Black History Month Panel to Discuss 'Past, Present, Future' in Engineering – University of Arkansas Newswire

From left, top row: alumni Emanuel Banks and Kelly Bryant; bottom row: Todd Kitchen Jr. and Sandra Walton.
The College of Engineering's Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is excited to host a Black History Month panel discussion titled "The Evolution of Blacks In Engineering, the Past, Present and Future" at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 via Zoom.
Featured guest panelists are College of Engineering alumni Emanuel Banks, Kelly Bryant, Todd Kitchen Jr. and Sandra Walton.
Patrice Sims, the college's assistant director of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, will moderate the discussion.
"It is important for us to continue educating our faculty, staff and students as well as the community on the importance of Black History Month," Sims said. "As we continue to embrace our past and present, the future in STEM is bright. We should continue to encourage our students to think big, and our dreams should be even bigger."
Zoom registration and details.
Emanuel Banks portraitEmanuel Banks holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and is a registered professional engineer. He recently retired as deputy director and chief engineer after a 34-plus years of service with the Arkansas Department of Transportation. He directed all engineering activities for the department, which included administrative oversight for three engineering branches — planning, design and operations — totaling 3,352 employees. Banks was the first African American to hold this position. He has served as a board member of the Black Alumni Society and the Arkansas Alumni Association and currently serves as a board member on the North Little Rock Planning Commission. Since retiring, he owns and operates a construction company and engineering firm. He lives in North Little Rock.
Kelly Bryant portraitKelly D. Bryant, a native of Malvern, holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Master of Science in environmental management from Webster University. She works as an environmental manager for Clearwater Paper Corp. and is responsible for compliance with state and federal environmental regulations and permits. She has lived in Pine Bluff since 2005.
Emanuel Banks portrait
Todd Kitchen Jr., a recent graduate, holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and works as a project engineer for Lockheed Martin Aero. He is a member of the college's Early Career Advisory Council. In addition, he is a members of the National Society of Black Engineers, Lockheed Martin Leadership Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Sandra Walton portraitSandra Walton is a 2017 graduate of the Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering. She is from Fayetteville but now lives in Georgia, where she is a process engineer for Procter & Gamble, helping to manage the process of two $350 million operations. Walton is a member of the Black Alumni Society Board, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and has had numerous leadership positions in her lifetime.
Patrice Sims, assistant director of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
College of Engineering
Performances will include the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, songwriter and trombonist Aubrey Logan, The Kingston Trio and seasonal shows by the U of A Department of Music.
The four finalists in the national search for the next chancellor of the U of A will each participate in a public forum, which will also be streamed live and recorded.
The Pat Walker Health Center's department of Wellness and Health Promotion has transitioned into three different departments in the Division of Student Affairs.
Sara Barnett-Nsakashalo, a doctoral student in the Adult and Lifelong Learning Program, was awarded the top scholar award at this year's Muscogee Nation Festival Scholars Forum for her dissertation work.
Phillip Owens, research leader and research soil scientist with the USDA and the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, has been named a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.


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