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UT student academic team

NSBE Team Finishes Third in National Competition

A team of Engineering Vols has set a new standard for excellence, finishing in third place at the National Society of Black Engineers Academic Technology Bowl in Detroit.

The squad was already the first team from UT to win competition at the regional level, taking the honors at the Region 3 Conference in Montgomery, Alabama, last fall.

“We saw having the different backgrounds as an advantage to us in the competition because it made us able to divide and conquer study topics as we prepared to compete,” said Kassidy Boone, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “Though we weren’t all familiar with all of the topics presented, we were able to learn from each other’s mistakes and better prepare for the competition.”

Categories included mathematics, statics, computer science, thermodynamics, mechanics of materials, and NSBE history, with the event itself split into two rounds.

While qualification turned out great for UT, Boone said that the first round was anything but, with UT’s team trailing the other squads.

Slowly but surely, the team pulled itself back into contention, eventually winning on the final question.

“Our team kept its composure and made an amazing comeback at the end,” said Shannon Sharp, also a sophomore in mechanical engineering. “When they announced that we had won, we went crazy and celebrated ecstatically for UT’s win.”

In addition to Boone and Sharp, other team members included:

  • Kendra Jackson, senior in civil engineering and current NSBE president
  • Mubuso Nkosi, junior in chemical engineering and current NSBE vice president
  • Hunter Mann, junior in computer engineering and current NSBE telecommunication chair
  • Talecia Dyson, senior in civil engineering and current NSBE secretary

Founded in 1975, NSBE has more than 29,900 members, making it one of the largest student groups in the country.

Both students said that the experience brought the team closer together, showed what is possible through both NSBE and the Tickle College of Engineering, and served as a credit to Travis Griffin, the Fred D. Brown, Jr. Director of Engineering Diversity Programs and team mentor.

“NSBE at UT is so much more than a campus organization,” Sharp said. “Since my freshman year, it has been the place where I can easily meet new people and make valuable relationships, has pushed me to be a better student, friend, and future engineer, and perhaps most of all, has given me professional development and opportunities to gain leadership.”

Boone echoed that sentiment, pointing out many of those same platitudes, and adding that she views UT’s NSBE chapter as “nothing less than a family.”


David Goddard (865-974-0683,