Collegiate Leadership Institute & WE15!

Register today for WE 15, held in Nashville, TN, October 22-24! Annual Conference is a great way to network, learn, and be inspired. I went to my first Annual Conference last year in LA and learned so much. The Annual Conference is simply a great way to be inspired, network with employers and fellow attendees, and listen to great speakers. Check out the WE15 website for more information:


During the conference selected Collegiates will have the opportunity to attend the Collegiate Leadership Institute. This is a really great addition to all the benefits that come from attending WE15. Here is an excerpt from the email that was sent out:

We would like to invite any interested collegiate members to apply for the Collegiate Leadership Institute which will be hosted at the WE15 Annual Conference in Nashville, October 22 – 24th. The Institute will span three days and each day will consist of 2 to 3 highly interactive sessions. All of the speakers and facilitators selected for the Institute are noted experts in the area of leadership and career development.

This year’s keynote presenter will be Erica Dhawan. Erica is the Founder & CEO of Cotential, a global consultancy that accelerates the connectedness of employees teams, customers and clients. She is the co-author of the book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence. Erica speaks on global stages ranging from the World Economic Forum at Davos to companies such as FedEx, PepsiCo, and McGraw Hill Financial.

To apply for this great opportunity follow the link:

These are two opportunities you won’t want to miss out on!

Get to Know Your Region H Professional Section: Southwest Michigan

Section Number/Name: H013 / Southwest Michigan

Section President: Jacquie Geda

Section Representative(s): Rebecca Summ

SWE Lunch & Learn: How can we be lean every day?

A Factory of One, by Daniel Markovitz

We have heard a lot about the importance lean through our labs, Six Sigma trainings, and even our everyday work. The Southwest Michigan SWE section wanted to find some simple ways all of us can be lean and provide more efficiency in our daily activities.

Aaron Youngsted, Whirlpool Corporation Master Black Belt, has led a course called “Keep Calm and Lean On” that addressed this question. He spoke on the topics that he covers in his course and highlighted some tangible examples on how we can apply lean practices each day. For example, he showed us some Google tools that we could use to manage our workflow and visually see what is the top priority, like a personal kanban. At the end of the session, we were given a book called Factory of One to help us integrate more tools into our lives!

SWE Girl Scouts Day: Frozen Adventures in Engineering

The Southwest Michigan section of SWE (Society of Women Engineers) introduced 3rd ­-6th grade Girl Scouts to eye­opening Science and Engineering principles through engaging activities. The theme of the event was “Frozen Adventures in Engineering”. The young girls had the opportunity to participate in various hands­on activities such as Making Ice­Cream, Building Catapults, Constructing Towers, Wiring Circuit Bugs, Creating Silly­Putties, Designing Edible Cars, and finally taking part in the Edible Car­Racing Contest. These fun activities exposed the girls to various disciplines such as Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Materials Engineering and Computer Engineering.

The entire group of around 70 girls were divided into smaller groups, to encourage the girls to work together and solve the activity challenges. It also helped them improve their social and team­building skills. During the day, they were able to interact with Whirlpool Women Engineers, that helped them gain some insight into the professional world of engineering. Over lunchtime, SWMI SWE invited Latha Ravi, an Engineering Director at Whirlpool, to share her experiences as a Girl Scout in India. Latha Ravi had won the honorary Presidential Girl Scouts Award in India during her school days. She showed her award and shared a few pictures, which was very inspirational to all the girls. They had a lot of fun interacting with her and learned about “Being Bold”, “Standing up for yourself” and “Staying Strong”.

All in all, the “Frozen Adventures in Engineering Event” was a big success. SWMI SWE had a lot of fun hosting the Girl Scouts. Hopefully, we have encouraged the young girls to pursue careers in Science and Engineering fields. We are positive that they will be great women engineers in the future!

