A primary mission of the UMKC National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter is to encourage and promote STEM studies and careers to underrepresented minorities. Over the years, NSBE student chapter leaders have passed this torch so well that NSBE now sponsors and organizes several activities. Year-round NSBE holds sessions for high school students geared toward exposing them to the “fun in STEM studies” by building hovercraft models and rockets, exploring STEM concepts through experiential learning. In addition, sessions in ACT preparation, professionalism and public speaking are also provided and an annual youth minority engineering night is held in the spring. NSBE junior (high school students) joined our UMKC NSBE members at the NSBE national conference in March 27-31 in Indianapolis where they received mentoring and leadership training. Chapter enrichment activities for NSBE members include resume reviews, interview tactics and practice. NSBE members all agree that the opportunities for mentoring, community involvement and leadership training make NSBE an exceptional organization! To learn more about the NSBE mission, see the UMKC Today article “Engineering Students Promote Program” which features the experiences of current NSBE president DeJ’on Slaughter and vice-president George White. Sierra Shipley is NSBE’s president-elect.
Thirty minority high students and their guests attended a dinner presentation and tour at the School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) on May 8, 2012. The first annual National Society of Black Engineer (NSBE) Minority Engineering Night was hosted by SCE Dean Kevin Z. Truman, the KC Stem Alliance and the UMKC NSBE student chapter. NSBE officers – Innocent Awasom-Nsoh, 2012-2013 Senator; Tim Gitau, Past PCI Chair; Kingsley Kantanka, Past President; Cece Lamah, 2012-2013 co-PCI Chair; Justin Polson, 2012-2013 Program Chair; DeJon Slaughter, 2012-2013 President; and George White, 2012-2013 Vice President – were on hand to greet students and talk with them about choosing engineering as a career.
The event provided participants an opportunity to engage with and learn from successful minority engineering professionals and leaders. Guest speakers included Joe Davis, CEO of Custom Engineering; Tiffany Wheeler, Civil Engineer at Kansas City Power & Light; and Leo E. Morton, Chancellor of the University of Missouri Kansas City. All have engineering degrees! Kansas City school districts represented by student attendees included Center, Hickman Mills and Kansas City, KS. The Frontier School of Excellence won the prize for participation with 12 Frontier students and their guests attending. SCE looks forward to hosting the second annual NSBE Minority Engineering Night in 2013.
Continuing its tradition of outreach to our Kansas City K-12 community and promoting STEM studies, UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) actively supports and participates in FIRST Robotics goals and objectives. SCE’s Dean Kevin Truman was instrumental in the creation of the KC STEM Alliance, a collaborative regional network which includes PLTW and FIRST funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Currently as the KC STEM Alliance’s Board Chairman, Dean Truman is a passionate advocate and fund raiser for the KC STEM Alliance.
Dean Truman’s enthusiasm is matched by our SCE students including engineering students Tim Gitau, Clement Lumanyika, and Matthew Mohler who mentored three FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams as they prepared for the March 1 – March 3, 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition at Hale Arena in KC. The FRC’s practice field during the competition was manned by engineering student Ben Heaivilin who volunteered as the FRC Practice Field Coordinator. Ben was joined by volunteers Matthew Mohler and SCE staff member Debby Dilks. National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter officers and engineering students George White, Dejon Slaughter and Kingsley Kantanka visited with many FRC teams serving as FRC ambassadors. SCE Director of Student Affairs Whitney Molloy worked many long hours as a member of the Greater KC Regional Planning Committee for FIRST Robotics to help ensure the competition’s success. SCE is proud to join Kansas City teachers, parents and our educational and business engineering, technology and science communities in the support of STEM studies and STEM careers! [More photos can be viewed here.]