ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) have signed a three-year agreement designed to support the two organizations’ mutual goals with regard to increasing diversity in engineering. The agreement outlines collaboration in a number of areas to achieve NSBE’s main strategic goal, which is to lead the U.S. to graduate 10,000 black engineers annually, with bachelor’s degrees, by the year 2025, up from 3,501 in 2014.
 
The memorandum of understanding was signed by BMES President Lori A. Setton, BMES Executive Director Edward Schilling, NSBE National Chair Matthew C. Nelson and NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. The signing ceremony took place on March 1 at NSBE World Headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
 
“BMES recognizes that to achieve its own goal to grow a diverse community of engineers, we need a strategy and an experienced and knowledgeable partner,” said Setton, who plans to begin work on the project this year at NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention, in Kansas City, Mo., on March 29–April 2.
 
NSBE National Vice Chair Kristopher Rawls, is a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia and a longtime member of BMES. NSBE and BMES leadership kicked off the planning phase of the partnership at NSBE World Headquarters in Alexandria, Va., on March 1.
 
“NSBE is excited to have BMES as a partner to help reach our goal of graduating 10,000 black engineers annually starting in 2025,” said Rawls. “Particularly, we are excited to work together to increase BME representation within NSBE, which has been a personal goal of mine since I joined NSBE back in 2007. NSBE is also excited to work with BMES on engineering exposure outreach activities through avenues such as NSBE’s Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) as well as activities led by BMES.” 
 
The MOU cites statistics that show the urgent need to increase the representation of black students and professionals in engineering. African Americans, 13.2 percent of the U.S. population in 2015, were only 5.5 percent of the U.S. engineering workforce, 4 percent of the nation’s engineering bachelor’s degree recipients and 2.71 percent of those awarded degrees in bioengineering in the U.S. that year. The agreement calls for collaboration through joint memberships and membership recruitment; engineering education and professional training activities and events; continuing education; research; networking; public outreach and other means.
 
“BMES is delighted to work alongside influential professional organizations in engineering, to collectively engage, educate and graduate black engineers towards the 2025 goal,” said Setton.

Contact:
Yvette Watson
(703) 549-2207, ext. 209
ywatson@nsbe.org
 
About NSBE
With 278 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. NSBE, founded in 1975, supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” For more information, visit www.nsbe.org.
 
About BMES
The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) has the mission to promote and enhance knowledge and education in biomedical engineering and bioengineering worldwide, and its utilization for human health and well-being. BMES is the professional society for biomedical engineering and bioengineering. Founded in 1968, the Society has more than 7,000 members. BMES serves as the lead society for BME education accreditation and is the professional home for biomedical engineering and bioengineering worldwide. For more information, visit www.bmes.org.
 
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Read about NSBE’s “Be 1 of 10,000” Campaign at Graduate10K.NSBE.org.
 
Read about NSBE’s #BlackSTEMLikeMe Campaign at BlackSTEMLikeMe.NSBE.org.