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Welcome to the Heartland!

Hi Region H,
Welcome to the Region H blog! This is your source for SWE news in the heartland. My name is Rachel Beck, and I am the Region H Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for Fiscal Year 15 (FY15). If you have any suggestions for the blog or would like to have something posted on the blog, please contact me at
Have a wonderful day,

Membership Recruitment & Retention

September 16, 2014

As the school year begins, an important hot topic to discuss is Membership Recruitment and Retention. These are some tips to help SWE sections, especially collegiate sections, succeed at attracting new members and retaining current members.


recruitment-toolThink of your recruitment process as a sales pitch. Why should someone join SWE? What makes SWE unique, setting it apart from other organizations? For many sections, topics to mention in this pitch can include:

  • Opportunities to meet new friends
  • Social events, professional development, community service, etc.
  • Mentoring from upperclassmen
  • Fun events, often with free food!
  • Scholarship opportunities

Be sure to mention the advantages of becoming a national (paid) member:

  • C2C cost savings
  • SWE online training webinars
  • SWE Career site
  • Reduced prices to attend SWE conferences
  • Ability to hold section/regional/society positions
  • Society scholarships
  • Other benefits your section may offer

Besides a pitch, it’s important to make sure to have friendly one-on-one interactions between potential members and existing members. It may be useful to make a competitive game for SWE officers: how many new people can you meet, remembering names and majors? Some potential events for recruiting could be a booth at your campus’s Student Organization Fair, first meeting(s) of the semester (advertise heavily and order plenty of food), or a Back-to-School Cookout.

Later in the year, recruitment efforts can still continue. Try having a social event where SWE members are expected to bring a non-SWE friend. If your school has a Women or Minorities in Engineering program, perhaps there are activities that SWE members could support while interacting with female freshmen studying engineering.


The aspects that recruit freshmen do not always meet the needs of existing members. Think about the long-term goals that change for members as they progress, and what your SWE section can do to support them. Have members expressed a need for improvement? Here are some examples:

  • Leadership opportunities

    • Officer positions and committee involvement
  • Professional development
    • Workshops on career fairs/successful interviewing
    • Exposure to companies via events and résumé books, job opportunities
    • How to negotiate job offers
    • Interaction with professors and undergrad research opportunities
    • Mentoring from professionals
  • Building technical & non-technical skills
    • Software skills, car maintenance, etc.
    • Effective communication, team leading
    • Team Tech competition
  • Transitioning to graduate school or to industry
    • SWE involvement after college is an excellent way to build a professional and personal network
    • Grad SWE community, plus groups exist at many schools


I hope this advice helps you get off to a great start for the year!

Rachel Beck

Resources for Collegiates – Electronic Deposit and CLCC Blog

September 13, 2014

Electronic deposit

SWE HQ offers electronic deposit that can simplify and expedite the rebate process.  Collegiate sections are encouraged to sign up with SWE HQ.The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Headquarters Office has been moving from manual checks to electronic fund transfers (ACH or direct deposit).  This distribution system not only is more efficient, but eliminates delays due to mailings and or lost checks.  The check amount is deposited directly into your section’s checking account within a couple of days of an approved check request.
  • Direct deposit set-up can be done in 5 easy steps:
    1. Email requesting to set up Direct Deposit.  SWE-HQ will create an e-mail alias for the section (used in this e-mail to verify with the section treasurer).
    2. The section treasurer replies to the e-mail indicating the alias is set up properly.
    3. An invitation to set up the section account on is sent to the section treasurer.
    4. Respond to the invitation with required banking information within 72 hours.

a. Open the link and register using the SWE alias provided.  (Passwords need to be passed on to future treasurers.)

b. Enter the Section’s Account Name, Bank Name, Routing Number, and Account Number.

5. SWE’s accountants receive notification that you have completed the process.  At this point, a debit and credit of less than $1.00 will appear on the section’s bank account to confirm the transaction operates.

CLCC blog

You may not have heard about it, but there is a CLCC blog.  It has a list of the modules as well as contact information.  Check it out and pass the word on to your sections!

Cedar Valley Section – Expanding Your Horizons Conference

September 3, 2014

Cedar Valley EYHThe Cedar Valley SWE section is hosting their 2nd annual Expanding Your Horizons conference on October 4th at the University of Northern Iowa. Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a day-long conference for middle school girls. The event includes hands-on STEM activities, as well as chances to meet STEM role models and learn more about careers in those fields. Example activities include Mag-nificent Breakfast Cereal, Metal Casting, Materials Testing, LEAN Manufacturing, Computer Science & Robots, Animal Workshop, and Toxic Popcorn. The ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges. About 75 girls attended the inaugural event, and Cedar Valley SWE is very excited to be targeting about 150 girls this year!

