By Tina Meketa, University Communications and Marketing
A nationwide effort to inspire more Black individuals to enter the field of engineering is growing at USF. More than 250 undergraduate and graduate students are members of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – up nearly 400 percent since 2017. The nationally chartered organization helps connect engineering students and provides them with a variety of opportunities related to their professional development and academic success.
USF junior Folashade Adenuga is president of NSBE, joining the university from her home country of Nigeria. A member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College, Adenuga is majoring in chemical engineering and hopes to help develop renewable energy technologies following graduation – increasing access to sustainable energy sources in impoverished communities.
“My experience at USF has been great. For international students, it’s always daunting moving from a different country and coming into something big that you’re not familiar with,” she said. “The USF community in general and NSBE really helped me find my community and integrate well.”
Adenuga and members of the NSBE’s leadership team are responsible for organizing various events, such as resume workshops and mock interviews. They facilitate guest speakers from Tampa Bay businesses, helping spark ideas for members considering different professions to pursue. With the difficulty of engineering courses, Adenuga says NSBE has been paramount in growing a community of students who can lean on one another for support, building relationships that can help them achieve their academic success through events, such as study nights and other mentorship opportunities.
Bernard Batson, associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Engineering, serves as one of NSBE’s advisors. He assists with research and scholarship opportunities, champions the role of NSBE to internal and external stakeholders and serves as a treasured sounding board to student members.
“Unquestionably, the growth in the chapter’s membership has been truly remarkable,” Batson said. “I am proud of USF NSBE, both our current and former members, as they are walking in the footsteps of ‘hidden figures’ and serving as role models for the next generation of Black engineers.”
“The heart of NSBE is to empower Black engineering students to achieve their full potential, know their worth and accept nothing less than that and it has been such a fulfilling challenge continuing the legacy of NSBE and building the Black engineering community and USF community as a whole,” Adenuga said.
Members of NSBE’s executive board are Tatyana Pompey, vice president; Gladys Alamu, treasurer; Matea Malberg, secretary; Jonathan Pearson, co-programs chair; Tirenioluwa Famoroti, co-programs chair; Jillian Richter, publications chair; Yasmin Walton, membership chair; Alexia Murray, conference planning chair; Sean Kennedy, academic excellence chair; Ameena Mohammed, pre-college initiative chair; Garrett Rolle, technical outreach and community help; Jerry Meribe, senator; Chinyere Charles-Okezie, international chair; and Jadea Parchment, parliamentarian.
This feature is part of USF's series of stories that celebrate the work and accomplishments of its community members throughout Black Heritage Month. A list of university events can be found here. For additional stories, click the "Black Heritage Month" tag on the bottom of the page.