Fresh from its historic win last year when they brought home the trophy for National Chapter of The Year, the USC chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, or NSBE, continues to rake awards and solidify its place as one of the best student-run organizations in the nation.

On November 10, 2019 USC NSBE returned to campus from the Fall Regional Conference in San Francisco having represented USC well among 54 other college groups in the region, earning the following distinctions:

1st Place Academic Tech Bowl

1st Place Elevator Pitch

1st Place Debate Competition

2nd Place HACKNSBE

Most Active and Engaged Chapter in Region 6

Largest Attendance at Fall Regional Conference

First Place, Elevator Pitch Competition

"When Rajuan Nelson, our chapter president, approached me to do the elevator pitch competition my initial thought was, no. Last year, our chapter won first place in this competition so, needless to say, I was nervous. But, because I love challenges, and after some convincing, I decided I was going to compete. This competition gives students the opportunity to present a business plan or proposal to a panel of professional judges in a mere 30 seconds. I pitched an idea for a collaborative interface that allows partygoers to add their favorite songs to a playlist in order of popularity, but that also involves thermal sensors that align the music selection based on the energy and temperature of the crowd. Think of an app that can be paired to a device and used at an event like your own personal DJ that also picks up the energy of the room. To my surprise, I won first place! I feel unbelievably proud and honored to be a part of USC NSBE which year after year exudes excellence at these types of competitions and beyond."

Randi Burley

Junior, Electrical Engineering

With more than 29,000 members at 394 chapters across the country, NSBE is one of the largest student-run organizations in the country. Its mission calls for “increasing the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

First Place, Academic Tech Bowl

"This is my third year competing on the academic tech bowl team. After placing at Nationals in 2017 and 2018, and Regionals in 2018, I knew USC had to compete and win at this year’s Regional competition. The competition is a jeopardy-style game show, where 6 teams from schools across the region answer questions in various engineering categories. After two rounds of jeopardy, our team was in first place and had won the competition. It was such an inspiring and amazing experience to compete and win with some of the smartest students at USC Viterbi. Since I'm graduating soon, I look forward to watching them win again at Nationals."

Lexi Barge

Masters, Environmental Engineering

Most Active and Engaged Chapter

"The idea of traveling with 30 people seems absolutely ridiculous to most. But each year our chapter’s journey to NSBE Fall Regional Conference becomes even more rewarding and enjoyable. This year, our main mission was to increase programming and continue to foster the community that NSBE offers to USC’s campus. Every Sunday, I ask my fellow E-Board members “What’s next?” Their thoughtful responses drive the programming and initiatives that impact our surrounding community. Six weeks prior to our departure, we began compiling lists for teams to compete and preparing our members for the career fair and workshops. At the beginning of competitions, I would check-in with the teams to get a sense of their feelings toward competing. Even though some individuals were nervous, they said that they would do their best. As president, that’s all I ask from our members and I am so proud of their performance and achievements. Fall Regional Conference was a powerful experience and has us even more excited for our National Conference in San Antonio in March, 2020."

Rajuan Nelson

Senior, Environmental Engineering

Second Place, HackNSBE

"I've been to many other hackathons, but I was especially excited for this one because I was doing it with my NSBE family! Our theme was challenging. All they told us is that our job was to create something that would build bridges either between cultures, teams, or in a game. We struggled at first to agree on an idea but finally settled on creating a food app that would connect people culturally. Food is a an excellent connector of people and cultures! We then split up to work on the parts of the project we were experienced with from mobile app development to branding to the elevator pitch. After many hours of prototyping, we were finally done in the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, our hard work paid off as we won second place!"

Hanna Endrias

Junior, Computer Science and Computer Engineering

USC NSBE Students at the Fall Regional Conference in San Francisco, November 8 - 10, 2019. The students are enjoying a quiet moment on Pier 39 between competitions. Photo by Riley Stokes (Sophmore, Electrical Engineering)

First Place, Debate

"Before coming to USC, I had learned from my cousins who attended other schools about NSBE and its importance for Black STEM students, so I knew that I had to attend the Fall Regional Conference and really start making those connections. I competed with Maria Ashby, debating the effects of social media on the black community and if it was necessary to offer STEM majors loan forgiveness once they finished school. It was a great experience that allowed me to discuss relevant topics regarding the black community with other NSBE members from various chapters. I went in only attempting to hone my public speaking skills, but placing first was my way of proving how vital USC’s NSBE chapter has been for my own growth. I am now very excited to go back to my home state and compete in March for nationals."

Oju Ajose

Freshman, Computer Science and Business Administration

Largest Attendance at Fall Regional Conference

"We won the Largest Attendance award due to funding from Viterbi, USG, and Airbnb! We are truly grateful for their help could not have done it without them. It was so amazing to come together to compete, network and explore San Francisco. On this trip, we not only won so many awards but pushed our members to believe in themselves and try new and uncomfortable things. Much to their surprise, they killed it and we could not be more proud! We also made sure to spend quality time with each other whether it was walking around Pier 39 or enjoying shaved ice or grinding out a CS assignment due during the trip. These moments helped to break everyone out of their shell and get to know each other better. All in all, this trip allowed us to see a different side of our members and to foster the sense of NSBE community we work so hard to create."

Hanna Endrias

Junior, Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Created By
Daniel Druhora


Riley Stokes