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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful day,
Ashley Stroup is a senior in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Ashley has been involved with the Purdue section of SWE since her freshman year. As a member of the PSWE Executive Board, Ashley served as Day With Industry Chair, E-week Chair, and President. Ashley is also involved with the Professional Practice Ambassadors, Women in Engineering Program, and has studied abroad in China. She has worked a 5 term Co-Op at Tate and Lyle in Lafayette, IN.
Why did you apply for RCS?
I applied for Region Collegiate Senator because I thought it would be a great way to see how SWE functions at a National level. As a previous section president I had a good understanding of how SWE works at the Collegiate and Regional Level, but I didn’t get to see a ton of behind the scenes workings of SWE. I was interested in seeing how the Senate works, and in getting involved with Senate Committees. At WE13 I was able to participate in the senate meeting, and you can read a detailed account of the meeting here. It was exciting to be involved in the discussions at the meeting and to get to vote on such big issues for SWE. I also got to meet the members of the two committees I’m a member of: Strategic Initiatives (formerly Mega Issues), and Bylaws Re-write. The Strategic Initiatives Committee was formerly Mega Issues Committee, but I suggested the new name in order to better align the committee with the SWE Strategic Plan. It’s exciting to know that I could make such an impact as a collegiate member.
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Society of Women Engineers has created a new tradition for the Champaign-Urbana community to look forward to: Mommy, Me, & SWE! It’s a day when 4th-6th grade girls can come with their moms to explore engineering in a fun, interactive way. Most girls come in the morning with very little interest or even knowledge about engineering as a career, and it is our goal to change that. We start off the day with Engineering Expo, where different fields of engineering (mechanical, material science, chemical, etc.) have booths with engaging activities to encourage the girls to problem solve. For example, the mechanical engineering booth teaches the girls to build catapults, launch cotton balls, and try to figure out what to change to make the cotton balls launch farther. For aerospace engineering, girls design their own rockets and try to launch them higher and higher.
After getting excited about all the things they were able to create, several engineering clubs from campus (notably the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) gave demonstrations of engineers innovating at a larger scale. Girls witnessed levitating magnets, small scale hover crafts, and a mechanical arm that can be controlled with your mind before they were treated with Dip-N-Dots created right in front of them with science! Meanwhile, the moms were pulled aside with Dean Larson from the College of Engineering and several graduate and undergraduate students to discuss prejudices against women in STEM fields and ways moms can expose their daughters to engineering and better encourage it as a career option.
Finally, we wrapped up the day with a design challenge. The girls worked in tandem with their mothers to create their own wind turbine blades. The teams had to consider cost and type of materials as well as several blade characteristics (number, shape, angle, etc.) in creating their own design. When the girls were confident in their initial prototype, they attached the blades to a generator and voltmeter, created “wind” with a hair dryer, and watched their wind turbine turn! After seeing what worked and what could be improved, the girls returned to their tables to adjust their designs and problem solve, just like an engineer would do.
This fun day of engineering is growing in number every year, with this past year, the event’s 3rd, having over 30 girls in attendance. Having won the Outreach – Adult Influencer award at WE12 and WE13, Mommy, Me, & SWE is sure to continue having a large-scale impact on the Urbana-Champaign community in inspiring girls to study engineering.
~Article submitted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
You’re invited to see Stacey DelVecchio, President of SWE, speak at the TEDxPurdueU Breakout Session on December 6th at 6:30pm! Purdue SWE partnered with TEDxPurdueU to bring Ms. DelVecchio to Purdue University to speak following a livestream of the TEDWomen 2013 conference. The TEDWomen conference in San Francisco will showcase successful women and discuss modern gender dynamics in the US and throughout the world with a focus on TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design).
The event will be followed by a networking reception with light refreshments where you can take time to talk to Stacey and event organizers and attendees. During the event, a representative from the Greater Lafayette YWCA will collect non-cash donations for their Battered Women’s Shelter.
We hope to see you at this FREE event where you get the opportunity to meet Stacey DelVecchio right here in Region H! If you are planning on attending as a group, please RSVP to Purdue SWE president, Maya Denton, at 765-409-9161 or email@example.com with the number of attendees. She will contact you with additional details about your visit to Purdue. For more information, you can also visit the TedxPurdueU event page. We hope to see you there!
Savannah Goodman is a senior in Civil Engineering with a focus in sustainability and minors in Electrical Engineering and Technology and Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been involved in the UIUC SWE section since her freshmen year. Savannah started off as the Relay for Life Chair and as a Team Tech official member, and then became the Team Tech Director her sophomore year, and the section President her junior year. She is also involved with U.S. Green Building Council, Engineering Council, CARE Tutoring, and her sorority Pi Beta Phi. Over the last three summers, Savannah worked at Kraft Foods and San Diego Gas and Electric for engineering internships, and studied abroad in Germany.
