support, interview, educate, and/or recruit prospective students, new graduates,
and technical experts. The keynote speakers are engineering luminaries
from academe, government, and industry, who discuss their own illustrious career paths
and advise members as to pitfalls along the way. Past convention keynoters have included the
Honorable Shirley Chisholm, Dick Gregory, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Kwesi Mfume, and Roland
Martin.==Recognitions, scholarships, and awards
==NSBE recognizes distinguished achievement
and community service in the fields of engineering via the prized Golden T.O.R.C.H. (Technical OutReach and Community Help) Award,
which is presented at each annual convention. These awards are endowed through the society,
while the student awards are in the form of academic scholarships, which are presented
by a number of industries and foundations. Annual scholarship awards are also presented
at convention, and range from $500 to $10,500 following a rigorous application process. It is a matter of pride and distinction for
each region’s chapters to receive a majority of the scholarship awards. In addition to the T.O.R.C.H. and scholarships,
NSBE offers cash awards of up to $7,500, acknowledging the highest achieving members in different
categories such as lifelong service, technological prowess, academic performance, and entreprenauship. Each of these awardees also receives a GTA
(Golden T.O.R.C.H. Award), which is sometimes more valued than
the cash prize.==Programs and Events==
Career Fairs National Leadership Institute
Graduate School Fairs Technical Research Projects
Academic Competitions Scholarships
Retention Program Technical Competitions
Awards and Prizes Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK)SEEK
is a program geared toward providing a summer camp that focuses on STEM curriculum and competitions,
lead by NSBE collegiate and professional members that partake in STEM academia.NSBEpreneur
GPA Initiative Technical Professionals Programs
Special Interest Groups==
Publications==NSBE publishes three magazines for its membership: NSBE Magazine, its award-winning, flagship
publication that offers feature articles of interest to engineering college students,
faculty, and technical experts. Bridge Magazine, marketed toward a pre-collegiate,
younger audience to pique their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and
mathematics). Career Engineer, which offers the latest industry
news, cutting-edge technology, and strategies for work-life balance.==The National Chairs====See also==
Engineering Glossary of engineering
Purdue University College of Engineering National Organization for the Professional
Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers American Indian Science and Engineering Society
Society of Women Engineers

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