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Terriers in charge: Ethan Strauther (ENG’22) | UB today

National Society of Black Engineers BU chapter president seeks to build a black STEM community

Terriers in charge: Ethan Strauther (ENG’22)

When Ethan Strauther came to BU as a freshman, he was looking for a sense of community. The Posse Scholar, from Braselton, Georgia, says that as a black student majoring in STEM, he felt like a minority within a minority. It was important for him to find a place where he felt like he belonged. He discovered this after joining the BU Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, which has more than 600 chapters and 24,000 members in the United States and abroad. (The BU club has about 40 active members). Founded in 1975, the organization’s goal, according to its website, is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, achieve professional success, and have a positive impact on the community.”

Now president of the student organization, Strauther says NSBE is dedicated to providing professional and academic opportunities, networking and awareness, as well as organizing fun activities. He says the club has made a difference in his life and he is committed to building the Black STEM community at BU. The best part of his job leading the chapter, he says, was interacting with new and old faces and meeting other black students pursuing careers in math, engineering, science and technology. The self-described person says the club provides a sense of community and offers undergraduates the opportunity to connect with upper-class students willing to be mentors and advise on coursework to be continued.

“As a freshman and sophomore, I had many instances where I needed help and guidance with academics, course planning, and professional development,” he says. “NSBE gave me a community of black engineers my age and older who helped me build my social network.”

In addition to his work with NSBE, Strauther has been a student mentor with ENG’s Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP), which sends talented engineering students to predominantly black and brown middle and high schools in the greater region. from Boston to teach fundamental engineering concepts and build interest in STEM careers.

This year, he is also working as a student technician in BU’s clinical trial laboratory. When he graduates this spring, the biomedical engineering student will work for Merck in its manufacturing leadership development program.

“Without NSBE, I wouldn’t have made the friendships and developed the leadership skills that I have,” says Strauther. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

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