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Jan. 21: Carnegie Mellon University's Arielle Drummond Named 2008 Black Engineer of the Year for Student Leadership


Chriss Swaney                       

Carnegie Mellon University's Arielle Drummond Named
2008 Black Engineer of the Year for Student Leadership

PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University's Arielle Drummond will receive the 2008 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Student Leadership on Feb. 16 at a gala celebration during the National BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in Baltimore.

Drummond"I was both surprised and delighted that I won," said Drummond, who is pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering. "This award reflects the growth and maturity I have gained during my time here at Carnegie Mellon, and I look forward to networking at the conference."

Since 1986, the conference has served as an invaluable tool to recognize outstanding achievement of African-Americans in companies and academic institutions across America. 

"Arielle is a perfect candidate for this prestigious award because of her tremendous leadership skills and her incessant drive to learn and network among the best and brightest technology peers nationwide," said James Antaki, a professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon who nominated Drummond for the award.

A study in hard work and persistence, Drummond was initially influenced to study physics and biology by a young teacher at a private school she attended in New Jersey. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she came to Carnegie Mellon where she is working with researchers to fine tune a pediatric heart pump.

The road has not been easy. "We need more women in the engineering and science fields," Drummond said. Two years ago, Drummond helped plan some of the graduate student events at the 32nd annual National Society of Black Engineers  (NSBE) Conference held at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Blacks make up only about 36,000, or 2.6 percent, of the 1.4 million working engineers in the U.S., even though they represent roughly 12 percent of the overall population, according to NSBE.

The conference at which Carnegie Mellon's Drummond will receive her accolades is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corp., The Council of the Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine.