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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 Alison Bergmann, and I am the Region H Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for Fiscal Year 14 (FY14). 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,

Get to Know Katie Amelio, Your Region H Secretary!

April 16, 2014

Katie works at the AmericanKatieAmelio_008 Concrete Institute, an organization that supports the concrete industry, contributing to online education and professional development programs. Previously she worked for eleven years in varying roles culminating as an Engineer/Supervisor at CTLGroup, a civil engineering testing and consulting firm.

Katie has been involved in SWE since 2003. Her initial impetus for joining was at the prompting of her male manager who encouraged her to join a professional society. Her previous roles with the Chicago Regional section include 847 Circle leader, Nominating Committee Chair, President, Section Representative, Secretary, and Newsletter Editor. Currently she serves as the FY14-FY15 Region H Secretary and as one of the Detroit FY14 Section Representatives. She finds the SWE outreach and professional development events to be rewarding and inspiring.

In her non-SWE time, Katie leads fitness classes, enjoys outdoor activities, and relishes free time spent with family and friends.

Why did you apply for Region H Secretary?

I enjoy involvement in SWE at the region level to maintain connections with members from different sections. It’s a great opportunity to interact with different section leaders and hear about programs and events that they are hosting.

What does SWE mean to you?

SWE is a great organization to be involved in, there is something for everyone. Opportunities to volunteer for outreach and community events, attend professional development and networking sessions on both “soft” and technical skills, as well as, the challenges of accepting leadership roles is invaluable. SWE supports future engineers and scientists of all ages, and I am proud to be a member.

Don’t Forget to Write Your SWE Award Applications

April 13, 2014

Spring is in the air with the warmer temperatures, birds chirping, and flowers starting to bloom.  That means that it’s time to start thinking about applying for SWE Awards!  Your sections have all accomplished a lot over FY14 and now it is time to be recognized for that.  Here are descriptions of Society and Region H SWE Collegiate Awards.

Society SWE Collegiate Awards 

  • Outstanding Collegiate Section/Outstanding new Collegiate Section: Awards presented to Collegiate Sections with the most outstanding overall program for the year
  • Collegiate Technical Poster  Competition: Emphasizes the ability to deliver outstanding visual presentations
  • Team Tech Competition (Sponsored by Boeing): Emphasizes the importance of teamwork and interface with industry in the engineering educational process
  • SME Bowl (Sponsored by Exxon Mobile Corporation): The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Bowl is a competition that challenges collegiate members in the areas of science, math, physics, engineering, and technology, and also challenges them in their knowledge of SWE history and policies

Click here to read more about the awards and to download application packets.

Society SWE Section Awards 

  • Communication Awards
  • Membership  Awards: Collegiate Transition, Collegiate to Career, Region Membership, Membership Retention Program and Membership Recruitment Program
  • Multicultural Awards: Motorola Foundation Multicultural Award (Professional Sections and MALs); Boeing Company Multicultural Award (Collegiate Sections)
  • Outreach Awards: Event/Series Program, Outreach MOU Partnership, Outreach Parent and Educator Program
  • Professional Awards

Click here to read more about the awards and to download application packets.  These awards are due July 1, 2014.

Region H SWE Collegiate Awards

  • Outstanding Collegiate Section Award
  • Collegiate Emerging Leader Award

Click here to read more about the awards and to download application packets.  These awards are due May 31, 2014.

Best Practices

  • Make sure you have all your event information when you are filling out the form
  • Remember to obtain SWE membership information from SWE HQ
  • Don’t forget supporting documents, pictures, and links on the applications
  • If you have questions, please contact the award coordinator or your Region Collegiate Team

Research Position at 3M for Mechanical Engineer

April 12, 2014

3M is seeking a Process Development3M Engineer for the Corporate Research Process Laboratory (CRPL). Be part of what is next!  Click here to read more about the position.



You’re Invited to the All Iowa SWE Conference!

April 9, 2014

The All Iowa SWE Conference will be held in Dubuque, Iowa on April 26th.  Visit the conference website to register.




Nominate a SWE Future Leader for FY15

April 1, 2014

The deadline for FY15 SWEFL (SWE Future Leaders) Program Nominations is April 23rd, 2014; please take this opportunity to nominate outstanding collegiate members.  Nominees should have no less than two years left of a current degree program (i.e. Freshmen and Sophomores for undergraduates or 1st/2nd year graduate students going for a doctorate) and shall have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0.  Candidates for SWEFL nominations should be active collegiate members of the Society and have exhibited strong leadership potential and interest in extended involvement in the Society beyond the collegiate experience.  Nominees who have been selected as SWEFLs for a previous FY or have attended the Collegiate Leadership Institute or Forum as another function are precluded from being nominated. The nominee should not be on study abroad during her term as a SWEFL.

SWEFLs will be given the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and SWE knowledge throughout the year via experiences such as webinars, a mentoring program and attending the Collegiate Leadership Institute in conjunction with the WE14 Annual Conference October 23-25, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA “A Global Exchange for Change.” At the conference SWEFLs will join other regional collegiate leadership in professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

Nominators should have an established relationship with the nominee that permits detailed insight into the nominee’s leadership potential and interest in the Society.  The nominator cannot be the nominee herself, as one of the leadership metrics used for establishing future leadership is to establish networks and relationships.  Nominators are not required to be members of SWE, but should have some knowledge of the Society to understand the value of the program and the Society goals.  Examples of past nominators include professors, counselors, and SWE section presidents.

