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NSBE Hosts National Leadership Conference
July 6, 2018

More than 200 officers of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) gathered on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park recently for NSBE’s National Leadership Conference (NLC). Darryll J. Pines, Ph.D., dean of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, and NSBE National Chair Niasia T. Williams were among the featured speakers at the conference. Williams, 23, is a test engineer at Pratt & Whitney – a United Technologies company and a graduate student in STEM education at the University of Iowa.

NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” The college students who compose the Society’s National Executive Board have set an ambitious “10K goal” for NSBE in the U.S.: to lead the nation to increase its number of black bachelor’s degree recipients in engineering to 10,000 annually by 2025, up from only 3,501 in 2014.

The three-day working agenda of the NLC was designed to provide the attendees with training in strategic planning as well as operations, in areas such as budgeting, expense management, communications and public relations, recruitment, programs development and utilization of data and metrics. A Graduate School Fair at the conference presented the attendees with opportunities to obtain advanced degrees. Workshops covered topics related to the implementation of plans to reach NSBE’s 10K goal (“Executing the Vision”) as well as identification of roadblocks between NSBE and its goals, and ways to move past the obstacles (“Shaping the Problem”).

“Our goal was to have the 2018 NLC set the framework for developing successful leadership skills, which will be utilized throughout this NSBE term and beyond,” said Briana Wilson, NSBE’s National Leadership Conference chair. “The conference theme, ‘Connect. Collaborate. Cultivate.’, was the foundation of this year’s leadership and will help us keep our membership engaged and excited, push us closer to achieving our 10K goal and guide us as we work to fulfill NSBE’s mission.”

Wilson explains that “connect” referred to NSBE officers’ plans to return to the Society’s roots as a supportive NSBE family, by creating personal bonds within the leadership. “Collaborate” meant building on those connections to have the leaders work in sync across NSBE’s six regions. “Cultivate” was about using those connections and collaborations to take NSBE to new heights.

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