Texas A&M University earns top spot among NACME scholars


Students from the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University have out-earned students from other universities for National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) scholarships. Twenty-seven students were named new recipients of the scholarship. The students were honored during a reception on Sept. 3. 

NACME aims to increase the proportion of African-American, American Indian and Latino graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers. NACME’s vision is to help shape the United States’ engineering workforce.

The Look College currently has 41 NACME scholars — the 27 new recipients and 14 existing students. The program was initially funded through a five-year NACME grant, which the 14 current existing NACME students are still receiving and benefiting from until they graduate.  However, the 27 new recipients and incoming freshmen students received their NACME scholarship through their high school partnerships with the NACME national organization. Extra-curricular activities, GPA and financial merit are taken into consideration for the scholarship. 

The NACME scholarship is focused on more than just financial benefit for the students. Scholars are required to participate in community service, development workshops, networking events, career acumen and professional development.

“The NACME scholarship program serves as another great resource for involving historically underrepresented students,” said Dr. Sonia Garcia. “They have a community of scholars and an expanded network that supports them and helps them to strive in their chosen engineering field.”

Garcia, who is the senior director for Access & Inclusion, strives to work with all scholars beyond their first year by having extra-curricular involvements.

“The NACME events have helped me [become] more involved with leadership organizations, such as becoming a camp counselor and engineering ambassador,” said Corinne Martinez a NACME member and a senior biomedical engineering student. 

Current NACME scholars serve as volunteers for the Engineering Aggies Gaining Experience (ENGAGE) fall invitationals where they serve as host, tour guides and speakers/panelists for high school students who are historically underrepresent in engineering and who attend a high school in Texas that has become an ENGAGE Partner School with the Look College.

Look College faculty members provide guidance to NACME members through career workshops. NACME scholars have access to the nationwide NACME network and have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador to NACME for the university.

Current NACME ambassador Anthony Ramirez serves as the liaison between national and campus scholars and helps to plan all events on campus.

“NACME has given me a voice to represent the underrepresented minority students in engineering at Texas A&M,” said Ramirez. “It has helped me learn to network and to expand my network on campus and with industry professionals.”

“My hope is for the program to grow and continue to be a resource for students,” said Garcia.