Minority student engineers can call new club on West Campus home


Grant Martin Photography

Spring 2014 marks the semester for the National Society of Black Engineers on West Campus.

At Valencia College West Campus, there’s an organization called The National Society of Black Engineers, which is a student run organization, not only at Valencia College but Nationally.

According to the President of the organization at Valencia College who is also an engineer, Paul Royal Jr., “It is one of the largest student run organizations in the world, still around.”

The NSBE organization was founded in 1975 at Purdue University, and is focused on growing  and retaining African American engineering students.

This Spring  semester is the first time that the NSBE organization is being run at Valencia College.

“Students wanted more hands on projects…at the end of the fall semester we got the charter to implement the program.” said Royal Jr when asked why this was the first representation of this National engineering society

“Hands on gives them more ownership of projects and education,” said Royal Jr. “Students get to choose what electronic and engineering challenges they want to work on and students also learn the implementation of lifetime skills.” said Paul Royal Jr.

 As for the mission of the NSBE organization it is to quote “ To increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community” said President Royal Jr.

In regards to benefits of the NSBE organization Royal Jr. says “ The benefits is the hands on applications of electronics and technology and exposure to major corporations as well as small companies and startups”.  

Being a patent agent himself  Royal Jr. says “ Invent something to own it…to do that you have to put a patent on it.”

 This organization is beneficial to Florida. According to Royal Jr, “it is pushing to attract more black engineering talent to show there is a strong engineering talent base across Central Florida.”

Although the organization focuses on the recruitment of African American students, a member of the organization Jean Ais, who is also an engineer, stated that this organization is also for other minority students including women.

So far Ais has joined all three engineering clubs at Valencia College, which is the IEE, FES and the NSBE organization.  Ais said “this organization is geared to STEM field majors…we offer many scholarships and free Microsoft programs”.  As to why Ais joined the organization he said “ to get more scholarships and be among other engineers”.

“The NSBE organization doesn’t have many members in it right now because we’re just getting started, it’s around ten members right now, but hopefully with the work we’re doing here, our membership will grow” said Royal Jr.