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Sixteen Warriors earn valuable experience at NSBE Fall Regional Conference

November 29, 2022
NSBE award winners at the 2022 regional conference

From left to right: Will Owens, Alejando Munoz, Jacob Ritchie, advisor Dr. Susan McGrade, Cameron Chandler, Jordyn Hartfield, Darrell Martin, Kersen Trim, Olaide Olapade.

Sixteen members of Indiana Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) represented the university well at the NSBE Fall Regional Conference, which was held in Indianapolis Nov. 18 through 20. Here is a summary of the awards and experiences these students earned from being a part of this event.

  • Darrell Martin, Jacob Ritchie, Kersen Trim, Alejandro Munoz, Cameron Chandler and Will Owens comprised the Indiana Tech team that took third place in the Academic Technical Bowl (STEM Jeopardy) Competition. The University of Michigan finished first, followed by the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.
  • Jordyn Hartfield was named Regional Member of the Year.
  • Olaide Olapade was named Regional Academic Member of the Year.
  • Jerry Walker served as telecommunications chair for the NSBE Regional Board, which was instrumental in organizing and delivering a top-rate experience for all attendees.
  • Dr. Susan McGrade was awarded the Regional Collegiate Advisor of the Year Award.
  • Students earned 10 interviews during the on-site career fair; five students received offers for internships or jobs.
  • Students attended over 40 professional development and leadership workshops during the conference.
From Left to Right:Alumni and NSBE Professional Desmond Jones, and Seniors Jordyn Hartfield, Jacob Ritchie, Olaide Olapade, Darrell Martin, and Tanya Chiwara.

From left to right: Alumni and NSBE professional Desmond Jones, and seniors Jordyn Hartfield, Jacob Ritchie, Olaide Olapade, Darrell Martin, Tanya Chiwara and Kersen Trim.

Indiana Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) was founded in 2006 to provide a supportive community for Black engineering students so that they stay in school and graduate. Since then, it has become one of Indiana Tech’s most active student organizations on campus.

Most importantly, it is achieving its goal of retaining students. In 2016, Dr. McGrade and Dr. Monique (Anderson) Ross, the academic advisor for Indiana Tech’s first NSBE chapter, did a research study on the chapter for a presentation at the American Society of Engineering Education conference. Their study showed that 82 percent of Black engineering students who were NSBE members graduated within six years, compared to only 7.7 percent of Black engineering students who were not NSBE members. Six years since their study, Dr. McGrade feels NSBE has the same impact at Tech.

“It’s my sense that the stats have remained pretty consistent since our study,” Dr. McGrade said. “For the study, we interviewed alumni from the chapter and analyzed the transcripts to find the characteristics of NSBE that helped sustain them through their studies. The interviews always returned to themes of family, confidence and pride—themes that resonate with current members.”