The Hope College chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has received a grant from the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund in support of professional development opportunities for its student members.

The $2,500 grant will enable students to attend the regional and national conferences of the NSBE.

The NSBE is the premier organization serving African Americans in engineering and technology. With 15,000 members and more than 300 chapters, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of university and pre-college students and technical professionals. The society's mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., and chartered in 1976, the national organization grew out of a student organization established at Purdue University in the early 1970s. Additional information about the NSBE may be found online at

The college's NSBE chapter was dedicated in the spring of 2006. Its activities have ranged from participating in the fall Homecoming Parade to working on an engineering internship/full-time employment job fair-networking event planned for later this year. The chapter has eight members but is eager to recruit more - and to make a difference, including in recruiting and retaining minority students in engineering, and helping them succeed according to its president, senior Danielle Simmons of Kalamazoo.

"Having an NSBE chapter on campus has created a support system for minority students in engineering and related science fields," she said. Simmons has appreciated her own involvement in the organization. "NSBE has given me a chance to exercise leadership and has also opened up more opportunities for success in the field of engineering," she said.

The engineering program at Hope offers a B.S. degree with a major in engineering that is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Engineering instruction at Hope began in the 1970s, and Hope established the major in 1997.