Connecting with engineering peers and professionals is a key focus for the members of the newly formed chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), which met Nov. 30 in the Harry Reid Engineering Lab.
“Connections in NSBE are huge,” Engineering Dean Erick Jones, a longtime NSBE member and the chapter’s faculty advisor, said in his address to the group.
Jones also spoke of the national need for engineers, an issue backed by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information that about 188,000 openings in engineering and architecture occupations are projected annually from 2022 to 2032, due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupations permanently.
“Make sure you finish (your education),” Jones told the group of about a dozen students. “We need you.”
Group president Tyreis Gatson, who graduates in December with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and a job lined up with spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX in Los Angeles, closed out his term with a wrap-up of the club’s activities so far, including sending six members to the NSBE Fall Regional Conference Nov. 10-12 in San Jose, California. He also recognized the group’s leadership: vice president Benjamin Crutchfield, who will be the club’s next president; Royce Roque, secretary; Devin Marigny, treasurer; Rhode Aly Benjamin and Xzavier Gill, senator.
“I think if we keep going, we can make this much bigger,” Crutchfield said.
Founded in 1975, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology.
This new chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno, aligns with efforts within the College of Engineering to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Among other activities, the College’s DEI Committee this fall applied for and received membership into the GEM fellowship program. Formally known as the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, GEM offers opportunities for individuals to enter industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development. Member organizations are able to access a database of top national underrepresented minority talent in their efforts to recruit from that population.