Antonella (Nella) Mantovano is a Senior in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Mechanics at Marquette University. She has been involved with Marquette University’s SWE Section since her freshman year. Nella started off as the Development Director her Sophomore year and then continued on as Section President her Junior year. She is also involved with the Biomedical Engineering Society, Daughters of Isabella, and currently works with UW-Milwaukee on engineering outreach projects for high school students in the greater Milwaukee area.
Why did you apply for RCR?
I applied for RCR because I wanted to become more involved with SWE. Since I had already served on the Executive Board my Sophomore and Junior year, I was really looking to further my involvement and leadership with SWE; not just on a collegiate level, but a regional level as well. I wanted to use my knowledge and experience of building up a struggling section to provide support to other sections struggling with similar issues that my section had, but to also provide support for all sections – struggling ones and thriving ones. Additionally, I wanted to have a better understanding of how professional and collegiate sections work together and how each of the sections can provide support to one another in order to flourish.
What does SWE mean to you?
To me, SWE means unity. SWE is not just a professional organization that provides women all over the world with endless amounts of opportunities, but also provides unity between all women in STEM related fields. SWE inspires women to be brave, driven, and to ultimately be proud to say that they are women in engineering. Being part of a small percentage of female engineers at my university, SWE has given me a sense of unity and support throughout my four years in college. And it is my hope to remain involved in SWE well beyond my collegiate years because I know I will be supported throughout my journey in becoming an engineer and making a difference.
Cynthia Ramirez is a junior in Materials Science and Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. She has been involved in the Purdue SWE section since her freshman year, including being the Membership Vitality Director, SWEetie Sidekick Chair, and Social Chair. She is also involved in Purdue’s Women in Engineering Program in the Mentor & Mentee Program and as a Small Group Leader.
Why did you apply for RCR?
I applied for RCR because I was nominated as a SWE Future Leader last year and had the ability to learn more about SWE on a Regional Level while still being involved in my collegiate section. I was able to really understand how the Region Collegiate Team operated and the impact that they had on all of the collegiate sections. I was also able to understand how the professional and collegiate sections work together on the Regional level and the support that is provided between each level. I wanted to be able to learn more about the other SWE collegiate sections and how they operate. I feel that as the RCR, I have the important task of connecting collegiate sections and being here as a resource. I have knowledge from my own section but being able to gather information from the other sections to those that are struggling is very valuable to Region H and SWE as a whole succeeding.
What does SWE mean to you?
SWE to me is a community that we all share the same values and overreaching goal, to support women in engineering. Whether it is with professional development or outreach involvement or the other numerous activities, there is a vast amount of opportunities for those involved in SWE. SWE provides a huge support system through all collegiate and regional levels that there is always the ability to collaborate and network with other women in engineering. Being involved on the Region Collegiate Team and Purdue SWE has given me amazing memories and opportunities and I plan to stay involved even after my term is over because SWE continually provides growth for me to become successful in my engineering field.
WE14, the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference in Los Angeles is coming up quickly on Oct. 23-25. WE14 is also welcoming members of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) for ICWES16, making the conference a global collaboration between engineers and scientists. Over 7,000 members will be attending for A Global Exchange for Change. It’s not too late to register!
Here are some tips for making the most of your WE14 experience:
Attend the career fair, hospitality suites, and company-sponsored events. The 250 employers at WE14 are eager to meet and recruit SWE members. The career opportunities are huge compared to most college and regional career fairs! Don’t forget to dress for success and do your research to make the best impression. The opening ceremony for the Career Fair is when most interview slots are filled, so don’t miss it.
Meet new people. Conferences are a great chance to network to create professional and personal relationships.
Learn as much as you can. WE14 provides dozens of professional development workshops and Lightning Talks, not to mention the inspiring keynote speeches, Team Tech presentations, and outreach opportunities such as Invent It. Build It.
Leave some room in your suitcase. Speaking of corporate sponsors, there are many goodies up for grabs at the conference. A couple of my favorite finds have been an umbrella from Northrop Grumman and a blanket from Toyota. Volunteers also usually get a nice scarf to take home.
Have some free time? Explore Los Angeles! You can even register to tour local attractions and companies such as SpaceX and Northrop Grumman.
I hope to see you in Los Angeles next week! I’ll be tweeting highlights of WE14 as well, so follow us at @SWERegionH!
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is hosting a Women in STEM PanelDiscussion webinar geared towards current undergraduate women who wish to apply for a graduate degree in any STEM-related field.
The webinar will be a virtual panel discussion about graduate research and study for prospective SWE members. The panel will feature faculty and current graduate students in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Chemical Engineering (CHEG), Biomedical Engineering (BMED), Chemistry (CHEM) and Biology (BIOL) departments. SWE members from throughout the country can participate.
Monday, October 6th from 2-3 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
Q&A with faculty and students in our Schools of Engineering and Science
Discussion topics will include: preparing for graduate study, deciding where to apply, finding the right advisor, and much more
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.
Think 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!
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
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:
Officer positions and committee involvement
Workshops on career fairs/successful interviewing
Exposure to companies via events and résumébooks, 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
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 Briana.Aviles@swe.org 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 Bill.com is sent to the section treasurer.
4. Respond to the invitation with required banking information within 72 hours.
a. Open the Bill.com 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.
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!