Black Engineering Graduate Student Association
The Black Engineering Graduate Student Association (BEGSA) was founded in the Fall 2013 by Dr. Henry Burton and Dr. Marcelo Worsley. Both recipients of DARE Fellowship, Burton and Worsley experienced firsthand the lack of community and camaraderie among black graduate students in the School of Engineering. While the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) and Society of Black Scientists and Engineers (SBSE) occasionally involved black graduate engineering students, neither organization adequately addressed the interests and needs of black students pursuing graduate degrees in various engineering fields. Dr. Burton and Dr. Worsley founded BEGSA to “promote skills development, professional preparation and social opportunities for its members.” The initial group consisted of seven students, and met monthly to talk about research, community building and future plans for BEGSA.
As most of the members of BEGSA, including Dr. Burton and Dr. Worsley, graduated from Stanford in 2014, Jeremy Feaster was elected as president of BEGSA. He officially registered BEGSA as a student volunteer organization with the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU). Membership increased over the next two years, reaching its current total of 22 active members and an executive board of 5 members. BEGSA has developed collaborations with the Latino Engineering Graduate Student Organization at Stanford (LEGOS), SBSE, and BGSA, as well as with BEAM, VPGE, and the King Institute.
BEGSA aims to accomplish its mission through the following objectives:
Organize community building events to build a sense of camaraderie among black engineering (and STEM) graduate students
Advance a broader knowledge of engineering disciplines through peer presentations, and engaging general discussions.
Promote network development by connecting current students with black engineering Masters and PhD alumni, black faculty and staff.
Help recruit new graduate students and help them transition into their programs and the general Stanford community.
Contribute to students’ professional and personal development through skill building workshops, career workshops and forums