By Collin Urban, Business Assistant
Last Thursday February 25, the National Society of Black Engineers hosted a dinner party and awards ceremony at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark to celebrate the achievements of those who support NSBE and give back to the community.
Following the dinner, the awards ceremony commenced with a poetry reading from Crystal Seymour, an Industrial Engineer major at NJIT. Among the attendees was the Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, who gave the keynote address. Mayor Baraka’s address was dedicated to the next generation of black engineers, both those in college currently, and children who may one day go into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.
The point of his speech was largely about outreach and involvement. Mayor Baraka stressed education was the key to success. Because of this, he spoke about the importance of social consciousness among the black community. He reminded those present of the struggles of those that paved the way for the current generation of black STEM professionals, and insisted that outreach to the next generation was a way to repay the favor.
Beyond outreach, the Mayor explained that there was a need for creative thinkers who could solve the practical problems that affect neighborhoods like Newark. Finally, the mayor spoke highly of NJIT, calling it one of the most renowned schools on the eastern seaboard. For his continued support of NSBE and STEM outreach, Mayor Baraka was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr Award.
Following this, Dr. Moshe Kam was awarded the MLK Jr University Award, given in recognition of support to NSBE students in an education and personal role. Dr. Kam is the Dean of the College of Engineering, and focused on the need for diversity in the student body in faculty during his acceptance speech.
Marjorie Perry then took the stage to receive the MLK Coretta Scott King Award for her achievements in her professional life as the President and CEO of a major construction and engineering company as well as her continuous personal support of NSBE. In her acceptance speech, she echoed Mayor Baraka’s sentiment about giving back to the community.
Glendon Scott was then awarded the MLK NSBE Award for leadership in The Educational Opportunity Program, or EOP for short. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his father for his success.
Lastly, a special award was given to NJIT Senior and Biochemistry major Nicoia Maxwell for her tireless dedication to NSBE. De’Andre Allen, the NSBE Vice-President, then gave closing remarks. In contrast to some of the more somber speeches, Allen’s closing remarks instead took the form of an upbeat musical number about the importance of education.