National Society of Black Engineers 43rd Annual Convention Set for Kansas City, MO

Two years ago, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) set a bold, ambitious goal for itself: to lead the United States to graduate 10,000 new black engineers annually by 2025, up from 3,501 African-American engineering graduates in 2014. NSBE’s plan to achieve this goal requires the development of a stronger base for the organization and its members: a foundation composed of academic excellence, professional success and commitment to the advancement of African-American culture and community.

On March 29–April 2, 2017, at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo., NSBE will demonstrate and discuss the underpinnings of its plan to reach its “10K goal,” during the National Society of Black Engineers’ 43rd Annual Convention (#NSBE43). Attendance at the convention will exceed 10,000 aspiring and practicing engineers; educators; members of the Greater Kansas City community and representatives of more than 200 academic institutions, government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations. The theme of the event is “Engineering Your Foundation.”

Among the many highlights of the convention’s four-day agenda are high-profile speakers, panel discussions, 120 workshops, networking sessions, company tours, community engagement events, technical and scientific competitions, hands-on engineering and science activities and the premier career fair geared toward African Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). NSBE’s largest event, the Annual Convention showcases black students and professionals who have a passion for STEM, who are high achievers in these fields and who are channeling their dedication to advance their communities and society at large.

“At a time when our organization and the world around us are constantly in flux, we want to ensure our members and the black community have the foundational skills and aspirations to thrive in the international economy,” said Kendra A. Allen, chair of NSBE’s 2017 Annual Convention Planning Committee. “By providing professional development, personal enrichment and service to the community, we hope to inspire our attendees to move forward with a newfound enthusiasm in NSBE’s mission.”

“The Convention Planning Committee has done an excellent job of creating an event with broad appeal and broad social relevance,” said NSBE National Chair Matthew C. Nelson. “The work we will do and the information we will exchange in Kansas City will benefit the African-American community and the U.S. as a whole.”

In addition to events and activities geared toward undergraduates in engineering and other STEM fields, the NSBE Annual Convention includes three “mini-conferences” designed for the Society’s other membership demographics: the Pre-College Initiative (PCI) Conference, for elementary, middle and high school students; the Graduate School Conference (GSC) for current and prospective graduate students; and the Technical Professionals Conference (TPC) for practicing professionals. The TPC is coordinated by NSBE Professionals, the organization for technical professional members of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Richard Z. White is national chair of NSBE Professionals, “The Annual Convention will be the culmination of a year of breakthroughs for our organization,” White said. “The Technical Professionals Conference will feature our first-ever Chapter Leadership Luncheon as well as a number of other improvements to better engage our NSBE Professionals membership. We urge all STEM workers to get involved!”

“NSBE is grateful for the generous support provided by hundreds of corporate, government, academic, and other organizations to make our event possible,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention is proof that the future is bright for diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering in America.”

More information about NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention is available online at convention.nsbe.org. A small sample of newsworthy activities at NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention follows.

SAMPLE EVENTS
Career Fair Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31
Kansas City Convention Center
Participants: All –With more than 200 major employers and academic institutions exhibiting, the NSBE Annual Convention Career Fair offers unmatched opportunities for professional and educational development of attendees.

Executive Roundtables Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Participants: Professional – The Executive Roundtables, a signature program of the Technical Professionals Conference, provide premiere speaking opportunities for executive leaders to engage experienced technical and business professionals. This event features a facilitated discussion among vice president and higher senior-level executives covering select topics and critical issues. This year’s Executive Roundtable topics are as follows:

  • Diversity and Inclusion: Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce
  • Women in Leadership: Paths to the C-Suite – Insights from the Top
  • Technology and Innovation: Artificial Intelligence – Can It Go Too Far?
  • Career Advancement: Advancing Your Career with Social Networking
  • Global and Community Impact: Collective Impact – Making 10K by 2025 a Reality

Mr. and Miss #NSBE43 Pageant
Thursday, March 30, 8–10 p.m.
Kansas City Convention Center
Participants: All – Event to empower young, aspiring STEM professionals of NSBE. Participants will benefit from the opportunity to improve their public speaking, boost their self-confidence and promote academic excellence. Mr. and Miss. NSBE for 2017 will be crowned during the convention.

