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NSBE chapter receives accolades at regional conference

Mizzou NSBE members pose for a group photo with their award.

Mizzou’s National Society of Black Engineers chapter was named the Most Outstanding Chapter in the MO Zone, which encompasses Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, while chapter vice president Walta Abraham was named the Region V Most Professional Collegiate Member. Photo courtesy of Mizzou NSBE.

The University of Missouri chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) recently attended the NSBE Region V Fall Conference in Houston and came away with not just a quality experience, but also some impressive accolades.

Mizzou’s NSBE chapter was named the Most Outstanding Chapter in the MO Zone, which encompasses Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, while chapter vice president Walta Abraham was named the Region V Most Professional Collegiate Member. Region V includes Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Mexico, Central America, South Africa and the Dominican Republic.

“Two years back, our chapter was actually the No. 1 chapter in the region,” Mizzou NSBE president Christopher Trunell said. “I honestly believe the chapter has the ability to get to that level again, if not even higher. I’m definitely proud of the work the chapter has put in up to this point.”

Earning recognition as a top chapter at any level requires success in three major areas — academics, community outreach and professional development. The Mizzou NSBE chapter placed an emphasis on study halls, holding them five days a week and pairing students with similar course loads, to help ensure academic growth. Additionally, the organization provided information sessions and events to aid in such areas as job interviews, presentation skills, LinkedIn workshops, resume building and other professional development necessities. They also pushed for an increase in applications for internships and prepared members for the College of Engineering Career Fairs.

In the community relations arena, NSBE members tutor local students in math through St. Luke the Evangelist Church, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and additional engineering workshops for local youth.

A total of 18 students attended the conference, and Trunell said the Mizzou chapter was heavily involved in attending workshops, making presentations and attending the conference’s career fair. Abraham, a civil engineering major, and bioengineering senior Briana Wilson also participated and presented at events for NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative, which seeks to build interest in STEM education in pre-college students.

“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just being impacted at the conference; we wanted to make sure we had impact at the conference, too,” Trunell said.