Hampton University Hosts 26th Annual Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering Conference and Gala

HAMPTON, Va. (September 26, 2019) – Hampton University hosted the 26th Annual Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) Annual Conference and Gala, September 3-5. The conference brought together college and university deans, industry leaders, government officials, faculty and students, all in the name of Engineering.

The conference began with the Dean’s Reception hosted in the Hampton University Museum and sponsored by The Boeing Company, where Hampton University’s President, Dr. William R. Harvey, said a few words about Hampton and welcomed the attendees to this year’s conference.

“All the amazing things that have happened at Hampton over the past 42 years that I have been here, is because of the team. I am the team leader, but it’s the team. Seventeen of my vice presidents have gone on to become presidents of other institutions, so it shows you the quality of personnel that we have,” said Dr. Harvey. “A strong advocate of STEM programs, Hampton University is pleased to offer the attendees of this conference an exciting opportunity to explore our campus and the Hampton Roads Region. As you enjoy the activities that have been planned, please know that Hampton University looks forward to providing you with a positive and pleasant experience.”

Next, was a full day of workshops at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, which included presentations from engineering industry corporations, government agencies, and deans of the fifteen (15) ABET accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities Engineering Programs, which focused on this year’s theme, “Empowering Engineering Success from the Classroom to the Workforce.”

The Keynote Address was given by Robert Dixon, Jr., Customer Support Executive, Missile and Space Intelligence Center, Directorate for Analysis, Defense Intelligence Agency. “During my military and civilian career and while serving in various leadership and technical leadership positions, I advocated the importance of building partnerships, both internally and externally to organizations that I have been so fortunate to serve. I’ve seen some strong partnerships between and among organizations that have enhanced the relevance and leveraging power of the partnering organizations,” said Dixon. “Advancing my interest in engineering has proved a purpose and relevant to many areas of government, especially intelligence community, industry and academia. From my perspective, AMIE is a very relevant resource of historically black colleges and universities focusing on the many challenges of STEM diversity and the shortfalls that are currently present in government, agency and academia.”

Several other presentations occurred throughout the day including a panel discussion about “Emerging Technologies and the Future Workforce,” a workshop about positioning HBCUs for the future, students providing insights about their internship experiences, and showcasing the 2019 AMIE Design Challenge top three winners, where Hampton University students won first place two years in a row. “As you witnessed with the Design Competition presentation, our students not only have the technical skills, but they have the soft skills as well, which is why they win competition after competition, after competition,” said Dr. Joyce Shirazi, Dean of the Hampton University School of Engineering and Technology.

“The conference has been phenomenal. This year we had a record number of attendees; we are 150 plus and so it is growing. We were excited about the student participation. We have had more students here than we have ever had before. The students had the opportunity to talk about their Design Challenge that happened in February. It just brought chills, to listen to them and it gave the corporations and government agencies attending the conference, the opportunity to see the amazing students that HBCUs produce. That’s why this conference is so important, because it’s an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the HBCUs,” said Veronica Nelson, AMIE’s Executive Director.

For more information about AMIE, go to https://www.amiepartnerships.org/.

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