By Denise Dechaine
Brenda Nathan, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, has
more on her agenda than the average Cal Poly student.
Not only does Nathan attend school full-time, she is also the
current Region VI secretary for the National Society of Black
“I’m constantly learning so much about management, organization,
communication and so many other things outside of the typical
engineering student’s life,” said Nathan. “It gives me the
opportunity to see how the only student run organization, with more
than 30,000 members is run.”
Getting the region position was not an easy achievement.
While at last year’s NSBE National Conference in Las Vegas,
Nathan was nominated for the program’s chair position but opted for
the secretary position.
It involved having to give a speech in front of the entire
region citing her qualifications and reasons for election.
When the vote for the secretary position resulted in a tie, a
sudden death judging round was initiated. Nathan had to give a
30-second speech on the spot.
The NSBE chapter believed Nathan was the best choice for the
“I think Brenda being appointed as Region VI secretary was one
of the best moves by the regional board,” said Chris Osuala, vice
president of Cal Poly’s NSBE chapter and third-year chemical
“She was so passionate about being president of just the Cal
Poly NSBE chapter alone, but when she became secretary, she took
her passion for NSBE to a whole new level.”
Her management skills and professionalism are widely
complemented and attributed for her success.
“The way she handles her job inspired me to do the best I can as
the current vice-president of the Cal Poly chapter,” said
Nathan believes her engineering father instilled her
determination and commitment.
“I’m constantly inspired by the hard work I see from him. It
proves to me that I can do something impactful,” Nathan said.
Nathan plans to graduate in 2012 and hopes to be admitted to the
University of Davis’ Biomedical Engineering and Engineering
Management graduate program.
Reach Denise DeChaine at: email@example.com
Josh Tatum/Poly Post
A father’s wisdom inspires student success
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