Joshua Frenchwood, an electrical engineering junior at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, won a Student Leadership Award from the Career Communications Group Inc. and the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Conference.
He will be recognized at the Student Leadership Awards Dinner at the 2019 BEYA STEM Conference in Washington, D.C. in February.
“I chose to study electrical engineering because I am very interested in how electricity and software is used to make new technology,” Frenchwood said. He is currently exploring different ways of using software to help small business owners.
“The only way a small business can compete in today’s market is with software,” he said, citing software products like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Shopify and others. “I am very interested in using my coding skills to provide more services and products to the business owners that need it the most.”
Giving back is important to Frenchwood. He has worked for more than two years as a program assistant for the St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy, an innovative after school program at the University of Houston Charter School designed to engage underrepresented minority boys – fourth and fifth grade students – in STEM activities, education and issues. In his role there, Frenchwood has designed and facilitated experiments, led classroom management and provided mentorship.
He is actively involved in the UH student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). As the Career Fair Assistant Chair, he helped organize the 2017 UH Engineering Career Fair, which included more than 100 participating companies.
Frenchwood, who maintains a 3.6 GPA, has earned a number of scholarships. He was the only freshman among 20 high performing students to earn the very selective National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) scholarship and was recently named the UH NACME Scholar Ambassador. In his new role, Frenchwood will plan events for local NACME Scholars and serve as a liaison between UH and NACME national headquarters.
He also received a Shell Incentive Fund Scholarship and was recruited by Exxon Mobil for their Future Leaders Academy.
In addition to all this, Frenchwood has also gained work experience through internships. In 2018, he participated in an Exxon Mobil Field Electrical Engineering Internship and – in 2017 – served as a research intern in an electroscience lab at Ohio State University.
Frenchwood’s goal is to one day own or work for a company that uses technology to impact the world in positive ways. “I know I can use the skills I’m learning at UH to contribute back to society,” he said.