JSU-CSET’s Society of Women Engineers hosts panel to inspire young females


_O9T1071“Introduce a Girl to Engineering” was the theme of the JSU-CSET chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, which hosted a panel discussion on women in engineering and science in celebration of Engineering Week 2017.

Keynote speakers included, Leah Walters of Nissan, North America, Dr. Renee Horton of NASA and JSU vice president for Information Technology, Dr. Deborah Dent. Participants engaged in an open dialogue with students from Provine and Jim Hill high schools (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

Dr. Deborah Dent, vice president Information Technology, Jackson State University

“I decided to participate in the event in an effort to encourage young ladies to major in STEM and engineering fields.  It was a joy to speak into their lives.”

_O9T1075_O9T1086Dr. Leah H. Walters, senior engineer, Nissan N.A.

“I accepted the invitation as a female engineer panelist because I wanted to share my journey with young women interested in STEM.  My purpose was to inform them of how important school is and the steps needed for success.  Also, I am currently an external advisor of the Society of Women Engineers at JSU and the president of the organization invited me to attend.”

Dr. Rene Horton, lead metallics and weld engineer, NASA

“My mentee, Breonna Deshazur, asked and I obliged.  I love my mentees. I have 8-10 mentees across the region and I check in with them in the beginning of each year. I inquire what they are planning each semester;  if they are on target with their graduation; and how can I support them.  There is nothing more important to me than to see young black women achieve and fulfill their dreams!”


Dr. Rene Horton


Dr. Leah Walters


Dr. Deborah Dent

Christy Greenfield, sophomore, computer engineering major

“I really enjoyed the presentations.  The speakers were extremely informative on issues that affect women in positions that are male dominant I was very intrigued and the event was great.”

Breonna DeShazer, president, JSU SWE Chapter, senior, civil engineering major

“As the president of the Society of Women Engineers here at JSU, I thought it would be great to host an event that would inspire young girls to explore engineering options and opportunities.During my undergraduate experience I found three wonderful mentors and I figured they would be great inspirations to the young girls from Jim Hill and Provine High School.I’m so glad I have been able to make a difference in the lives of young women.”

_O9T1102_O9T0918Jontay Reynolds, senior, electrical engineering major

“It was an amazing experience. I was honestly not going to show up until Erin convinced me that I should check it out.  I am so glad I did.  It felt as though the speakers were talking straight to me in relation to how they grew and certain experiences they dealt with.  A really great experience and the food wasn’t too shabby either!”

DeBorah C. Luckett, sophomore, civil engineering major

“The event today was inspiring!! Each speaker encouraged and mentioned aspects of thoughts and questions I always wanted to hear about.  They engaged and showed me how I can be who they are!”