The National Society of Black Engineers was founded in 1975 at Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. They have over 18,000 members worldwide and their goal is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
NSBE’s McMaster chapter focuses on fostering a rich environment of mentors that are ready to assist students in STEM both academically and professionally, as well as helping the community by working with other clubs and organizations. Some of the events that NSBE has organized include weekly study sessions, movie nights and socials, coding interview tutorial sessions, and most recently, The Hunt, a professional development conference where students come to network with various companies, undergo mock interviews, and get their resumes critiqued. Despite the persistent challenges associated with attendance at virtual events, the NSBEMac team was able to have an amazing turnout with around 188 attendees at the event this year on February 6th.
This past year NSBEMac has been involved with the creation and development of the Black Boys Code Hamilton location program - an initiative where black youth in the community attend workshops conducted by NSBE exec members (and volunteers) on the weekends and are introduced to programming and circuiting.
McMaster recently announced The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) McMaster Chapter Entrance Award, a newly created scholarship that will be awarded annually to students entering the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University who are members of the Canadian Black community. The recipient(s) will also be offered a position on the NSBE McMaster Executive Team.
The Scholarship will be awarded to students who self-identify as Black students. The goal is to increase the number of Black students enrolling and graduating from McMaster University with an Engineering degree. The minimum award value is $2,500 for each recipient, and the decision to award the scholarship is based on the following criteria:
• Demonstrated leadership
• Recognized contribution to their community
Despite the progress made over the years, Black persons prove underrepresented in many areas of academia, including within the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. By celebrating the many exceptional student leaders in the Black community, NSBE hopes to inspire and encourage more Black students to apply to McMaster Engineering.
To learn more about this scholarship, check out: http://alumni.mcmaster.ca/s/1439/ifundmac/project.aspx?sid=1439&gid=1&pgid=10127&cid=18107&ecid=18107&crid=0&calpgid=3310&calcid=5366
Get Involved With NSBE
We reached out to Tawana Mphusu, who started off as a volunteer for The Hunt in 2018 and eventually became an executive member of NSBE from 2019-2020. During his time at NSBE, he told us that he particularly enjoyed helping other people, specifically minorities at MacEng, by providing them with opportunities to gain skills needed to progress in their careers- from social skills to technical ones. Tawana mentioned that NSBE is a great club to join for first year students that are looking for engagement opportunities within their community and looking to meet new people such as senior students in their programs. Tawana is now a 4th year student in Computer Engineering at Mac and he told us that he is always open to helping students in anything they need, from resume critiques to general advice on matters related to school and academics.
We also spoke to Mosana Abraha, the VP of NSBE at McMaster, about her experience with NSBE and why she joined the organization and this is what she had to say:
“When I came to McMaster I was the only black girl in my iBiomed class. I joined NSBEMac in 2nd year, in hopes of meeting more black engineering students at McMaster. In my first year, I was a general member and I attended monthly events and made a lot of new friends. This first year with NSBE ended with the NSBE Annual Convention in the U.S - this conference left me inspired as I met thousands of other students who looked just like me and were also pursuing engineering from across the world. Following this convention, I knew I wanted to be more involved with the NSBE McMaster chapter and was appointed an executive the next year. From then, I have now moved on to be the current Vice-President, and will be transitioning to the President role for the 2021-2022 Academic year.
NSBE aims to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, professionally and with their impact on the community. Anyone who wishes to serve their community and is committed to their own personal development (academically and professionally) is welcome to join NSBE. NSBE is open to all students from all backgrounds (the biggest misconception is that you have to be black which is a MYTH). If you wish to get involved check out our Instagram, Facebook,and LinkedIn @nsbemac. If you wish to join our email list and receive our monthly emails with reminders on what's going on, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Written by Rija Asif