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

Tuesday, April 22 2014

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 PhD 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 Scholar 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 Angles 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.