NACME Press Releases

NACME President and CEO to Deliver Commencement Address at the University of Arkansas College of Engineering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                   Contact: Brit Byrnes
Tuesday, April 21, 2015                                                                                                                            (914) 539-4010, ext. 243

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 NACME President and CEO to Deliver Commencement Address at the University of Arkansas College of Engineering 

White Plains. N.Y. —  The President and Chief Executive Officer for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., (NACME), Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, has been selected to deliver the 2015 Commencement Address to the University of Arkansas’ College of Engineering on May 9th.

There will be approximately 85 graduate students and 327 undergraduate students participating in the in ceremony, which will take place at 5 p.m. in Barnhill Arena on the University of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“I am honored to deliver this address as my whole career has been devoted to expanding educational opportunities for young people,” says Dr. McPhail. “The University of Arkansas’ College of Engineering has not only been recognized for the excellence of its instruction, but also for its commitment to recruit and retain traditionally underrepresented minorities.”

Twenty percent of those applying for graduation from the College of Engineering this year are underrepresented minorities and 19.4 percent are female. Of the remainder of the student body not graduating this year, 22.7 percent are minorities and 20.7 percent are female.

The University of Arkansas is one of the NACME’s 51 Partner Institutions.

NACME Partner Institutions collaborate to increase the retention-to-graduation rates of all minority students. The universities benefit from participation in NACME’s annual workshop, where best practices are shared on college recruitment, retention, and graduation. NACME provides scholarships to students in the form of block grants to partner institutions and, in return, asks those universities to promote a campus environment that embraces diversity and inclusiveness, and provides encouragement and support for underrepresented minority engineering students.

“We’re so honored to have Dr. McPhail as our commencement speaker,” adds John English, Dean, University of Arkansas College of Engineering. “His work and accomplishments in the area of diversity are very impressive. Diversity is one of our priorities at the University of Arkansas, and it is a pressing issue for the College of Engineering and the field of engineering in general. We are pleased that Dr. McPhail will be able to convey the importance of these issues at our ceremony.” Since 2000, 37 students from the College of Engineering have received National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowships. 

McPhail Portrait web

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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 workforce entry strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines.

About the College of Engineering: The University Of Arkansas College Of Engineering is the only comprehensive Ph.D. - granting engineering program in the state of Arkansas. The college offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in nine engineering fields, as well as incorporating distance learning and interdisciplinary programs. Faculty in the College of Engineering conduct research in many key areas, including electronics, energy, healthcare logistics, nanotechnology, transportation, and logistics.