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National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers debut meeting at the University of Tennessee

UT NOBCChE Debuts with Interest Meeting & Mixer

On March 26, the University of Tennessee launched its own chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

The chapter debuted with an “Interest Meeting & Mixer” event, welcoming a community committed to fostering diversity and leadership in STEM. The UT NOBCChE event was open to all students with a passion for STEM fields. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the organization and network with students from other departments.

NOBCChE debut meeting at the University of Tennessee

Avery Blockmon, the chapter’s president, and a PhD candidate in the UT Department of Chemistry, led the meeting with a presentation on NOBCChE’s history, membership benefits, and the lineup of events planned by the chapter. The session also highlighted the organization’s goals, involvement opportunities, and national conferences.

“Bringing such an impactful organization to the University of Tennessee and serving as its president is incredibly special to me. Attending a NOBCChE conference as an undergraduate, I was inspired by seeing other Black scientists, which motivated me to pursue a graduate degree at UT,” Blockmon said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to introduce NOBCChE to our campus and hope it similarly inspires students here, aiding them in their academic and career journeys.”

The mixer that followed the presentation featured food and drinks. Along with that, icebreaker questions were asked, which created an engaging environment for participants to connect with one another. This set the stage for a relaxed atmosphere with board and card games. The evening left a lasting impression of community and anticipation for future gatherings.

NOBCChE initial meeting where members are playing games

“What excites me most about the UT chapter of NOBCChE is the opportunity to unite undergraduate and graduate students from various departments who might not otherwise meet,” said Blockmon. “It’s easy to become secluded in our own academic bubbles, but NOBCChE provides a space to connect with other like-minded individuals who share a passion for science.”

The NOBCChE Interest Meeting & Mixer was not just an event but a steppingstone towards creating a more inclusive and diverse scientific community at UT and beyond. For more information about the NOBCChE chapter at UT, email or follow the Instagram page @nobcche.utk.


Lilly Tran (