Hot Topic: Region H Conference – March 6-7, 2015

ND conference logoThis year’s SWE Region H Conference will be taking place at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on March 6 and 7, 2015. If you registered for the conference, please remember to pick your sessions and tours by the deadline of Sunday, February 15th.

The conference theme is Bringing the Brains and Beauty to Engineering. The breakout sessions include various topics on professional development, graduate school, SWE opportunities, and Notre Dame. Just a few examples of the exciting topics are nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and New Product Development. Tours of the Notre Dame campus, stadium, and university power plant are available. Nearby South Bend attractions, including the Chocolate Factory, Studebaker Museum, and Honeywell, are also available for tours.

Region H Conference is a great chance to network with various professionals. Be sure to check out the Career Fair on Saturday to talk to representatives from over 40 companies! The keynote speaker will be Tara Murphy, the Vice President and General Manager for Keurig Green Mountain, Global Brand & Product – Cold Systems. The professional session speaker will be Lori Tauber Marcus, Chief Product Officer for Keurig Cold Systems at Keurig Green Mountain.

On the night of Friday, March 6, look out for entertainment and useful SWE events. The President’s Meeting will be held from 9:30-10:30 PM. For graduating seniors, there will be a Collegiate Transition event from 8:00-9:00 PM, which will be a chance to network with professional members from Region H. Friday night’s entertainment will be Zumba, a photo booth, and DIY mani pedis, with refreshments including a dinner buffet and snacks. Saturday night’s entertainment will be Taste of South Bend and ice skating at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Region H Conference 2015 is going to be an exciting and valuable experience! Hope to see you there!

Please direct any questions about the conference to

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Night of Networking

Every year, the Society of Women Engineers at UIUC hosts an event called Night of Networking. At this event, SWE members along with other societies from the College of Engineering get to interact with professionals from the sponsoring companies. This year the event was held on February 4, 2015, and was sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Shell, Capital One, and CH2M Hill. These companies had the opportunity to give short workshops on relevant professional development topics.

This year our keynote speaker was Nancy Hermanson from Kimberly-Clark. She spoke about the trust equation, Trust=(Reliability+Credibility+Intimacy)/Self-Interest. Through self-reflection we were able to see the aspects of this equation that we can work on as a leader, and things that we should look for in leadership of a company during our job search. I learned a lot from this talk, and it was interesting to further think about the fact that the more I trust others, the more trust I receive in return.

Both students and professionals had a wonderful evening of food, conversation, and learning. Events like these help our members to further relationships with other societies and professionals, as well as help to develop professionally. I am very lucky to have been able to plan such a successful event and look forward to see how the event continues to improve!

Cassie Arenz
SWE UIUC Professional Liaison Director

FY16 Region H Leadership Applications Due Soon

Are you interested in taking your SWE leadership to the next level?

The nomination form is live for the following Region H positions: Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Secretary, Senator, Representative to the Society Nomination Committee, Region Collegiate Representative (RCR), Region Collegiate Communication Editor (RCCE), and Region Collegiate Senator (RCS).

The deadline to submit for the Senator position is January 30, 2015. For all other positions the deadline is February 20, 2015.

Collegiate members are eligible to apply to be RCR, RCCE, or RCS. These FY16 leadership positions have terms running from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. The RCR, RCCE, and RCS positions receive invaluable interaction and coaching from SWE leaders. These leadership opportunities sharpen your career skill-set in the areas of leading and facilitation, group dynamics and communication, and project leadership. More information can be found in the Collegiate Elections Quick Overview.

Click here to apply.

Feel free to contact the current Region H Region Collegiate Team (RCT) at, or Stephanie Foege from the Region H nominating committee at

NASA Academy Internship Opportunity

Michael Zero, the President of the NASA Academy Alumni Association (NAAA), shared an opportunity for undergrads and grad students in SWE. The NAAA is composed of nearly 1,000 former students who participated in the NASA Academy internship program. SWE members are great examples of leaders whose interests may very well align with the opportunities provided by NASA.
The Academy is the premier internship offered by NASA and has a main goal of training future leaders of the space industry. The summer research program attracts undergraduate and graduate students of various backgrounds, mostly in STEM fields. More detailed information about the internship can be found here.
Applications just opened on NASA OSSI and can be found by going to the Search Opportunities window and searching for the keyword Academy. The application deadline is February 15th, 2015.

Collegiate Director’s Post

Are you interested in becoming SWE’s FY16 Collegiate Director?

You may have seen the call for applicants from SWE HQ. With the application due on February 1, I wanted to share my experience so far as the FY15 Collegiate Director to provide you with a better sense of what the role is all about… or rather, the “Five Ws” of the role.


The Collegiate Director serves on SWE’s Board of Directors in a one-year term. The Collegiate Director acts as a liaison to collegiate leaders, contributes collegiate knowledge and interests to the board, and performs other duties as requested.

Nicole Woon (FY15 Collegiate Director) with past Collegiate Directors (clockwise from top): Ellen McIsaac, Kaitlyn Bunker, and Brittney Elko.

Nicole Woon (FY15 Collegiate Director) with past Collegiate Directors (clockwise from top): Ellen McIsaac, Kaitlyn Bunker, and Brittney Elko.

Responsibilities depend on the year’s strategic plan, bylaws proposals, and other timely projects and task forces. For example, I focused on opportunities for collegiate members that are part of SWE’s global affiliates and further developed the Counselor/Faculty Advisor Coordinator role. You interact closely with collegiate members and leaders, and participate in several in-person meetings and teleconferences throughout the year with the Board of Directors. The Collegiate Director also serves as a member of the Senate. You have the opportunity to reach a greater audience by becoming active on social media, including writing a monthly column for SWE’s All Together newsletter and running the Collegiate Director Twitter account.


