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Community Service

Tarolyn Buckles, president and CEO of Onyx Enterprise, Inc., featured on Detroit Public Television Education Series "STEM Heroes".
Tarolyn Buckles

A champion for STEM diversity

University of Michigan's Civil and Environmental Engineering alumni Tarolyn Buckles has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 College of Engineering Distinguished Service Award.
Ms. Buckles was born in Natchez, Mississippi but is a true native Detroiter. She attended the Detroit Public Schools. Ms. Buckles began her quest in the love of the sciences and art at an early age while participating in many Girl Scouts programs, traveling at the age of 12 years alone to the University of Evansville, Indiana for an art program and exchange student; She participated in many Pre-College engineering programs DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program); University of Michigan SEA (Summer Engineering Academy); Lawrence Tech University summer science and engineering program; Southern University engineering program in Baton Rouge, LA; and MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) Engineering program to name a few.

Upon graduating from Murray Wright High School she attended the University of Michigan College of Engineering and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Structural/ Civil Engineering in 1993. While attending the University of Michigan Ms. Buckles worked at MDOT during the summer seasons on projects ranging from survey crew to inspector of storm and sanitary pipe installation, bridge repair, and concrete testing. While on campus at U of M, Ms. Buckles was active with the NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) societies on campus.

In 1998 Ms. Buckles committed her life to service with organizations such as National Society of Black Engineers Detroit Alumni Extension (NSBE-DAE) serving in roles as Treasurer in 1998 and Chair from 2000-2002 and NSBE Region 4 Chair for a half a term in 2002. Ms. Buckles is the Co-Founder of COMPES (Coalition of Minority Professional Engineering Societies), which was established in 1998 where the organizations NSBE, SWE and SHPE founded the organization for continued collaboration of professional development initiatives and sharing of resources for the advancement of each organization collective mission of increasing the interest and number of minorities in the engineer fields. Ms. Buckles is also one of the co-founders of COBO (Coalition of Black Organizations) established in 1998 where black organizations NSBE, NABA, MBA collaborate in professional development and community service initiatives. Ms. Buckles is currently active with NSBE DAE Task Force as Co-Chair. The NSBE DAE Task Force Mission is to create opportunities for professionals to engage future leaders through active participation of programs that inspires, motivates and transforms the ideas and perspectives of the true meaning of engineering and how our future leaders can impact the world.

Onyx Enterprise believes in diversity. Ms. Buckles also has a passion for Diversity. Ms. Buckles planned two (2) Diversity Conferences/ Summits in Detroit in 2006 and 2008. As the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Diversity Committee Chair, Ms. Buckles planned the conferences where community Engineering consulting firms, Educators, the former City of Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, and local News Anchors and panelists discussed the current State of Engineering and ways the community can partner together to increase the interest in advancing diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M) fields which is critical to meet the 21st century global challenges. Ms. Buckles also serves on the University of Michigan College of Engineering Advisory Board for the Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach, whose vision is "To set loose on the world an increasingly diverse, globally competent and creative engineering workforce ready to take action and change the world".

Ms. Buckles has been published in many magazines: Crain's Detroit Business, Black Enterprise, Michigan Contractor and Builder, NSBE Magazine and Diversity & Careers Magazine. She has also received many honors ASCE-Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering-Honorable Mention; University of Michigan 5 under 10 Award for Professional Achievements and Community Service; the Water Access Volunteer Effort most active volunteer, and Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) Building the Pipeline award to name a few.

Ms. Buckles keeps balance in her life with enjoying her family and friends. She is proud of her niece and nephew and her mentees in her life, which she extends unconditional love and advice in every area of their lives and teaches them to 'Give and good things will be Given to you'.


Professional Memberships
» Co-Founder and Chair, National Association of Minority Consulting Engineers (NAMCE) - Detroit Chapter, 2013 to present
» Co-Founder, Coalition of Minority Professional Engineering Societies (NSBE, SWE, SHPE), COMPES - Detroit, MI.
» American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE
» National Society of Black Engineers, NSBE
» Society of Women Engineers, SWE
» Society of Hispanic Engineers
» National Organization of Minority Architects, NOMA
» National Association of Women in Construction, NAWIC

» Director, CEEFA Board University of Michigan College of Engineering
» Director and Treasurer, Michigan Virtual Charter School Academy (MVCA)
» Co-Founder and President, National Association of Minority Consulting Engineers (NAMCE)
» Diversity Chair, Reception Committee Chair: ASCE - Southeastern MI.
» Past Chair, Past Treasurer, Past Region IV Chair: NSBE Alumni Ext - Detroit, MI
» Subteam Leader, CEDO - University of Michigan College of Engineering
» Volunteer, Reading Corps Program - Detroit Public Schools

» CEEFA, University of Michigan's Civil and Environmental Engineering Friends Association - 2013 to present
» CEDO, University of Michigan's Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach - 2008 to present
» MVCA, Michigan Virtual Charter School - Treasurer from 2013 to present
» NAMCE, National Association of Minority Consulting Engineers
» NSBE, National Society of Black Engineers
» NOMA, National Organization of Minority Architects
» MMCA, Michigan Mason Contractors Association

» Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) - Building the Pipeline Award
» American Socity of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering - Honorable mention for             ongoing promotion of diversity within civil engineering
» Univeristy of Michigan - 5 under 10 Award for Professional achievements and community service
» USDOT - Women Impacting the Nation in Transportation, 2016
» Chi Epsilon Honorary member Univ. of Michigan Civil Engineering, 2017
» Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, 2017
» SBA Impact Award Business and Community Finalist, 2017
» University of Michigan Engineering Alumni Board - Distinguished Service Award, 2017
» Best Minority Woman-Owned Engineering Consultancy – USA, 2017

» USDOT Women History Month - Women Impacting the Nation in Transportation - March 2016
» Michigan Contractor & Builder - Women in Construction - June 2001
» Black Enterprise Magazine - 2000
» Diversity & Careers Magazine - 2008
» NSBE Magazine - 2001 & 2008
» Crain’s Magazine - 2013

» 2004 ACEC Conference - Colorado Springs, CO - “Diversity-State of Minorities in Engineering”
» 2004 ASCE Student Night Meeting - Lawrence Tech. University(LTU) - “Diversity-State of Minorities in Engineering”
» 2006 Planned and conducted ASCE First Annual Diversity Conference, Detroit, MI
» 2008 Planned and conducted ASCE Diversity Symposium II, Detroit, MI
» University of Michigan College of Engineering - Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach (CEDO)
» 2011 and 2012 Girls in Engineering event “Girls Rock in Engineering” - Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
» 2014 WJR Radio Onyx Enterprise, Inc. Small Business Experience
» 2012 MDOT/ HNTB Youth Development Mentoring Program at LTU
» 2015 University of Michigan College of Civil Engineering CEE-200 Introduction to Civil Engineering
» 2015 MDOT DBE Conference - Partnering What does a Successful Protege Look Like
» 2016 WXYZ Radio Small Talk - Entrepreneurship Success Stories
» 2016 MDOT DBE Conference - Benefits of Associations
» 2016 AMAC Conference - Navigating Certifications and Organizations
» 2016 MMSDC Conference - Entrepreneurship
» 2016 SBA Emerging Leaders Graduation


Life Remodeled - Remodeling lives one neighborhood at at time. Life Remodeled - Remodeling lives one neighborhood at at time.
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