Why did you apply for RCR?
I applied for RCR because I wanted to continue to stay involved with SWE, as I had been very active since my freshman year, but I also wanted to learn more about SWE on the regional and society level. I wanted to better understand how collegiates and professionals work together, which occurs very often on the regional level. I also wanted the opportunity to work with other collegiate sections beyond my own. My section has been very successful, but there is always room for improvement, so I was interested in learning how other sections operate and learn from them. I was also interested in understanding how different size sections operate and to gain a broader perspective on the diverse SWE sections. Finally, I wanted to take the knowledge learned from other sections and the success from my section and share it with newer or struggling sections in order to further improve and grow SWE.
Erin Westerby is a senior in Civil Engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She has been involved in the Bradley SWE section since her freshman year, including being the Secretary, Engineer Sphere Chair, Vice President, and President. She is also involved in Engineers Without Borders, Tau Beta Pi, and Chi Epsilon. For engineering internships, she has worked at UTC Aerospace Systems in Rockford, IL and Case New Holland in Goodfiled, IL.
Why did you apply for RCR?
I applied for RCR because I wanted to get involved with SWE outside my section at Bradley. I enjoyed being involved in the leadership team within my section and wanted to see more representation from small schools on the Region Collegiate Team.
Congrats to Becky Krause, 2013 Schlumberger Stilettos to Steel Toes Scholarship Essay Contest Winner!
Congratulations to Becky Krause for winning the 2013 Schlumberger Stilettos to Steel Toes Scholarship Essay Contest. Here is her winning essay:
Shiver me timbers, I’m completely insane! Better to just admit it right now: I am flat out barking mad. You see, while my sensible engineering brethren respond to the task of public speaking with dread (and potentially calls of “Batten down the hatches! All hands on deck!”), I can’t get enough of it. So much so that I am drawn to the unusual pursuit of combining engineering and education. I thrive on mass verbal communication; I breathe it right in like salty sea air. Now if that doesn’t kick-start me in an unusual direction, I don’t know what will. But what could explain this affliction of the mind, this love of the verbal in a world of the numerical? A chemical imbalance? Too much alphabet soup, not enough apple pi? Or maybe… it’s because I’m a pirate.Aye aye: I’m captain of a pirate ship. Let me explain, for I fear my insanity seems more apparent now than ever. I am the captain of a pirate-themed improvisational comedy troupe called “The Ship of Fools”, and it is this fact which drives my somewhat strange desire to pursue academia. At first glance it may seem that improvisation is simply a bunch of performers lacking in shame… and it is. But that isn’t the whole picture. Improvisational performance is like the most wonderful school lecture you can imagine, where the lessons are made up on the spot and the teachers learn as much as the students. You need to make the audience care and laugh using nothing but words, and when it happens, it’s pure magic. And why shouldn’t school lectures be just the same (albeit with more technical material)? That’s my mission. So while many of my friends would rather “walk the plank” than stare an audience in the eyes, I see myself at the helm of a classroom more and more each day. Even among my academic peers, my ridiculous nature and zest for the absurd is sure to set me apart. So “avast ye”, future students, because this “landlubber” is destined to be one “scalawag” of a professor!
I hope your November is off to a great start! Did you get the chance to be one of the more than 7,000 women at WE13 a few weeks ago? If so, what did you get out of the conference? Every day that I spent in Baltimore was filled with energy, new people to meet, old friends and lots of things to learn. WE13 was full of exciting firsts for me, including my first time presenting at a Society conference, my first time recruiting for my company and my first time attending the Achievement Awards dinner. One of my favorite parts of the conference this year was presenting a session. Preparing for the session was a good exercise in virtual communications – my co-presenters were from the opposite coast, so the first time we met in person was at the conference. At the session itself, we had a lot of interesting discussion with the audience and I think we all learned a lot from one another. The friendly and collaborative environment of SWE is a great place to practice your presentation skills. I definitely recommend applying to present at your Region’s conference this spring or at WE14 next fall.
As you start planning for the year ahead, I also encourage you to think about leadership positions within SWE. If you are interested in getting more involved with SWE, developing your leadership skills, working in teams or in a global environment, SWE leadership positions are a fantastic way to gain experience. There are opportunities at the Region level for RCR, RCCE, RCS, CLCC coaches and Region committee members, and at the Society level as Collegiate Director, in coordinator roles or on Society committees. All of these options are a rewarding way to hone your skills and meet new people. The applications for many of these positions will soon come out, so it is certainly something to start considering. Feel free to contact me with questions regarding my experience as Collegiate Director or in other leadership roles. I’ll be sharing some more about the Collegiate Director position on the Region blogs in the near future.
FY14 Collegiate Director
Letter from the All Together SWE Newsletter