Black engineers society encourages member success

Baylor's National Society of Black Engineers travelled to New Mexico to ride snowmobiles on their ski trip. Photo courtesy of National Society of Black Engineers

By Kassidy Tsikitas | Staff Writer

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is preparing to attend a national convention with other Black engineers to expand its opportunities for a new generation of young engineers in the field.

The national organization has over 600 chapters that come together once a year for a convention, and the 49th annual convention will be hosted in Kansas City, Mo., from March 22-26 this year.

Baylor’s chapter has reached its highest number of members this year, with around 40 members. As a whole, the national organization has over 24,000 active members.

San Antonio senior Kyra Rose said she keeps her role as president true to heart, as she works hard to keep everyone engaged in the activities for the semester.

Rose said being president of a niche organization is not easy, especially as a Black woman. She said she was the only Black woman in her Introduction to Engineering class.

“At first it was hard [but] now, I feel very empowered by it,” Rose said, “As the years went by and I got more involved in NSBE, [I] was able to draw out those Black females [and] was able to have a little group within my major.”

Rose also said she has grown as a person and was able to feel a sense of community every time she walked into the Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building.

“I’ve made it my mission to keep everyone together,” Rose said. “We are few and far between at Baylor, unfortunately.”

Auldynn Chambers, a junior from McKinney and vice president of Baylor’s chapter, said he hopes new members feel welcome once they enter the society.

“We want the new members to have a sense of belonging and know each other’s names. We started a tradition of having dinners … then we build a sense of comradery,” Chambers said.

Chambers also said he was looking for a community at Baylor because he was curious about being a Black engineer and wanted to surround himself with those who look like him.

“I was looking for people who were pursuing the same means as me and that looked like me,” Chambers said. “As I started to go to more meetings, I realized the community that NSBE offered.”

Flower Mound senior and programs chair Kaliyah Shearod said NSBE has connected local chapters with alumni in the field.

“We’re looking at people who were in our shoes and who look like us to tell us about their experience. We are able to see them in a positive way and pursue their passions,” Shearod said.

Shearod said when members study together, they pick each other up and want to show support and work together so everyone can achieve their goals.

“NSBE is an outreach; there are people that are looking out for you here. No one will judge you, if you’re struggling don’t be afraid to ask,” Shearod said.

This organization builds relationships with all people in the engineering world and tries to bring more representation of Black women and men to the engineering community.

“You’re never alone, you can struggle together and succeed together. Failure will happen and all you have to do is pick yourself back up,” Shearod said.