Emmanuel Lyte, a junior electrical and computer engineering major, spearheaded the effort to establish a student chapter of the National Society for Black Engineers at UMass Dartmouth.
Lyte, who is the chapter's president, attended the NSBE National Convention in Columbus, Ohio this past spring and returned with major ideas for the group to become a significant presence on campus.
Currently, the chapter has about 30 members.
Lyte started the group because he found himself looking for peers with similar interests to interact with at study sessions. After initially teaming up with NSBE members at Northeastern University, Lyte said, "It gave me the burning desire to bring together engineers on this campus." He noted that any race or major can become a member of the group and students majoring in medical laboratory science, biology, business and other areas have already joined.
One goal is to bring a technical major career fair to campus this fall. Other plans include a leadership conference, a partnership with Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School to help students learn pre-calculus and "take their fears away about math and science," workshops on resume writing and career opportunities, and collaborations with student chapters at Northeastern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Rhode Island and other schools.
"We look forward to attracting representatives from companies to speak with us and for UMass Dartmouth to be a leading site for these activities where we can become intertwined with people who may be future employers and co-workers," Lyte said.
Dr. Antonio H. Costa, dean of the College of Engineering said, "Having a NSBE student chapter at UMass Dartmouth is a fantastic way to enhance the diversity of the student population on campus and in particular, within the College of Engineering majors. It has always been our goal to increase the number of students from under represented groups, and I commend Emmanuel for all of his hard work in bringing about this student chapter."
As a result of Lyte's participation at the spring conference, he landed a Co-op position at United States Steel Company in Alabama where he will work this summer and during the 2008 spring semester. He was recently honored by the NSBE as "member of February" and "member of the semester."
In all, NSBE has 300 collegiate, 75 professional and 75 pre-college chapters nationwide and overseas. The non-profit organization offers its members leadership training, professional development, mentoring opportunities, career placement services and more.
For more information about the student chapter, contact the College of Engineering at 508.999.8539 or the Office of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) at 508.999.8127.
Author: "John Hoey"
Submitted by: Christine Allen
Department: College Of Engineering