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Senior Vice President of IBM Systems and Technology Group and 2011 Black Enterprise Corporate Executive of the Year, Rodney Adkins (Photo by Rayon Richards)

NACME’s President and CEO Irving Pressley McPhail says Adkins has been invaluable in “bringing IBM’s presence and opening up his Rolodex” to the organization’s efforts to raise scholarship funds, provide internships, and increase corporate representation. “Rod is passionate and very committed. He really wants to make a difference in what we see as an American dilemma, the underrepresentation of minorities in STEM.”

“He is an excellent mentor,” McPhail continues, “He is willing to take his time to work with individual students. It’s important just to take time with young, impressionable students so they can see that they can become a Rod Adkins one day–that they can ascend to be among the top three in leadership at IBM. That’s something they can’t get in any engineering program.”