Mortar Board taps NE undergrad Destiny White

The Barbara Cook Chapter of Mortar Board at Purdue University recently tapped 42 rising seniors in the Class of 2022. Among them is Destiny White, a junior in the School of Nuclear Engineering.

Those selected for this prestigious organization exemplify Mortar Board’s pillars of scholarship, leadership and service. Throughout the next year, they will work to create innovative programming for the benefit of the University and its students.

“My tapping was a complete surprise, thanks to my wonderful friend and fellow Mortar Board member Nicole Clapp. We are on the same committee with Purdue Foundation Student Board (PFSB), so she framed my tapping like we were having a one-on-one meeting to go over some business for the committee,” White said. “I logged onto the call in my PJs ready to have a chat with only her when she surprised me with some of my friends and mentors to tell me I had been tapped. I was having a hard time getting motivated that day, so that call turned my whole week around.”

Unlike many other Mortar Board chapters across the country, there is no petition or application process for the Purdue chapter. A confidential nomination process is used, and other student leaders and faculty members nominate junior they feel are deserving of the honor of being involved in Mortar Board during their senior year. The current Mortar Board class then selects the new members based on these nominations.

"I feel incredibly honored and humbled to have been selected. I have an extraordinary support system of family, friends, and faculty who have uplifted me and had faith in me since day one here at Purdue, and I plan to use every second of my time on Mortar Board giving back to them with my intentions and efforts in the organization,” White said.

In addition to PFSB, White has been involved with American Nuclear Society (ANS) and is the treasurer for Purdue’s student chapter. She also is a member of the Honors Engineering Program, serving as a teaching assistant since her sophomore year.

She also has been involved with conducting undergraduate research with the Radiological and Nuclear Security Laboratory in the Health Sciences Department since she was a freshman. At the end of the last academic year, she co-founded Minorities in Nuclear Engineering & Sciences (MINES), a new student organization intended to spread awareness about nuclear sciences to underrepresented minorities (URM) before college while simultaneously building a professional network of URM nuclear professionals.

Destiny says her only desire after she graduates is to love what she does and make a positive impact while doing it.

“I have my second internship of my undergraduate career coming up this summer with Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I will work to define the engineering constraints of safeguards systems for microreactors. It is my hope that this experience will help shape my path for the future, whether that be graduate school or the beginning of my professional career.”

Over the last 89 years, Mortar Board has given more than $1M in fellowships and awards to Purdue students, staff and student organizations. The money for these gifts comes largely from the annual sales of the well-known Mortar Board calendar.

An initiation ceremony for new members will be held from 3-4 p.m. on March 28th at Purdue Memorial Union.

Source: Purdue Today