Innovations Lab
Friday, March 31, 7 a.m.–11 p.m.
Kansas City Convention Center
Participants: Pre-College – The Innovations Lab is an event with a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that will bring out the kid in all of us. This unique learning activity will inspire participants to become innovators and gain interest in a STEM field. The lab will showcase incredible projects and provide opportunities for hands-on learning.

Inside the Executive Suite Breakfast
Brought to You by TE Connectivity
Friday, March 31, 9–10:30 a.m.
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Participants: Professional, Corporate – This event features a one-on-one interview with a high-profile corporate executive, government official, nonprofit leader or celebrity figure with relevance to STEM.

CEO Spotlight
Friday, March 31, 2–3 p.m.
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Participants: All – Twitter Cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey leads “The Evolution of Twitter: Tweets for Change,”  a conversation on the history and future of the social media powerhouse. Joining the conversation will be key Twitter influencers Angela Rye, Jamilah Lemieux, April Reign, Johnetta (“Netta”) Elzie and Brittany Packnett to discuss how they use Tweets to drive change for communities and amplify their causes.

‘Dream Big: Engineering Our World’ Screening and Outreach Event
Friday, March 31, 6:15–11:15 p.m.
Cinetopia Theatre and Prairie Fire Museum, Overland Park, Kansas
Participants: All – “Dream Big,” directed by MacGillivray Freeman, is the first giant-screen film that seeks to inspire kids of diverse backgrounds to get involved in STEM, to become the innovators who will improve the lives of people across our entire planet as we move into the heart of the 21st century and beyond. NSBE, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Bechtel Corporation will team up to screen the movie at two locations.

NSBE Hackathon
Powered by Google, Inc.; Supported by Cox Automotive, Rockwell Collins and Two Sigma Friday, March 31, 8 p.m.–Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m.
Kansas City Convention Center
Participants: All – The Hackathon showcases the technical and design skills of NSBE members. This event gives participants the opportunity to bring new and innovative ideas to life by building a working prototype alongside industry professionals. This overnight, 18-hour event includes food, snacks, and caffeine to keep the hackers energized, as well as great prizes for the winners.

A Walk For Education Saturday, April 1, 9–11 a.m.
Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology
Participants: Collegiate – A Walk for Education (AWFE) is a grassroots program in which NSBE members go door to door in underserved black communities and hand out information on college application and enrollment, scholarships, SAT/ACT preparation tools, NSBE membership and the benefits of majoring in STEM fields. The goal of AWFE is to increase awareness of the opportunities available through education, particularly in STEM, and to shatter myths about African Americans studying and working in these fields

NSBE Golden Torch Awards Saturday, April 1, 7 p.m.
Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City Convention Center
Participants: All – Now celebrating their 20th year, the NSBE Golden Torch Awards are the highest honors given by the National Society of Black Engineers. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that exemplify NSBE’s ideals of academic excellence, professional success, and dedication to the advancement of the black community. Since their inception, the NSBE Golden Torch Awards have provided millions of dollars in scholarships for talented high school seniors.

SAMPLE WORKSHOPS
From Impostor to Influencer: Strategies to Get Your Seat at the Table 
Thursday, March 30, 1–2 p.m. Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Participants: Professional – This workshop, presented by NSBE’s Women in Science and Engineering Special Interest Group, will help reinforce the skills and techniques that women need to battle “the impostor syndrome” and consistently position themselves to be among the decision makers.

Hidden Figures No More: Women Leaders in STEM
Friday, March 31, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Participants: Collegiate, Graduate, Professional
This special presentation and panel discussion, led by NSBE’s Public Policy Special Interest Group, explores the impact women have made on STEM and the policies that support the advancement of women to leadership positions in industry, academia, and government.

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