January 12, 2016Three students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science will receive Student Leadership Awards at the 30th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference in February. Ph.D. student Ariel Ash-Shakoor will receive a Community Award — an award that recognizes students that have shown leadership in promoting STEM to other students or the community. Ash-Shakoor is the founder of the STEM tutoring program at the Syracuse Northeast Community Center. The K-12 program provides help with science and math homework from Syracuse University students and conducts monthly science experiments to inspire a greater interest in STEM among the participants. Biomedical engineering students Alexis Peña ’16 and Stephen Benn ’16 will receive Research Awards. This award recognizes students for their accomplishments in STEM research. In Peña’s most recent work, she characterized the spatial and temporal bias of cortical progenitors in the mammalian cortex at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Benn’s research is in developing a dissolvable plastic sleeve that goes under the skin to surround and heal broken bones as an alternative to traditional methods, such as external casts. David Gilstrap ’18, a student in the School of Education, will also receive an award at the event. The sophomore health and exercise science major and member of the track and field team will receive an Athletic Award. The conference, hosted by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, brings together students, college administrators, recruiters, engineering and IT professionals, scientists, and high-level decision-makers from the corporate, government, and military communities, in an effort to broaden diversity in this country’s technical and scientific work forces.