“The Park Scholarships program provided me with a community of amazing individuals and resources to rely on. My fellow Park Scholars showed me on a daily basis just how much one passionate student could accomplish for the world.”— Calvin Phelps '09
Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
Major: B.S. Aerospace Engineering
As the national chairperson of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Calvin Phelps ’09 has big plans to advance the organization during his term in office.
“Our mission IS the mission,” says Phelps. His primary goal is to fulfill the mission set forth by the membership of NSBE: “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”
To accomplish his goal, Phelps will focus on two primary objectives – academic excellence for student members and further developing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) pipeline. While he will challenge the current NSBE leadership and members to enhance existing programs and develop new initiatives, Phelps will also lay the groundwork to move the organization forward long after his term ends. “Understanding that the future is our responsibility; we will work continuously to introduce our young people to the opportunities that are available in the engineering fields,” says Phelps.
As a member of NSBE since his junior year in high school, Phelps has served as the Region II treasurer and chair, and has been involved with the Pre-College Initiative program and annual national conventions. He was named a NSBE Golden Torch Awards Scholar, Board of Corporate Affiliates Scholar, and Fulfilling the Legacy Scholar.
Phelps, a resident of High Point, North Carolina, completed his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at NC State University. As a member of the Park Scholars Class of 2009, he was involved in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Phelps studied abroad in Venezuela, and interned at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was also a Caldwell Fellow and a Gates Millennium Scholar. Phelps is currently pursuing his master's degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University.
"The Park Scholarship was many things to me during my time at NC State, and I think it's safe to say that the Park, and the people I met through it, are largely responsible for who I am today," says Phelps.
NSBE is one of the largest student-managed organizations in the country with more than 35,000 members. The organization is comprised of more than 233 chapters on college and university campuses, 65 Alumni Extension chapters, and 89 Pre-College chapters.