Campus Celebrity: Joshah Cass

Among the many distinguished men at Auburn University, Joshah Cass is making a huge impact on campus. As the President of Auburn University’s Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (AUNSBE), this man is making sure his presence is known while rallying a lot of support for his organization and his love for the engineering field.

Age: 20

Major: Aerospace Engineering

What made you run for NSBE President: Ever since I was a young I’ve been in love with aircrafts; planes, helicopters, jets, rockets, satellites, etc. I fostered that love for airplanes into a full-blown passion for anything Aerospace. The environment I grew up in wasn’t wildly supportive of the engineering career path. Despite not having any support to pursue my dreams outside of my mother, I still prided myself on the pursuit of Aerospace Engineering. Eventually, my pursuit led me to Auburn University, where I ran into the then-Treasurer, Aaron Jordan, and then-President, Jamichael James during an AEP Summer Bridge Presentation of NSBE. Immediately following the conclusion of their presentation, I knew I not only wanted to be in NSBE but I wanted to be the President of this organization, one day. Naively, I went up to Jamichael after their presentation, introduced myself, and I then said, “How can I be the next President?” I decided to run for NSBE President in the hopes that I would be able to provide support and encourage all the minority students in Auburn and the surrounding community. I want them to know that it isn’t weird to be an engineer!

What type of volunteer events has NSBE participated in this year? Which was your favorite: AUNSBE has participated in tons of volunteering events, this year and in the past! AUNSBE has launched its own volunteer Technical Out Reach Community Help (T.O.R.C.H.) initiative called “I Am My Brother’s Keeper” (IAMBK), which we have been facilitating every Monday at the Boykin Community Center in Auburn, Alabama for the past 2 months. For approximately 1 to severals hours, Officers and members of AUNSBE go out to Boykin to assist kids in their academic studies, as well as foster their interests in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. The largest volunteer event that AUNSBE has conducted of the Fall Semester was our “A Walk For Education” (AWFE) that we held in Opelika, Alabama. AWFE is one of the largest National Initiatives under the National NSBE Umbrella and the Auburn University Chapter held its very first participation in this event on Saturday, September 27th from 8am to about 5pm that evening. During this event, we inform and encourage the residents around the community to begin planning a future in STEM. We passed out nicely packaged bags of information on Financial Aid, Scholarships, Auburn University admission requirement, and a plethora of fun items for kids such as autographed pictures from our wonderful mascot, Aubie the Tiger, and a beautifully designed “viewbook” that was created by the very talented students and staff of the Auburn University Architecture Department.

What do you think the defining attributes of a leader are (not only in organization, but in life):  Leaders are gluttons for punishment and don’t mind putting themselves in the line of fire for the people they serve. The most defining characteristic of a leader is awareness; realizing and understanding the dynamics of the people around them, the environment they serve, and how their role interacts with all of these factors. A good leader will know what the general umbrella of good leadership qualities are considered by society, however, a great leader has the awareness to understand that not everyone can or should lead the same. I personally believe that my defining attributes as a leader are: pride, confidence, innovation, interpersonal understanding, assessment of the past, and adequate adjusting for successfully planning out the future.

What else are you involved in on Auburn’s campus:  Aside from living, breathing, eating, and sleeping NSBE, I am also involved in the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program (AEP) as a student mentor, and I am also an Auburn Football Tiger Host in Auburn’s Tigerettes & Tiger Hosts/S.O.A.R. (TTH) program this year. I enjoy being an “unsung hero” of a successful football program! These groups have provided me with exciting and unforgettable experiences that not everyone can say that they have been a part of!

How are these organizations preparing you for the future:  Every organization that I am involved with is developing my leadership capabilities in different situations. TTH has taught me how to play the role of an active subordinate, while also holding others around me accountable for their individual actions because it contributes to the overall success of the group. Being in a NSBE Officer, one of the largest student-ran organization in the world, is something beyond description. NSBE will always have a special place in my heart for the incredible impact it has had on my development as a Black Engineer. NSBE has shown me time and time again that we aren’t as alone as it may seem on our individual campuses. There is truly an entire world of minority engineers out there pursuing and attaining their Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D degrees. The numbers are only growing and it is this repeated success that inspires me to be the best I can be in every aspect of my student career at Auburn and a leader in NSBE.

 

NSBE’s next huge events include the “Blue Jeans For Babies”/March of Dimes Fundraiser, Wednesday, Nov. 12th in both the Student Center and on the Concourse, Ubisoft “Battle Royale” on the week of Nov. 10th, and  Auburn University Dance Marathon, February 7th, 2015. Make sure support these fundraisers and Auburn University’s NSBE chapter!