N.C. A&T Mechanical Engineering Senior Recognized as 2021 Namaskar Winner

By Alexander Saunders / 03/12/2021 College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 12, 2021) – From the corridors of McNair Hall pre-pandemic, to the screens on Zoom, mechanical engineering senior Joshua Burnell is known as a student leader at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University who has strived to positively impact his department, college and university throughout his undergraduate academic career.

During the celebration of National Engineers Week at A&T’s College of Engineering (COE), Burnell was selected as the 2021 Namaskar winner for his leadership, professionalism and his level of academic success. COE awards this distinction annually to a graduating senior, highlighting the importance of excellence in engineering and to encourage students to strive for excellence in their endeavors.

In his remarks, Burnell was quick to share praise for the honor and shared his view that the award is all about inspiring the next generation of engineering student leaders.

“Throughout my time at North Carolina A&T, I have been mentored by former Namaskar nominees like Ean Hall, Talia Thomas, Rashmi Kumari, and Maximilien DeLeon,” said Burnell. “I was inspired by what they were able to achieve in their time at the university and I wanted to create a legacy of my own that rivaled theirs.”

This year’s Namaskar Award nominees were:

  • Dorant Smith, electrical engineering
  • Jerrell Mobley, industrial & systems engineering
  • Joshua Burnell, mechanical engineering
  • Megan Bush, architectural engineering
  • Oluchi Chukwunyere, computer science
  • Karrington Cooper, bioengineering

“The Namaskar Award is a time-honored tradition for the College of Engineering. Once again, this year's nominees were all of high caliber, where all six have made a difference at A&T and will continue to do great things after graduation,” said Robin N. Coger, Ph.D., COE dean. “Congratulations to Josh for being this year's awardee, and congratulations to all of the finalists for your well-earned distinction.”

In the past four years, Burnell has served as the president of both the A&T chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Pi Tau Sigma honor society, participated as a superuser in the college’s makerspace, and established the student advisory board for the mechanical engineering department. 

Burnell noted the most enriching conferences and awards programs he has participated in during his time at A&T included being named a 2019 Science and Mentoring Diversity Program Medtech Scholar, a NSBE Northrop Grumman Integrated Pipeline Scholar, and being chosen for the inaugural class of the John Deere Brazil Study Abroad Program.

“From my first internship experience at Edwards Lifesciences, which sent me across the country to design transcatheter heart valves, N.C. A&T has enabled me to pursue professional opportunities that also included working at both John Hopkins and Medtronic,” said Burnell. 

For Burnell, the Namaskar award is humbling because it places him among what he considers the COE greats.

“My acknowledgment of my fellow nominee, Megan Bush, and my freshman roommate Vincent comes from a place of true gratitude. Beyond these two, every one of the nominees has had an influence on my matriculation through this program,’ said Burnell. “From mentees, mentors, faculty, and friends, my individual interactions actions with everyone created the person I am today.”

After graduating in May, Burnell will begin the operational leadership development program at the company Hillrom.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

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