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Veronica L. Nelson recently won the 2024 Eugene DeLoatch Legacy Award for her leadership role as the executive director of Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE). The award recognized her dedication, passion, and remarkable work with the 16 ABET-accredited HBCU Schools of Engineering, along with her partnership with AMIE Partners over the past 6.5 years.

Nelson expressed her gratitude towards the AMIE community, stating that she couldn’t have achieved this recognition without their support. She thanked Abbott, Boston Scientific, and IBM for the nomination and acknowledged the support of all the partners who submitted letters of recommendation to the BEYA Selection Committee.

The Legacy Awards were introduced during the BEYA’s 30th-anniversary conference, in honor of the men and women who have won the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for their significant contributions to science and technology since 1987.

The 2024 Dr. Eugene DeLoatch Legacy Award winner embodies all the characteristics of forging the future that Dr. Eugene DeLoatch himself possessed. DeLoatch played a significant role in increasing minority representation in engineering, and he was honored as the Black Engineer of the Year in 2016.

The current dean of Morgan State University’s School of Engineering presented the 2024 Dr. Eugene DeLoatch Legacy Award at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Engineering Deans Recognition Event, which was held during the 38th annual BEYA STEM Conference.

Veronica L. Nelson was introduced as the award recipient by Dr. Oscar Barton, who described her as a highly respected figure in engineering and education.

As the longtime executive director of the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) organization, she has promoted diversity and inclusion. Nelson’s leadership has helped to establish partnerships between academia, government, and industry, creating opportunities for historically underrepresented minorities in engineering and technology.

One of her most notable contributions is her transformative impact on organizational revenue and scholarship support. Under her leadership, AMIE’s revenues increased nearly fourfold to $1.8 million, allowing for an increase in scholarships and implementing a strategic plan to support HBCU engineering schools.

Nelson’s efforts have helped to create opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences and connect with potential employers promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

Accepting her award, Nelson said she was truly honored to receive the 2024 Dr. Eugene DeLoatch Legacy Award. She mentioned that someone’s legacy is the positive impact they make on the lives of others and that Dr. Eugene DeLoatch did this for many people, including herself. She expressed her purpose and passion for exposing students to STEM and increasing awareness and access to STEM programs and opportunities.

As the executive director of AMIE, Nelson has the chance to live her dream and accomplish her life purpose: to make a difference. She thanked her parents, her two sons who have followed in her footsteps in STEM, and her friends and partners, including Career Communications Group, the HBCU engineering school deans, and Howard University, for their support and help in achieving her goals.

Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) is a non-profit organization that aims to expand alliances that implement and support programs to attract, educate, graduate, and place underrepresented minority students in engineering careers.

The initiative was started by Abbott Laboratories in 1992, and AMIE represents a coalition of industry and government agencies and the ABET-accredited Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Schools of Engineering, who see a diversified workforce as a competitive advantage and an essential business strategy.

Nelson’s career of more than two decades has involved engineering management and university/diversity recruitment, and she has held leadership roles in both corporate and non-profit areas. She has over 20 years of experience in engineering and engineering management. Before AMIE, she worked as a senior associate in Talent Acquisition, where she managed, developed, and implemented firm-wide strategies for university and diversity recruiting.

Previously, she worked at Northrop Grumman Corporation, managing various HR programs, including Career Pathways, Diversity Recruiting, and University Relations & Recruiting. While at Northrop Grumman, she developed the first Automated Surface Mount Assembly Line in the Mission Systems Sector based in Baltimore.

Nelson earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Robotics from Howard University.

She received the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM) Fellowship. She was the first female to obtain her Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University.

Nelson has a deep commitment to enhancing the STEM Pipeline and HBCUs. Her passion and dedication to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) have earned her several awards, including the 2007 Women of Color in Technology Award for Educational Leadership – Corporate Promotion of Education and the 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Educational Leadership – Promotion of Higher Education.

She also serves on multiple Engineering Industry Advisory Boards and Technical Advisory Boards focused on increasing the STEM Pipeline and enhancing Engineering Education.

Updated in April 2024.


View Comments (1)

Ronald WilkinsMay 26, 2017
3:30 pm

I am doctoral candidate (ABD) at North Carolina A&T State University. I have over 30 years experience in manufacturing and quality industry, and a Masters in Science Degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Manufacturing and Quality Systems. Also, I am a trained NASA Certified Robotics Instructor and I would love to get involved in strengthening the American Workforce thru STEM opportunities. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

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