The nomination form asks for your contact information and the SWEFL nominee’s contact information. Additionally, the following questions are part of the nomination:

1. Current involvement in university section and/or other Society activities
2. Potential future involvement in university section and/or other Society activities
3. Activities and responsibilities in other organizations that show positive leadership skills and abilities
4. Traits and capabilities of the nominee that indicate her leadership potential
5. How the nominee would benefit from participating in the SWEFL program
6. How others would benefit from the nominee participating in the SWEFL program

The nominee will receive a request for follow up information after the nomination form is complete and submitted. Please make sure the nominee’s contact information is correct and monitored. I look forward to receiving your nominations.


Andie Maret
FY15 SWEFL Coordinator

Collegiate Director’s Letter

March 30, 2014

I hope March is going well for you!

One of the things I have been looking forward to most this March has been Congressional Visits Days, which I will write more about in my April All Together letter. We are also right in the middle of region conference season—have you attended your region’s conference yet? I had a great time at Region G’s conference a few weeks ago, where I got to attend some interesting sessions and connect with some new SWEsters, and I am also excited to be attending the Region F conference in a few weeks.

If you have already been to your region’s conference, you may have noticed that this year’s State of SWE included some discussion of the SWE values. I don’t think the SWE values are something that we generally spend a lot of time thinking about, so I wanted to spend some time reflecting on what the SWE values mean and why they matter. For those who don’t know, SWE has five values: professional excellence, inclusive environment, integrity, mutual support and trust. In a collegiate context, SWE exists among dozens or hundreds of other clubs and social organizations that are often seen as our competitors. But SWE is a professional organization, not just a social group, and we exist in a larger context than just our campus environment. What we do in our SWE sections reflects on our school, the Society and the engineering profession. This means that when we plan SWE events we have to think about how they will be perceived by outsiders.

Consider the ‘Mr. Engineer’ pageants that are held at some collegiate sections. Many of these events are competitions meant as fun fundraisers for SWE sections, but have received criticism from sponsors and recruiters. If you are a sponsor or recruiter looking in from the outside, the idea of a ‘Mr. Engineer’ pageant doesn’t necessarily sound inclusive or professional at first glance. Think about the kind of criticism a company would receive for holding an event like this and you can see why sponsors and recruiters may have a negative reaction to this sort of event, even if it wasn’t intended to be offensive. I wrote last month about needing the support of the majority to help move women and minorities forward—this is where SWE’s mutual support value ties in.

As a professional society, we do have to think about the larger implications and perspectives on events that we hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun. It’s all about achieving a balance. If your board works hard all year, it’s okay to take them out for ice cream to celebrate their achievements. Social events can be a good way to relax, meet new people and build up a support network. But if social events are all we do we’re not really serving our role as a professional society. Conversely, professional development is important, but if all we did was host professional development events we may not be seen as a fun or inviting group, and without that we may not be able to recruit members who are able to provide professional development. With all the roles SWE serves for us, sometimes it can be hard to strike a balance. When we do, it is very rewarding to be able to experience professional growth and support in the inclusive environment that is SWE.

As always, let me know if you have any questions, comments or ideas at

Ellen McIsaac

Ellen McIsaac
FY14 Collegiate Director

Letter from the All Together SWE Newsletter

Get to Know Dayna Johnson, Your Region H Treasurer!

March 25, 2014

Dayna has been a SWEdayna_headshot member since 2001. During that time, she served as Vice President of the Valparaiso University section before graduating and moving on to the Chicago Regional Section (CRS). She has served as the Section President of CRS (FY11), as well as serving as Section Representative, Vice President of Membership, and working with numerous committees. At the Region Level, Dayna was previously the Celebrate SWE! chair and served as the FY13 Lt. Governor. Dayna was the Local Host Committee Co-Chair for WE11 and is currently serving as the Awards and Recognition Committee Chair.

Dayna has a BS in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering Management, both from Valparaiso University. She is currently working for GE as a Commercial Manager in the Substation Solutions group.

Dayna lives in Bolingbrook, IL with her husband Chris and their soon-to-be child. She enjoys traveling to warmer locations, although that may take a back seat to spending more quality time at home with the baby and her 6 year old dog.

Why did you apply for Region H Treasurer?

When I applied, I was just about through my term as Lt. Governor. While I had a great time serving in that role, I wanted to try something different at the Region level. I was inspired by the Region H officers and wanted to continue to have the opportunity to work with those amazing women. This was also a logical choice to round out my skills, as I had never served as a SWE treasurer and wanted to have the opportunity to do so.

What does SWE mean to you?

Throughout my career, SWE has been an avenue for me to gain the professional development and skill sets needed when my day job was not providing me the opportunity to do so. When I am looking for an additional challenge, I look to SWE to find something new and exciting. By taking on these challenges, I have been able to move to different roles in my career. I look forward to continuing my network within SWE and seeing where it will take me next!


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