Cedar Valley Expanding Your Horizons Website

Cedar Valley Expanding Your Horizons Flyer

Region Governor’s Post – Available SWE Roles

August 25, 2014

Welcome to FY15! My name is Betty Leonhard, your Heartland Region Governor.  I look forward to meeting many of you this year at various SWE conferences and events.  I want to reach out with a quick hello and encourage you to keep up the good work in your local SWE sections, as you are the grassroots arms and legs of SWE that gets things done and helps SWE meet its goals and live up to its mission.  I also wanted to let you know that one of my main goals in region H this year is to get many more collegiates involved in region committees, and I have encouraged your region collegiate team (RCT) to develop more roles to join them in supporting our many collegiate sections. The RCT is already discussing the roles and responsibilities they want to include on that team.  As for some other general SWE roles, I’d like to specifically invite any of you to consider the joining one of the following:

  • Region H financial assessment committee – This committee checks the region’s financial records and makes recommendations on improved financial practices we should perform. This would be great for a young member who is or wants to be a section treasurer (or region or Society treasurer someday.)  This committee is only active for a month or two in the winter, near or at region conference.
  • Region H nominating committee – This committee accepts, seeks out, and discusses potential candidates for region H elected positions. Such positions include region officers and the region collegiate team. It is a year long committee because we always need to watch for potential candidates but most of the work occurs January through March. Now that the region nominating committee also is charged with developing the collegiate slate of candidates, it is very important to have a collegiate member volunteer.  The only caveat is that you wouldn’t be able to run for an elected region position for FY16 if you are on the committee in FY15.
  • Region H individual awards judging sub committee – This is a sub committee under the region awards umbrella and this person will help review and decide who should receive this year’s region-level awards. Those awards are collegiate emerging leader, professional emerging leader, and distinguished service. The time frame of this committee is still under debate.
  • Region H spirit & recognition committee – This committee will assist the RG in gathering the scavenger hunt photos and preparing for the region H slide show at Celebrate SWE banquet as well as purchase any spirit goodies to unify our region at that banquet. They will also develop a concept for continuing recognition that may include creating a region H SWE mascot. This committee will primarily be active in the Fall.
  • Region H procedures committee – This committee updates existing region policies, procedures, and forms as needed or as requested by the region council. You might help define a new procedure for the selection process of some new RCT roles.

Anyone in the region can fill these positions. We encourage involvement from others in your collegiate sections, professional sections, and the MALs.  Most region positions are a fairly low time commitment compared to local or Society roles, so they are a great way for SWE members to keep up their engagement level.  Contact Betty at if interested in learning more.

Welcome to FY15

August 15, 2014

Welcome to FY15! Each fiscal year for SWE begins on July 1st and marks a changeover in leadership. In this welcome post, I’d like to introduce myself and the goals of Region H.

R BeckMy name is Rachel Beck, and I am the FY15 Region Collegiate Communications Editor for Region H. I am entering my senior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My major is chemical engineering. Previously I have held positions as Community Service Director and External Vice President for my SWE section, as well as SWE Future Leader (SWEFL).

My responsibilities as RCCE involve communication between sections within our region. Primarily, this means running this blog, and our new Twitter account @SWERegionH (You should subscribe to the blog and follow us on Twitter!). I’ll be posting to share best practices and hot topics (issues relating to collegiates), and I’m also a great resource for mass-distributing information such as events or deadlines. If your section has an event you want publicized regionally, or a great idea (or event, social, workshop, etc.) they’d like to share, please email me at

This year’s Region H goals are tied to the society goals of Professional Excellence, Globalization, and Advocacy. Here are some of the tactics we plan on using to achieve these goals:

Professional Excellence

  • Region mentoring program with 10+ pairs
  • 4 sessions at region conference by Leadership Coaching Committee/Collegiate Leadership Coaching Committee
  • Professional development


  • Region governor to mentor 2 others, diverse from herself
  • 2 region leaders to attend another region’s meeting
  • Globalization topic session


  • Promote accomplishments of region members via region media
  • Recognize SWE leaders to their school/workplace
  • Develop a region spirit & recognition committee


I’m excited for a great year as your RCCE! Best of luck as the summer ends and school kicks into full swing!


Congrats FY15 SWE Future Leaders!

July 14, 2014

After reviewing 96 nominations total, 2-3 students from each region have been selected as SWE Future Leaders (SWEFLs). SWEFLs will participate in the Collegiate Leadership Institute, webinar training and mentoring, as well as the Regional Teams. Congratulations to the FY15 SWEFLs for Region H:

  • Kaitlyn Sullivan – Iowa State University
  • Elia Zanella – University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Kathryn Curtis – Bradley University

Welcome to the Region H RCT!

For the full list of SWEFLs for all regions, see the July 2014 All Together SWE Newsletter post.

Annual European SWE Conference

June 23, 2014

This summer, experience the international impact of SWE firsthand. Pre-registration is now open for the 9th Annual European SWE Conference. The event will be held August 6-9, 2014, hosted by Koç University SWE in Istanbul, Turkey. SWE members from all around the world are invited to attend!

The conference title is “LIVE” –  Leading Innovations via Engineering. International networking and internship opportunities are just two of the exciting benefits of attending “LIVE.” Attendees will also have a chance to participate in outreach events and workshops about leadership and innovation. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Women’s Right in Workplace are other topics that “LIVE” will feature.

Anyone interested in attending “LIVE,” the 9th Annual European SWE Conference, should fill out the Pre-Registration Form. Updates regarding further steps will be sent via email to those who pre-register.


Koc University Event


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