FAMU-FSU C.O.E. graduate, others, honored at annual BEYA conference
The accomplishments of black engineers will be highlighted at the 2018 BEYA STEM conference Feb. 8-10 in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, it has been a point of prestige for HBCUs across the nation.
The conference, shorthand for Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), can be expected to draw 10,000 attendees including over 100 awardees. Among them is Tokiwa Smith, who is receiving an award for Education Leadership. Smith graduated from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in 2001 with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
After graduating from the college, Smith embarked on a career that has spanned colleges and public schools on both coasts, establishing the consulting firm Kemet Educational Services in 2010 as part of her mission to prepare students for careers in STEM fields. She is also a prolific speaker and writer and is the author of the book “A Guide to Hosting STEM Events.”
Smith’s award is a result of her success leading SEM Link (Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Link, Inc.), a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing K-12 students to hands-on experience with STEM through a number of educational programs. Smith founded the organization in 2005.
“I started SEM Link 12 years ago because I wanted youth to believe that pursuing a STEM career was possible for them. The best way for me to do that was to create an organization where my fellow STEM community members could join me in engaging them in hands on STEM activities and teaching them about STEM Careers in their classrooms, out of school time programs and communities,” Smith said in a statement.
The statement continues: “I'm excited and humbled that BEYA is recognizing me for this work that I love to do; exposing youth to STEM and giving them to confidence to believe that pursuing a STEM career is possible for them.”
Presenting the award will be Dean Murray Gibson, who will be attending the conference for the second time. For Dean Gibson, “BEYA is a vibrant event where companies and government entities come together to recruit and encourage African-American engineers in their careers,” he wrote via email.
“The awards are particularly significant, and we are delighted that our alumna Tokiwa Smith is being recognized for her pioneering work in STEM education.”
To learn more about SEM Link, Inc. and Kemet Educational Services, visit semsuccess.org and kemeteducation.com.