Thursday, April 17, 2014


Words cannot express how much NSBE has come to mean to me this year. Currently, I am treasurer and conference planning chair. It makes my life insane but I love it so much. The culmination of all that planning was at our NSBE conference.My chapter members were  troopers with all the changes in plans and travel time. 

My beautiful chapter - Penn State University Park
After 13 hours of riding in the bus, we arrived in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center. The conference center was gorgeous! So southern and charming! We checked in and waited to get all of our room keys.
While waiting, we explored a little through out the conference center. Look at that water! 

Afterwards, we freshened up after getting into our rooms.  We went to opening session, learned about how diversity is important and how elevators were optimized weight wise. We ate dinner and then went off to mingle with other NSBE chapters. Afterwards, we went to bed and had to be up early for our regional morning meetings. At the Thursday meeting, I did my speech for End Zone Coordinator and met some new chapter presidents.  WE all attended workshops and the career fair. Overall, it was an awesome first day of conference. We got ready for general session and got to hear from some interesting people at our conference. 

Thursday's featured speaker was Governor R. Musgrove. He was so funny and he really made my day. My favorite thing he talked about was being from a small town and how it instilled very good values in him. "Right words, wrong time" was one of my favorite anecdotes from him.  After a belly full of laughs, we left general session in a great mood. After a night full of laughs and new faces, we turned in to get up early again!

Here are pictures of my senators, the current president and me the conference planing chair talking before our Friday morning regional session. We always have such interesting discussions and we were also wishing Malik well because he ran for a regional position as well - Regional Vice Chair - basically vice president of one of the 6 regions in NSBE.  WE went to workshops, some of my chapter had interviews (!!!) and ate lunch with each other - developing relationships :] 

On Friday at General Session, Karla Bonzie spoke about how women and diversity impact leadership. I loved that she highlighted women have skills men do not realize and make very good leaders. One of my favorite slides from her presentation was one about skills that women have vs skills that great leaders have. More of the skills that great leaders have were in line with what women naturally tend to do. We are empathetic, practical, logical, thinkers on the large scope and can effectively use both halves of our brains simultaneously. The men in the audience didn't love that but I enjoyed hearing what she had to say.
Avery Williams is the Region II Chair emeritus and he went to Penn State. He just graduated in Aerospace Engineering and he really helped our chapter become a big name at Nationals. The picture above is of AW's cool tie-knot. He's just cool in general.

Above is a photo of our two-term National Chairperson Sossena Wood at Saturday Morning's 
General Session.. She is awesome! A PhD student at Pitt and changing the world in bio-medical engineering research. She is one of my hugest inspirations that you can do anything you put your mind to.  We all went to more workshops and then got ready for the Golden Torch Awards.

The Golden Torch Awards highlight technical and personal excellence within the members of our organization. It is a great honor to be chosen and it really inspires me every year to hear what they are doing in engineering. The options of engineers, especially black engineers are limitless and driven by your focus. Attending GTA always centers me to do well for the rest of the school year! Young guru, Jay-Z's producer came and spoke to us- it was a very motivational speech. BOB performed after to close out the award show.

Golden Torch Dress - a vintage dress from one of my old jobs and silver ruffly pumps!
Me and SK dressed up! - Look at her shoes!!!
We headed home after GTA and it was smooth sailing. Sleeping on the bus and laughing at all the silliness that occurred. Even though I did not get the position of End zone Coordinator, I am still furthering my role in NSBE. I love my chapter and I am proud to tell you all that I am serving as President next year! I cannot wait to impact our membership on a larger scale and really bring our chapter to a higher level.

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