NACME Press Releases
Johnson Austin Named Penn State Outstanding Engineering Alumna
White Plains. N.Y. - -The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) is pleased to announce that Saundra Johnson Austin, Senior Vice President for Operations at NACME, has been named an Outstanding Engineering Alumna by The Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering. Ms. Johnson Austin earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Penn State in 1986.
Since it was established in 1966, the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award has recognized graduates who have reached exceptional levels of professional achievement and is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Engineering.
Ms. Johnson Austin will receive her award, along with 11 other recipients, at a ceremony on April 14 at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus. “I am honored and grateful to be recognized as an Outstanding Engineering Alumna,” says Ms. Johnson Austin. “My years at Penn State, both as a student and a faculty member, have been cornerstones in my career. I have also known and admired many of the other alumna who have received this award over the years, which only adds to my appreciation.”
She began her career at Bechtel Power Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she worked in project controls, estimating, and business development.
In 1994, she became director of the Minority Engineering Program in the College of Engineering at Penn State. In 1998, she was recognized with the National Society of Black Engineers’ Golden Torch Award for Minority Engineering Program Director of the Year and the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) Outstanding Contribution by a Minority Engineering Program Administrator Award.
Johnson Austin left Penn State in 2000 to become head of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science at the University of Notre Dame.
In 2005, she was named executive vice president of the Community Partnership for Lifelong Learning in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Later she served as the first president and CEO of St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 2008-2010.
She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Executive MBA Program.
In her current role at NACME, she supports the president and CEO on key organizational and strategic direction and is responsible for the execution of programs, research, communications, and engineering public policy. She currently resides in White Plains, New York.
About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.
NACME Alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through community college strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brenda Krulik
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 (914) 539-4010, ext.291
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Becomes
ABET Associate Member Society
White Plains, N.Y.—The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) is the newest Associate Member Society of ABET, the accreditation organization dedicated to assuring quality in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education.
As a global leader in accreditation, ABET ensures that technical education programs around the world are effectively adapting to the changing educational environment. This includes taking steps to facilitate the entry of diverse students into technical classrooms. The addition of NACME, the 2012 winner of ABET’s Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity, allows ABET to make further inroads in its drive to promote diversity in the technical disciplines.
“Bringing NACME on board is a big boost for ABET’s diversity initiatives,” said ABET Executive Director Michael K. J. Milligan, Ph.D., P.E. “Not only will they lend us valuable direction in the role of improving diversity. NACME has a long history of expanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to broad and diverse audiences and throughout its history has built strong ties with industry, which are extremely valuable to ABET as an organization that fosters diversity and strives to remain relevant in our field.”
Since 1974, NACME has been dedicated to increasing the number of successful African-American, American Indian, and Latino students in STEM education and careers. Currently, NACME provides scholarship support for approximately 1,300 college engineering students through a national network of 51 NACME Partner Institutions. To date, NACME has provided over 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support.
NACME President and Chief Executive Officer Irving Pressley McPhail, Ed.D., is equally enthusiastic about his organization’s membership within ABET.
"ABET is recognized as the worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education,” said McPhail. “NACME has been at the forefront of the national effort to increase the representation of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in STEM education and careers for the past four decades. Both organizations share a commitment to the belief that diversity drives innovation. I look forward to working with my fellow board directors and ABET leadership to ensure that diversity becomes an even stronger and more visible metric in promoting quality and innovation in engineering education."
As an Associate Member Society, NACME will contribute to the ABET mission of assuring quality in technical education worldwide and hold a non-voting seat on the ABET Board of Directors. The organization will not have curricular responsibility for specific programs.
The ABET Board approved NACME's application for admission as an Associate Member Society during its October 2013 meeting. The application was ratified by two-thirds of ABET's member societies in February 2014.
The addition of NACME brings the current number of ABET Member Societies up to 34, with 30 member organizations and four associate member organizations. See the full list of ABET Member Societies.
About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. NACME Alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through community college strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines.
About ABET: ABET, the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology, is a federation of 34 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, ABET currently accredits over 3,400 programs at almost 700 colleges and universities in 28 countries. More than 2,200 dedicated volunteers participate annually in ABET activities. ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brenda Krulik
Tuesday, October 28, 2015 (914) 539-4010, ext. 291
NACME President and CEO Establishes Memorial Scholarship
in Honor of His Parents
First Scholarship Recipient Presented with $5,000 During NACME’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
White Plains. N.Y. — Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) presented the first recipient of The Pressley and Mauise Vinson McPhail/NACME Scholarship with a check for $5,000 during the NACME 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration at the Waldorf Astoria, New York City, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.
The scholarship, which was established earlier this year, was awarded to Khadidiatou (Khady) Guiro, a biomedical engineering doctoral candidate from Rutgers University School of Medicine and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an Alfred P. Sloan Minority Ph.D. fellow. Guiro’s broad research goal is to develop successful therapeutic strategies for a range of diseases by closing the gap between engineering and molecular biology. She is currently studying breast cancer dormancy, a primary factor in disease recurrence, by using tissue engineering to closely observe the mechanisms of cell dormancy following cancer treatments.
“Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in females worldwide, and the second main cause of female mortality and morbidity in the western world. Recurrences after decades of remission are a particular problem,” she says.
"Khady is addressing an important issue in breast cancer research where we are trying to understand how and why cancer cells remain dormant in the body, even after aggressive chemotherapy treatment. These dormant cells also appear to reside in close proximity to bone tissue so she is developing a model to study breast cancer cell interaction with this tissue," said Dr. Treena Livingston Arinzeh, Director of the Graduate Program of the Biomedical Engineering Department at NJIT, and Guiro’s advisor.
Guiro, who moved to the United States as a teenager, was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, where she recounts “watching my community being affected by health issues such as malnutrition, infectious diseases, and cancer, but mainly a lack of knowledge regarding preventive measures and the absence of health research institutions.” She adds, “I grew up with a desire to seek an education that would lead me to a career in improving the quality of health of others, particularly those in my community. Biomedical engineering seemed like a perfect field to study because it could lead to career opportunities, like conducting cutting-edge research, designing medical devices, developing pharmaceuticals to treat diseases, and developing artificial organs and tissues.”
"Cancer and cardiovascular disease robbed me of my parents, my friends, my truth tellers. My wife, daughter, and I created The Pressley and Mauise Vinson McPhail/NACME Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering to honor the memory of my parents by encouraging innovations in bionanotechnology; medical imaging; cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering; and other areas of biomedical engineering that have the greatest potential to end the scourge of these two insidious diseases,” said Dr. McPhail.
“NACME does a brilliant job not only in helping minority students to become engineers, but excel in their careers. This is a vital service for our country. It ensures we have an outstanding cadre of minority engineers who bring a much-needed diversity of experiences and ideas to the workplace, while also assisting individuals who are as determined as NACME to make a difference in every important area of American life, from cutting-edge industry, to infrastructure, to public health,” said NJIT President Dr. Joel Bloom. “By honoring Khady Guiro with a scholarship named for his parents, Dr. McPhail is providing wonderful support and encouragement to someone we know is resolved to make her mark by tackling diseases with creative engineering. We could not be more proud of her or more grateful to Dr. McPhail for recognizing and rewarding her talent.”
Photo Credit: Ed Eckstein Photography
Pictured (L-R): Khadidiatou (Khady) Guiro; Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail; Dr. Christine McPhail.