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Mizzou NSBE members

Members of the Mizzou NSBE chapter gathered for a group photo at the Region 5 Fall Conference in St. Louis last month.

The Mizzou chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) continued to garner accolades at the Region 5 Fall Conference in St. Louis Oct. 24-27. For the fifth year in a row, the Mizzou NSBE chapter was selected as the ‘Missouri Zone Most Outstanding Chapter,’ encompassing Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

“It takes a team to win an award that large,” says Mizzou NSBE president Danae Nash of St. Louis. “If we don’t act as a team we cannot be as successful as we are because NSBE does a lot.”

Barrier, Nash, Monconduit

Mizzou NSBE President Danae Nash (center) was named ‘Most Outstanding President’ at the Region 5 Fall Conference. She is joined by Bionka Barrier (left) and Region 5 Chair Monica Monconduit.

Nash, a senior majoring in information technology in the College of Engineering, also was honored at the Region 5 Fall Conference, being named ‘Most Outstanding President’ by her peers. Nash, who serves as public relations chair for the regional board, was recording the announcement on her phone when she realized she was the person being described as the winner.

“It meant everything to me when I received that award because I am my biggest critic and I always feel like I need to be doing more,” she says.

DeAndre’ Taylor, a junior majoring in information technology from St. Louis, was named the ‘Most Outstanding Chapter Executive Board Member.’ Nash says she cannot think of anyone more deserving of the award because Taylor has taken on three different positions on the Mizzou NSBE executive board: telecommunications chair, public relations chair and pre-collegiate initiative chair. “I don’t know what we would do without him,” she says.

In addition to being named the Missouri Zone Most Outstanding Chapter, the Mizzou NSBE team also won the t-shirt competition, raising more than $1,400 in t-shirt sales for their chapter.

Nash says the Region 5 Fall Conference was part family reunion, part professional workshop. The theme of the conference was ‘Engineering the Revolution” and members could participate in an academic tech bowl, debate teams, an elevator pitch competition and a technical research exhibition. Nash says workshops were offered to help students in their academic and professional careers, including networking opportunities with national board members. The conference also featured a career fair, and Nash says several Mizzou students had interviews with industry representatives or made connections that could lead to internships.

Barrier, Whitehead, Jones, Monconduit

Bionka Barrier (left) and Monica Monconduit pose with Mizzou NSBE members Andrew Whitehead and Ronell Jones. The Mizzou NSBE chapter was named ‘Missouri Zone Most Outstanding Chapter’ at the fall conference.

Another part of the conference Nash highlighted was the Technical Outreach Community Help (TORCH) festival, in which NSBE students did science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects with young people from the St. Louis area.

“It’s fun to ask them if they think I could be an engineer, because a lot of them look at me and say ‘No,” but I tell them they could be engineers too if that’s what their hearts desire,” Nash says. “I tell them they will have a support system at Mizzou and we’ll give them the tools to succeed.”

Nash says Mizzou NSBE members are gearing up for the 2020 National Convention, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas March 25-29. More than 14,000 aspiring and practicing engineers, educators and representatives of more than 250 academic institutions, government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations are expected to attend the NSBE National Convention next spring.

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