Eastern Michigan University engineering students attend the National Society of Black Engineers 49th Annual Convention

Aaron Hughes, Kevan Pack Jr., Sage Balcita, Josh Hightower, and Mussa Geyre at the National Society of Black Engineers convention in Kansas City, MO
Pictured from left to right are Aaron Hughes, Kevan Pack Jr., Sage Balcita, Josh Hightower, and Mussa Geyre.

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University collegiate chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to attend the 49th Annual Convention. Students attended the convention to expand their reach as a collegiate chapter, acquire internships and establish connections with other Black engineers. 

According to the NSBE website, NSBE is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the United States. Founded in 1975,  the organization supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology.

While attending the four-day convention, students participated in breakout sessions and networking activities, interacted with NSBE national and regional staff, and attended the NSBE Annual Convention Career Fair, which hosted over 300 companies, government agencies, higher education organizations, and non-profit organizations.

Sage Balcita, vice president of the EMU NSBE chapter, is currently studying mechanical engineering at EMU's GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. While attending the convention, Balcita experienced the NSBE culture and was impressed by the sense of community created by the organization. 

“Attending the conference showed me that NSBE is more than just a college club to connect black engineers,” said Balcita. “It is an organization that supports professions through the engineering journey from junior high through high school and college and into professional careers in the STEM field.”

Mussa Geyre, member of the EMU NSBE chapter, is studying electrical and computer engineering. Geyre said conventions like NSBE 49 expose students to more opportunities to present research and gain opportunities to develop professionally and personally. 

“When students, faculty members, or staff attend conventions like NSBE49, they can showcase their research, expertise, and achievements to a wider audience,” said Geyre. This can help enhance the university's reputation, making it more attractive to potential students, faculty members, and partners.

During the conference, students connected with companies such as Arcadis Us, Inc., Baxter International, Caterpillar Inc., Raytheon Technologies, and more. Through these connections, the students made a point to collaborate with the companies and bring back opportunities for their peers. 

“The main goal of attending the conference was to gain connections and find companies willing to collaborate with our chapter, regionally or nationally, to attend meetings and present opportunities to our members,” Balcita said. 

The NSBE trip was funded through the GameAbove Students Matter Most initiative. The initiative helps provide students with financial support for their involvement in learning clubs, intramural sports, student government, and student organization priorities, and solutions for student homelessness and housing insecurity, among other near-term needs. 

To join and get involved with the EMU NSBE chapter, connect with them on Instagram at @emu__nsbe.

Learn more about Eastern Michigan University's GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology by visiting its website. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

May 24, 2023

Written by:
Nautica Marshall

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher