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University of Idaho NSBE Chapter continues to lead at National and Regional Conferences

By Stephanie Thomas

Nashville, known mostly for honky-tonks and as the epicenter of the country music industry, now may well be known as the location where Idaho NSBE amazed the competition at the 40th annual National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) conference. NSBE’s theme this year, “NSBE40: Engineering and Leadership in Harmony,” epitomizes the Idaho chapter’s success and efforts since 2007.  

With ten Idaho students in attendance, the group received three highly coveted awards this year. The first is for the “Highest GPA Award for 2013-2014,” which is presented to the chapter with the highest average (3.78) in the USA from over 200 collegiate NSBE chapters and the second for having the “Most Active Chapter of the Year.” Last, but not least, Idaho received the Chapter Relief Award” by NSBE Region VI for outstanding contributions toward innovative programming ideas that support region and national directives coupled with the NSBE mission statement, “To increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

Idaho NSBE students excelled individually as well.   Ebenezer Jones-Mensah, a Ph.D. student in Chemistry, finished First Place in the Oral Section of the Technical Research Exhibition (TRE) for his presentation-- A New Strategy for the Syntheses of Aryl Methyl. TRE is designed to showcase skills in technical writing, theoretical research, and oral presentation. Additionally, Jones-Mensah was awarded the Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholarship for showing great achievement in the academic arena and dedicated service to the NSBE and the University of Idaho community. Isaiah Owusu, also in Chemistry, took home a NSBE Graduate Student Scholarship. Three more participants secured internships and/or job offers during the career fair.

The national conference follows Idaho NSBE’s grand dominance at the Regional Conference in Los Angeles November 14-17 when Idaho students swept the TRE category.  First place went to Civil Engineering doctoral student, Sherief Elbassouni; second place was awarded to Shrikant Bhise (senior Mechanical Engineering major); and third place went to Hemraj Shahi, an Electrical Engineering doctoral student.

See the impressive list of National NSBE accomplishments over the years in the right-hand column.


2007 Alumni Technical Extension Solutions Award
Edward J William II
2009 Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year
Edward J William II
2009 Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar
Rachel M. Bonas
2011 Graduate Student of the Year
Maziar Rostamian
2011 Alumni Technical Extension Award
Maziar Rostamian
2012 Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar
Dennis Oriero
2012 NSBE Major Scholar & Second Place Poster
Shams Arifeen 

2013 Graduate Student Scholarships
Charles Nwamba

2013 Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar
Triratna Shrestha

“Highest GPA Award 2013-2014” having the highest average GPA in USA among over 200 collegiate NSBE chapters with an average GPA of 3.78 
“Most Active Chapter 2013-2014” among over 200 collegiate NSBE chapters in USA
“Chapter Relief Award” by NSBE Region VI for outstanding contributions

2014 1st Place Oral Presentation category in Technical Research Exhibition (TRE)
Ebenezer Jones-Mensah

2014 NSBE Graduate Student Scholarship
Isaiah Owusu

2014 Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar
Ebenezer Jones-Mensah