UMKC Hosts National Society of Black Engineers Leadership Conference

Student leaders from all over the Midwest came to UMKC for the annual National Society of Black Engineers Regional Leadership Conference. Photo credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Student Leaders Network, Hone Leadership Skills

Student engineers from all over the Midwest traveled to the University of Missouri-Kansas City this month. The more than 100 students had one common goal: to lead their National Society of Black Engineers chapters more effectively.

By the end of the NSBE Regional Leadership Conference, student leaders like Sierra Shipley, UMKC mechanical engineering student and NSBE chapter president, walked away with better connections to Kansas City’s engineering companies, and a better understanding of what it means to be a leader.

“This regional leadership conference was extremely beneficial for me. I learned that great leaders know when to distribute the workload and when to take control of certain projects. Also, I have learned that every great leader is an even better listener. You must be able to take criticism and use it to further better yourself,” Shipley said.

The National Society of Black Engineers is a student-run non-profit organization that promotes minority engineering success. NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

This year’s conference drew participants from as far away as Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, and Texas A&M. Every year, the conference leaders aim to build the participants’ leadership skills and train the executive boards of each NSBE chapter.

Several local engineering companies like BNSF Railway, Cerner, Custom Engineering, and TSI Engineering participated in a corporate mixer with the students. Workshops led by regional student leaders, professional engineers and education professionals addressed ways to keep NSBE chapters efficient and productive.

“I feel as an engineering student the conference was a great way to experience the less technical side of things. It allowed me to understand the non-engineering aspects of how a team works,” said William Leverette, electrical and computer engineering student and NSBE pre-collegiate initiative chair.

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