The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has made history by chartering the nation’s newest National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) during a recent virtual ceremony attended by 14 CSM student inductees and 30 well-wishers, including state Maryland State Delegate Dr. Edith Patterson.
Calling the new NSBE charter members “trailblazers,” Patterson praised inductees and the mother-daughter team who will serve as advisors for the new NSBE chapter – CSM Pre-Engineering Program Coordinator and Adjunct Professor Jehnell C. Linkins and her daughter CSM Alumna Jehnae Linkins. The pair have worked closely in recent years to also sponsor CSM’s “Engineer Like a Girl” summer programs for high school students and the college’s Engineering clubs. Most recently Jehnell Linkins and CSM Instructor Judith Moore also started CSM’s new Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Club.
“Students you are all to be commended for the historic role your new chapter is playing at the College of Southern Maryland and in your communities,” Patterson said before presenting a proclamation from the Southern Maryland Delegation to mark the occasion.
CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy also extended congratulations. “Your leadership will guarantee the success of our new chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers at the College of Southern Maryland,” she told the students. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
Murphy also commended the students for joining a powerful national network that will allow them to grow and develop. “You have worked hard—both in and out of class—during a global pandemic, and yet you lean in to do more,” Murphy said. “I’m humbled by your persistence and resilience, and I applaud you. We live in a complicated world filled with complicated problems, and I’m heartened to see in all of you the discipline, the technical expertise, and the leadership skills to improve our future.”
The National Society of Black Engineers mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community, explained Jehnell Linkins. “The main goal of the society’s current 10-year Strategic Plan is to lead the United States to produce 10,000 Black Engineers annually by 2025.”
The NSBE is 24,000 members strong and collaborates with several global organizations to improve the number of the engineers in the world, including representation at the United Nations. This offers members the opportunity to extend their reach outside of their own communities.
“We are excited and filled with pride to welcome this new chapter and its inductees into a diverse and global membership,” Jehnell Linkins added.
Jehnae Linkins shared that the NSBE offers academic excellence programs, scholarships, leadership training, professional development and access to career opportunities for thousands of members annually and provides opportunities for their success that remain unmatched by any other organization.
Inducted by the NSBE Board of Directors as CSM chapter’s first officers were CSM Engineer students Asha Gaines as president; Shareese Adams, vice president; Arianna Gaskins, treasurer; Glory Sebulime, Secretary; Grantley Bourne, senator; and Kourtney Goldring serving as parliamentarian. Also taking oaths as the chapter’s first members were: CSM Engineering students Jaliyah Blackwell, Lauren Chandler, Nyah Christen, Emily DePew, Tehya Gaines, Cornelius Hightower III, Joan Popoola and Johnne Webster.
“These students hold grade point averages above a 3.3 plus they work jobs, are officers in other clubs on campus, hold internships, some are members of a rowing crew, girl scouts, or are baristas,” said Jehnell Linkins. “A few are returning to CSM to enhance their education by changing careers to engineering, some have suffered great losses this semester in their immediate families due to COVID-19, yet they persevered. Jehnae and I are so proud of each and every one of you.”
Learn more about the NSBE at https://www.nsbe.org/home.aspx.