Mason Engineering student leader Nikki Gordon appears on NSBE magazine cover
April 4, 2018 / by Martha Bushong
When Nikki Gordon stepped on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University, she knew there was plenty of opportunity for her. The senior, who is an applied mathematics major and systems engineering minor, says, “Not only were there many opportunities for my success and development, there were also many organizations and resources to support my journey through STEM.”
She knew the diversity at the university would allow her to connect with other minority students in STEM.
Gordon has taken advantage of what Mason has to offer both in and out of the classroom, and this month she was even the “cover-girl” for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) magazine. Racheida Lewis, NSBE’s National Vice Chairperson told her that the magazine staff was looking for a NSBE leader in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area to be on the cover. “Racheida thought I would be perfect for the cover and asked if I was interested,” says Gordon.
Gordon got involved with NSBE as soon as she arrived at Mason. She started as an active member and became chapter secretary (2014-2015). In 2015-2016, she was president of the Mason chapter. The chapter won the Distinguished and Small Chapter of the Year awards. In 2016-2017, she moved on to the Regional Executive Board where she served as Terror Zone Coordinator and Vice Chairperson. This year (2017-2018) she served on the Regional and National Executive Board as Region II Chairperson.
“NSBE is like a second family to me, and it's hard to even think about how I would have survived college without it,” says Gordon.
She credits chemistry professor Dr. Gerald Weatherspoon for being a great teacher and mentor. “CHEM 212 was hard, but I've never encountered a professor that genuinely cared about my success as much as Dr. Weatherspoon,” she says.
“He did everything he could to help me, and it was refreshing to have someone who understood the struggle of being a minority in STEM and supported me through it. He was not only a great professor for me but also a great advisor once I furthered my National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) leadership at the chapter.”
She credits NSBE with giving her the tools she needed to become a graduate with an engineering and STEM degree. “It's a big reason I will graduating in December,” says Gordon. “The unique skill set you can gain (especially with leadership positions) will set you apart from the competition and truly make you an asset in high demand.”
Gordon graduates in December and has received her first conditional offer for her dream job--a systems engineering position from a government intelligence agency. She’ll be pursuing that career after she receives her degree.
“Being a cover model is harder than it looks. There’s so much detail and thought that goes into the perfect cover. The tilt of your head, the placement of your hair, the lip gloss you wear all matters.”