A week late, because NSBE Convention requires some recovery- it’s a lot of action all packed into a few short days.  March 26-30 was the 40th Annual NSBE Convention.  This was my eighth consecutive convention.  It was the usual great time connecting and reconnecting with my NSBE family.

At convention this year I wore several different hats- first I was recruiting for Northeastern Graduate Programs.  It’s funny to be on the other side of the table since it wasn’t that long ago that I was the student looking for opportunities.  Recruiting for the grad programs was less hectic than in the fall when I helped with corporate recruiting, but it’s still funny to be assessing students from the other side.  It was also weird because for graduate recruiting, it’s mostly just my job to sell the school; I can’t actually do anything about an admissions decision.  With corporate recruiting, the recruiters can make a recommendation, that is at least partially considered.

The second thing I did was a part of the African American Women in STEM Task Force I’ve been working on all year.  We held a closed round-table discussion with leaders of women and girl-serving to address how we can meet the needs of African American women in STEM through collaboration and shared resources.  Some exciting ideas and paths forward were discussed and I look forward to seeing them come to fruition.

The last, and as a graduate student most exciting thing I did at NSBE Convention was to host the technical component of the Grad School Conference track. In this role, I chose to revamp the tech talks into technical conversations. This differentiated these sessions from the Technical Research Exhibition Oral talks component and opened them up to be more engaging. Instead of conference style talks on whatever NSBE graduate students are studying, I set three themes and recruited an interdisciplinary group of speakers for each. Speakers gave short spotlight talks and then participated in a panel on the common theme. We got great feedback and I hope this format is continued in future years.