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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003


NSBE meet touted as success

By Sheree Stubblefied
The Daily Cougar

The National Society of Black Engineers held its Spring Regional Conference at UH this weekend. The UH NSBE chapter was chosen to host the annual conference out of 10 states from Texas to North Dakota. High school students, college students and alumni attended.

"Things (went) really well. I commend everyone whois done such a great job," Adrienne Hammit, region five alumni chair said.

Founded in 1975, NSBE is the largest completely student-led organization in the nation. The students "work hard and do the decision-making. These are really outstanding young people not only academically they are concerned about the community," said John Matthews, who has been UHis NSBE chair advisor for more than 10 years.

NSBE also makes it a point to focus on junior high and high school students interested in engineering with a program called the Pre-College Initiative. More than 50 PCIs from Louisiana and Texas attended the conference and partook of their own special breakfast and luncheon during the conference.

Included in the schedule was a date auction which served as a fundraiser; the dates were taken to the UH basketball game against Louisville on Friday night.

The workshops encompassed many different topics, such as how to get a 4.0 grade point average, how to negotiate oneis salary, discussing issues with the NSBE senators, and a cultural component led by Minister Robert Muhammed.

"It was really great; it made you open your mind," said Jamilya Dartion, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Louisiana Tech University. The only negative aspect of the weekend, participants said, was the overlapping of some of the workshops.

"I wish I could have gone to (all the workshops)," said Jainet Watson, a junior constructional engineering major from LTU.

Besides preparing for the national conference, a big part of the weekend was spent on the community service activity called the Walk for Education, which was started at the UH NSBE chapter and has spread throughout region five.

Members walked around Houstonis Third Ward and passed out information on scholarships and financial aid because "everyone got to see how to take it back to their chapter, and (it) was well-received by the community because we were giving back," said Danhayel Norris, graduating chemical engineering major and SRC chair.

NSBE is attempting to hold conferences in bigger cities where members can have a greater impact on the community, he said.

Members stayed at the UH Hilton and went to workshops and meetings in the University Center and the Cullen College of Engineering. The workshops took place Saturday to accommodate students coming from other states.

"It has been a full (weekend). We got a lot accomplished and did what we said we were going to do," said Yetunde Isholau, a junior petroleum engineering major from the University of Oklahoma.

Planning the conference required "a lot of input from the chapter (and) regional board," Norris said. Despite small technical glitches, "overall, everything went smoothly." Preparation for the conference began last semester and was a great success thanks to all the support from different resources, he said.

At the end of the weekend, positive statements were abundant. "Itis been nice to (come) to a bigger city and (the conference) was pretty great. Thanks to UH for having us," said David Mason, a graduating industrial engineering major from LTU.

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