Diversity in STE A M www.diversityinsteam.com
hroughout the COVID-19 era of crisis, disruption, transformation and opportunity, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has benefited from the outstanding leadership of the organization's member- ship and mission. Prominent among those leaders are three Renaissance women who are skillfully midwifing the rebirth of the organization as a go-to vehicle for Black community em- powerment, STEM equity and social justice. Founded 47 years ago, NSBE is a 15,000-member, interna- ional organization of STEM students and technical profes- sionals committed to ending the underrepresentation of African Americans in STEM and increas- ing the number of culturally responsible Blacks engineers worldwide. The last three years have seen the Society make significant progress toward the goals of its strategic plan, Game Change 2025, including its main strategic goal of partnering with U.S. colleges and universities to nearly triple the number of Black engineers the nation produces each year, from 3,501 in 2014 to 10,000 by 2025.
Making Progress Through Programs
At the heart of that progress are NSBE's programs, efforts led by the Societys chief of Programs & Membership, Rochelle L. Williams, PhD, since November 2019. Dr. Williams - a scientist, engineer, exec- utive and advocate for inclu- sive academic and workplace environments - came to NSBE with 11 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and higher education from the Association for Women in Science; ABET; the National Academy of Engi- neering; and Prairie View A&M University'siceoftheSenior
Game Change 2025: The New NSBE
Vice President and Provost, Aca- demic Affairs. A proud exemplar of historically Black college and university excellence, Williams has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Spelman College, a Master of Engineering from Southern University and A&M College and a doctorate from Southern in science and mathe-
I've built my career with one goal in mind: to change the world one woman and Black engineer at a time, unapologetically."
- NSBE Chief of Programs & Membership, Rochelle L. Williams, PhD
matics education. Williams has a wide purview asNSBE'schiefprogramsicer, but her influence on STEM extends beyond that through her work, such as co-authoring a report published in April 2021 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Med- icine (NASEM) on, The Impact of COVID-19 on Collaboration, Mentorship and Sponsorship, and the Role of Networks and Professional Organizations. The paper was part of an intensive study built on the information and data provided in another NASEM report, Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in STEM. I've built my career with one goal in mind: to change the world one woman and Black engineer at a time, unapologeti- cally, says Williams.
Prodigious Talent, Nurtured by NSBE
High on Williams list of du- ies is serving as both colleague and mentor for NSBEs student leadership. Since May 1, 2021, Favour Nerrise , now a second- year PhD student in electrical engineering at Stanford Uni- versity, has led NSBE as chair of the Society's National Executive Board. A member of NSBE since she joined the Society's NSBE Jr. Youth program when she was 10, Nerrise credits that experi- ence with nurturing her techni- cal and leadership skills, as her aspiration to be a brain surgeon evolved to her current work: re- searching cu@ing-edge machine learning techniques to address diseases and a wide range of other critical challenges. Nerrise, a world traveler who speaks five languages, earned bachelors degrees in computer engineering and mathematics at the University of Maryland, Col- lege Park. At Stanford, despite her full load with academics and with NSBE, she is all-in as a campus leader, serving in a number of other leadership positions, as a peer academic coach and as a teacher of STEM concepts to K-12+ students. As NSBE's national chair, Nerrise brings passion to thePrevious Page