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National Society of Black Engineers and ExxonMobil Honor Collegiate Minority-Retention Programs in Engineering
4/18/2013 12:31:52 PM

left to right: Kenny Warren, ExxonMobil; Dr. Minnie McGee, The Ohio State University; Antoine Baines, University of Michigan; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, US House of Representatives - Ohio; Andy Nwaelele, Northwestern University; and Calvin Young, National Society of Black Engineers. (Photo: Business Wire)

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and ExxonMobil recently honored three universities with the 2013 Impact Award for their efforts in retaining underrepresented minority students in engineering programs.

Northwestern University, The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan were each awarded $10,000 from ExxonMobil and NSBE during an event held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. on April 17. Calvin A. Young, NSBE’s national chair, and Kenny Warren, vice president of engineering, ExxonMobil, presented the awards.

“NSBE salutes these outstanding academic institutions for their success in keeping black, Latino and other underrepresented minority students in engineering,” Dr. Carl Mack, executive director of NSBE, said. “There is an urgent need for more skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and math fields; the United States cannot afford to continue losing two-thirds of these students to other majors, as it is doing now. These universities are among the few that not only understand the urgency of solving the retention problem in engineering, but are also creative and determined in coming up with solutions.”

ExxonMobil and the NSBE established the Impact Award in 2011 to honor and recognize collegiate efforts to attract and retain minority students in engineering disciplines. Each program is recognized for its ability to be easily replicated at other universities nationwide through NSBE.

“ExxonMobil and NSBE recognize the outstanding efforts of these universities in identifying, mentoring, retaining and graduating the next generation of talented engineers,” said Suzanne McCarron, general manager, public and government affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation. “The need to encourage minority students in engineering disciplines is critical if U.S. employers hope to keep up with workforce demands.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population is 16.3 percent Latino and 12.6 percent African American, but the two groups only represent 6.2 and 5 percent respectively of the engineering workforce.

The Impact Award recipients were selected for their demonstrated, results-based progress in retaining underrepresented minority students in engineering-related programs.

Northwestern University’s EXCEL program fosters a cultural community of support while reinforcing excellence in academics. Elements include study-skills development, mentoring, peer-to-peer engagement and exposure to a variety of engineering disciplines.

At The Ohio State University, PREFACE, the Pre-Freshman and Cooperative Education program, offers a successful summer-enrichment and engineering-exposure experience designed to help entering freshmen transition smoothly from high school to the university’s engineering school.

The University of Michigan developed the Michigan STEM Academy in its college of engineering to identify and support talented, diverse students interested in engineering fields. Through this academy, students have access to a summer-transition program, collaborative learning experiences, advising and academic coaching, study groups, research opportunities and mentoring.

ExxonMobil’s partnership with NSBE dates back to 1989 and includes nearly $1 million in support of the organization’s mission.

Past Impact Award recipients include Michigan State University, Purdue University, Virginia Tech, the University of Houston, the University of Maryland – College Park and the University of Texas at Austin. In 2012, the efforts of North Carolina A&T State University were recognized with an honorable-mention designation.

Source via Black PR Newswire

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