NSBE chapter officers elected, appointed to regional leadership board
Three University of Missouri College of Engineering students who are members of the College’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will have the chance to enhance their leadership skills after securing positions on NSBE’s Region 5 student board.
A junior in bioengineering, Dekonti Davies is this year’s Mizzou NSBE president. She attended the NSBE42 conference in Boston this year where was elected NSBE Region 5 Pre-College Initiatives (PCI) chair. She is familiar with the NSBE PCI program, having been a pupil herself.
“Prior to the national convention, the applications were available online,” she said. She delivered a speech and sat for a question-and-answer session before NSBE student chapter senators – voting representatives from all student chapters in a region – voted her the upcoming year’s PCI chair.
As the Region 5 PCI chair, Davies will be responsible for overseeing the organization of the Regional Junior Executive Board, which is made up of high school students interested in pursing engineering in college. She will create programs structured to help students succeed academically and prepare themselves for college. This includes getting students hands-on experiences to learn what it’s like to be an engineering student.
“That way they have an idea of what they want to do in college,” she said.
She also hopes to start a mentoring program and pipeline program that will check-in with past PCI students currently in college to see if they require any further mentoring or assistance.
“I’ve always wanted to be on the leadership board,” Davies said. “Last, year I was [Mizzou NSBE’s] PCI chair. My ultimate goal is to serve as a national chair for the organization.
“This will definitely strengthen my leadership skills, but it also will help me with my people, organization and planning skills. I see this as a way to turn my own weaknesses into my strengths.”
Information technology sophomore Anthony Greer was appointed the NSBE Region 5 public relations chair. He is familiar with with position because he serves as one of Mizzou NSBE’s PR & publications chairs. He applied for the open position after the national conference and was later appointed.
“I’ve grown to love giving information to students,” Greer said.
Greer’s job will be to communicate messages between the regional executive board and chapters in the region as well as messages among the chapters. He also will serve as the region’s spokesperson.
“I have a solid understanding of the NSBE mission, but I want to grow on that,” Greer said, adding that he wants to continue to network and meet new people. “I have so many business cards. I want to keep that going.”
Mizzou NSBE’s mentorship chair, Marlon Taylor, is a junior studying industrial engineering. He was appointed the NSBE Region 5 telecommunications chair. Like Greer, Taylor was not appointed to his position until after the conference.
“I started doing research on the open positions,” he said. Upon learning the position required web design and editing skills, Taylor said he thought the position would enable him to develop more professional skills.
“Web skills are good skills to have in this day and age,” he said.
As the region’s telecommunications chair, Taylor will be responsible for maintaining the interface of NSBE Region 5’s digital presence, primarily through its website. In addition to making updates to deadlines and content on the region’s website, he will work closely with Greer to digitally communicate messages generated for public relations purposes.
Taylor said he has ideas for projects he wants to start on the region’s website while continuing his involvement with Mizzou’s NSBE chapter.
“I’m ready for the challenge,” he said.
What he’s most looking forward to is Mizzou NSBE growing as an organization.
“When some people hear about leadership roles, they think its about being the boss, but it’s really about learning to work with people,” Taylor said. “This is practice for a career — looking forward and focusing on the bigger project.
“You’re also getting lifelong friends.”