NSBE - Convention 2011 - (Page 6)

From the NationalChair The Essence of Engineering By Calvin Phelps NSBE National Chair T “Positively impact the community.” his passage from our mission statement is NSBE’s final action item for “culturally responsible black engineers.” We are therefore charged, in addition to academic excellence and professional success, with finding ways to effect a positive change in the lives of those around us. This is at once our most lofty and most attainable objective; simultaneously our easiest and most difficult ideal, and I believe it to be the ultimate measure of our success. Making better in some way the lives and experiences of those who surround us, in the “Making better in some way the lives and experiences of those who surround us…is the truest fulfillment of the NSBE Mission.” neighborhoods and communities that have raised us, is the truest fulfillment of the NSBE Mission. None of us makes it to where we are in life alone; it is only through the inspiration and assistance of others that we develop as individuals and professionals. It is our duty to make sure we remember that fact and to give of ourselves to ensure that those after us may go further and higher than we ever dreamed. Engineering is at its core an exercise in service to the community. The things we build, be they railroads or buildings or computers, are all related in that they seek to improve the quality of the lives they touch. Freedom to move and to travel, to live without exposure to the elements, to connect with individuals and thoughts a world away: that is the stock that an engineer deals in. And it is that stock that NSBE seeks to cultivate in each of our members. By creating engineers who “succeed professionally,” we cannot help but foster service to society, our community writ large. But though engineering itself is service, I 6 • nsbe magazine • convention 2011 do not believe the Mission’s final directive to be fulfilled when a young engineer is hired. Though the positive impact an engineer may have in the community through his work is great, I believe service to the community to be much more comprehensive than that. Our communities are not just in need of the things we can build for them; they are in need of our time and energy and dedication as well. Our communities are in need of our collegiate members visiting schools and helping tutor students who are struggling in their classes. They are in need of our technical professionals starting up mentoring programs to guide young men and women along a better path than the one they now follow, in need of the hope and energy our NSBE Jr. members inspire when they go out and work to answer a need in the neighborhood. Our communities have a thousand different circumstances with a thousand different needs, and I encourage each of our members and chapters to go out and make the fulfillment of one of those needs a personal goal. It is precisely because there are so many needs out there that I believe our last directive to be our most attainable: even if we can never cure all that ails our society, each of us can nonetheless make a tangible difference in the life of some man or woman. I can think of no greater testament to success than the story of that single individual, and each of us in NSBE can have that impact somewhere. In the words of First Lady Michelle Obama, “I believe that each of us — no matter what our age or background or walk of life — each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.” NSBE family, I want us to ask ourselves, “What will my contribution be?” ■ www.nsbe.org http://www.nsbe.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NSBE - Convention 2011

Nsbe - Convention 2011
The Essence of Engineering
Flipping the Script on Retention
Nsbe’s New High-Tech Hook-Ups!
The Programs Zone
David Anfield of Walmart
Kerry Nichols of NAVAIR
Arthur Hall of Philadelphia Gas Works
Kevin Engram of Illinois Tool Works
Dr. Kevin M. Carter of MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Nsbe Calendar
Membership News
Mack Named Clarkson University Trustee
National Advisory Board Update
Nsbe Honors a Diversity ‘champion’
Things to Do in St. Louis
Golden Torch Award Winners
NSBE’s Steve Earl: Building for Home and Community
Employer Profiles
Advertisers Index

NSBE - Convention 2011