Chemical engineering senior Olabisi Bello is recipient of the 2023 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Student Leadership Award. The BEYA Student Leadership Award serves to recognize students who are striving to make outstanding contributions to the varied aspects of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) education and who have proven an interest and commitment to volunteering and learning while affecting the academic atmosphere of their campus.
“Being recognized on such a grand level was an honor! Alhamdulillah (all thanks to Allah) that I was blessed enough to receive this award,” said Bello.
The hard work and diligence that Bello continues to display have also resulted in her being awarded scholarships such as the prestigious Tau Beta Pi Scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Scholarships are awarded annually by Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, to junior members on a competitive basis of high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the engineering profession.
Featured in the society’s press release, Bello served as the executive president for the CEA Student Council this academic year. In this role, she made significant impacts by rebranding and recruiting a larger student council body over the summer to enhance student support. Throughout the year, she and her team led the efforts for several social and professional development events and initiatives that ensured her peers remained informed and received additional guidance and support to achieve academic success. These efforts included organizing student travel to three external hackathons during the school year, executing the first annual CEA Dinner and Awards Night Gala, hosting a resume and mock interview workshop, and planning a Fall festival and CEA-wide picnic.
This academic year, Bello also transitioned from her role as president for the Howard University chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (HU-SWE) (Spring 2020-Spring 2022) to serve in a higher-level role as the collegiate engagement lead for the SWE African American Affinity Group where her focus is to engage and support all SWE HBCU collegiate chapters.
In her capacity as president of the Howard University chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (HU-SWE), Bello worked with college leadership as a peer, demonstrating outstanding leadership and professional skills that required a higher level of understanding, dedication and commitment. Bello is the type of student leader who was able to maintain her high academic standards, while serving her peers, and during her tenure, she built up HU-SWE to become one of the most active and fruitful student organizations in the college.
Bello has co-hosted large events with college leadership, such as the annual CEA Women’s Leadership Panel, which takes place during Women’s History Month. She took the lead in organizing the event, reaching out to the greater community of women of color in leadership positions, and ensuring the content and program were most beneficial for her peers.
What’s her motto?
“Never give up, no matter how tough the situation is or how high the mountain ahead looks. It just means the view from the top would be much nicer!”
And her best advice?
“Determine along your journey what it is that you are truly passionate about. That passion will drive you towards certain roles and certain organizations, and it makes the journey much more fun and enjoyable because you get to spend your hours working on something you care about.”
Watch Bello receive her award on YouTube.