The FY16 Collegiate Director term lasts from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. The Board of Directors have monthly meetings, six of which are in-person and the remainder conducted via teleconference. The in-person meetings generally take place in June for orientation, August for installation, October for the SWE Annual Conference, January/February for annual strategic plan review, March/April, and the following June. You also have the opportunity to attend two region conferences. Additional responsibilities may arise on an as-needed basis.


Being the FY15 Collegiate Director has been a formative experience. First, the didactic opportunities with SWE members are endless. I’ve delved into the Society’s rich history and its various facets, from advocacy initiatives to our impact on public policy to professional excellence programs. I continue to meet countless people from across the globe who share fascinating perspectives on SWE and engineering. I now hold an even greater appreciation for the hard work that goes into maintaining the success of such a respected organization and charting the Society’s future direction. Everyone brings a unique point-of-view to the table—with your fresh viewpoint as a collegiate/first-year professional, you play a significant part in shaping SWE.

Second, my leadership abilities are growing at light speed. There was so much to absorb when I first assumed the role; I’m still learning today! Despite the steep learning curve, people are willing to help every step of the way and connect you with the right individuals. Moreover, they support your plans as you determine your next steps in the SWE leadership pipeline. I’ve enhanced my abilities to communicate effectively, set long-term strategic plans, and empower others. The skills I’ve gained reach outside my SWE experience into other areas of my life and bring me recognition at school and in the workplace.

With the deadline to apply coming up on February 1, don’t wait to start your application. Please note that a new component requested in the application this year is a Collegiate Director Nominee Video. Please find more information below:

Each Collegiate Director application shall include a short video posted privately on  The purpose of this three minutes maximum video is to allow you a chance to use your creativity to tell the SWE nominating committee why you are the right candidate for the Collegiate Director. Possible talking points could include highlights of your SWE experiences, your vision for Collegiate Members within SWE, and any unique experiences you would bring to this role. This video may also be provided to SWE collegiate section presidents as part of the candidate statement package when voting occurs.

Happy to answer any questions you may have; send me an email at Good luck!

Warm wishes,

Nicole Woon

FY15 Collegiate Director

New Leadership Opportunity for Graduate Students

The Graduate Leadership Team (consisting of the Graduate Member Coordinator, the Graduate Programming Coordinator, and their Coordinator-Elects, the Webinar Coordinator, and the Regional Conference Coordinator) is looking for new Graduate Programming Coordinator-elect for WE15 who will then become the Graduate Programming Coordinator for WE16!

Graduate Programming Coordinator/-elect: Works with a dedicated team of graduate students and professional SWE members to create a diverse track of sessions for current graduate students, and for those who are considering going to graduate school, for the annual SWE conference. The GPC-Elect assists the GPC, in preparation for the following annual conference.

The application can be downloaded at and is due by January 31, 2015. Applicants will be notified within the following week to schedule a telephone interview with members of the graduate community leadership and our BOD member. After completing all the interviews you will be notified of the decision.  If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Gregory at learn more about the graduate student community in SWE please visit our website

January Hot Topic: Applying for SWE Awards

awardimageSWE offers many awards at the regional and society levels in order to recognize the achievements of outstanding SWE members and sections. This post will cover the types of awards available and some advice for applying.


Region H Awards

Region H has individual and section awards, and details on applying can be found on the Region H website. Contact Lynn Davenport ( if you have questions. Please note that FY15 marks a transition in the schedule for region H awards.

Individual awards include Distinguished Service, Significant Support, Collegiate Emerging Leader, and Professional Emerging Leader. Entries will now be due on December 1 of each year. Nomination Packages must include a completed nomination form and a descriptive statement of 500 words or less.

This year, section awards will be awarded at the February 2015 Region H Conference. These include Outstanding Collegiate Section, Outreach, Professional Development, and Continuous Development. The section awards are based on section reports of the previous fiscal year (FY14). Make sure you don’t miss any of your section’s events or activities in your reports by keeping detailed event archives!

Society Awards

Individual Awards – Various awards are available for professional and collegiate SWE members. March 31 is the application deadline. The awards packets and nomination forms can be found here on the SWE website. The collegiate category includes awards for collegiate, outstanding faculty, and outstanding SWE counselor. The collegiate awards are given annually to as many as 10 collegiate members with 2 or more years of SWE membership who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community, and their campus.

Collegiate Competitions – SWE offers several competitions for collegiates, some of which require applications. Submissions for the Collegiate Technical Poster Competition are due by June 15. Applications for the Outstanding Collegiate Section/Outstanding New Collegiate Section awards are due by May 31.

Section AwardsSection awards may be awarded to collegiate, professional and MALs in the categories of Communications, Membership, Multicultural Activities, Outreach Programs, and Professional Development. These applications are due by July 1. Award training is available to assist with the application process.

External Awards

SWE encourages its members to apply for awards sponsored by external organizations and societies. These include:

  • New Faces of Engineering (Professional and Collegiate Editions)
  • National Engineering and Technology Awards
  • Women’s Engineering, Science, and Technology Awards
  • Professional Society Awards

More information can be found here.

we14awardWinning Award Tips

  • Want to learn what excellent award applications look like? The best way may be to join the Region H Awards Committee or the society’s Awards & Recognition Committee and evaluate applications yourself!
  • Be fastidious. Applications may be disregarded if you overlook a requirement, even one as simple as font size and page formatting.
  • Utilize resources. Make sure to check out any available awards training presentations, and ask the appropriate people if you have questions about the process. If you apply and don’t win, feedback from the awards committee is usually available, helping you succeed at future applications.
  • You cannot win an award if you don’t apply or are not nominated!