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.
UMKC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team, an interdisciplinary team with students from several UMKC School’s including the School of Computing and Engineering (SCE), achieved a level of success at the Chicago Regional Competitions never before experienced. For the first time, ever UMKC received the 2012 All Star Team Award. It was presented to UMKC SIFE advisor Cary Clark, by esteemed faculty at the Sam Walton Fellow Luncheon. Only one team from each of the eleven Regional Competitions across the country received this award. To sum it up, this means that the UMKC SIFE team was recognized as the Top Team at this Regional Competition. Cary Clark was almost speechless as the envelope was opened and the announcement was made, just like the Oscars. The team received a standing ovation from the faculty members of over 70 teams in attendance. UMKC SIFE was named the tournament’s best team, over well-known schools like Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loyola Chicago, and the University of Illinois-Champagne Urbana. SIFE student team members attended a separate luncheon at which they ate and conversed with executives representing several U.S. top 500 companies. This gave them a rare opportunity to get career advice directly from executives at companies where they someday might like to work and have a career.
The UMKC SIFE Team, by earning Regional Champion of their league (League 7), will now go on to the National Competitions in Kansas City on May 22, 23 & 24. In addition to winning their league and the Top Team at the Regional Competition award, the team received the Club 44 Award for the second consecutive year. The award recognizes that UMKC SIFE is one of the largest teams in the U.S. The team also received the 4.0 Club Award. This award is a result of an intensive evaluation on numerous topics such as team accomplishment, the number of successful projects completed, impact in the community, the recognition received from the community, and the support that the team receives from its faculty and administration. In the past UMKC SIFE has received scores averaging 3.5, which is excellent. However a 4.0 is much more prestigious and coincidentally placed us in the top 4% of teams in the U.S.
Please join SCE in congratulating this exceptional group of students, especially our SCE team participants Kingsley Kantanka, Innocent Nsoh-Awasom and Ravi Patel. They have brought national attention to UMKC and they have demonstrated that UMKC creates academic excellence. For more information on SIFE, please contact Cary Clark at email@example.com.
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.]