Article submitted by Rebecca Summ

Final Post by FY15 Region H Collegiate Communications Editor

It has been a great pleasure serving on the FY15 Region H Collegiate Team with fellow students Nella Montovano (RCR), Cynthia Ramirez (RCR), Jamie Sanderson (RCS), and SWEFL’s Elia Zanella, Kathryn Curtis, and Kaitlyn Sullivan. We enjoyed getting to meet all of you at the WE14 Conference in Los Angeles and at the fantastic Region H Conference hosted by Notre Dame. Thank you to Region H Governor Betty Leonhard, Region H Lieutenant Governor Carol Weber, Region H Treasurer Dayna Johnson, and Region H Secretary Katie Amelio for all of your help and support. Thank you to those who submitted blog articles. I wish good luck to new grads starting their careers and continued success to collegiates returning to school in the fall. Remember to renew your SWE memberships! Best wishes to the new FY16 Region H Collegiate Team!

Your FY15 Region H RCCE,

Rachel Beck

(left to right) Betty Leonhard, Carol Weber, Nella Mantovano, Rachel Beck, Cynthia Ramirez, Jamie Sanderson, and Elia Zanella at Region H Conference 2015
(left to right) Betty Leonhard, Carol Weber, Nella Mantovano, Rachel Beck, Cynthia Ramirez, Jamie Sanderson, and Elia Zanella at Region H Conference 2015

Brave New Girls book funds SWE scholarships


Brave New Girls is a young adult science fiction anthology edited by sci-fi authors Paige Daniels and Mary Fan. The collection will feature tales of teen girls with a knack for science and technology – hackers, mechanics, engineers, etc. The stories, geared toward a YA audience (middle school – high school aged), feature heroic tech savvy girls as the main characters in hopes of inspiring the next generation of female innovators and creators.

Last year the Indiegogo campaign for Brave New Girls was fully funded (plus some). They now have 19 stories and illustrations ready to go in e-book and paperback format. The book will be released on June 15, 2015, in both e-book and paperback formats. It is available on at this link and at Barnes & Noble at this link. All proceeds will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. If you want to find out more about the book and the authors the website is

Article provided by Tina Closser, H016 President

Resource: How to Host a SWE Regional Conference

Would your Collegiate Section like to host a Region H conference, but have no idea where to start?

Here is the presentation which Cathy Pieronek shared at the SWE Region H Conference at Notre Dame on 7 March 2015. This presentation explains the process and requirements to prepare the bid to host the Region H Conference and what happens next if bid is selected. This PDF can also be found on the Resources page.

The focus of the material is on preparing the bid and hosting a conference that is two years away.
For example, the FY17 Region H Conference bid will be presented at the the FY16 Region H Conference at UW-Platteville on 28 February 2016, but planning needs to start in the spring of 2015.  If your section will not be ready for an FY17 bid, this material can be used to start the preparation for FY18 and beyond.

If you have any questions, please contact the Region H Lt Governor, Carol Weber (

Note: this was the last time that Cathy presented at a SWE event and she prepared these materials to ensure that future SWE collegiate section leaders would understand what it takes to host a region conference. Her memory will live on as we continue to embrace her passion for SWE, Region H, and University of Notre Dame, and continue to have the most awesome Region Conferences in SWE!

May Hot Topic: Transition to Professional SWE Membership

It’s finally that time of year when school terms are ending and summer is arriving. Before you get too distracted by the nice weather and much-needed break, all SWE members should make sure to renew their membership! Even members with C2C (Collegiate to Career) memberships must login to to renew as “Collegiate to Career (continuing college)” if they will be students (undergraduate or graduate) next year.

Congratulations to all our collegiate members who are soon to graduate and enter the workforce! Have you been a C2C member? If so, remember that your first year of professional membership is already paid for! Simply renew as “Collegiate to Career – Professional Year 1″ and specify what professional section you will be part of. I highly encourage you to stay involved in SWE as a professional for its many benefits, including networking opportunities, professional development, supportive community, outreach involvement, and free online webinars, to name a few. Don’t know what professional section will be in your area? Check out the Sections page on Most of the websites for the specific regions also include a list and map of professional sections. If there is no professional section in your area, you can register as a MAL (Member at Large).


Thoughts on Transitioning

Once you join a professional section, then what? Get in contact with the section and get added to their mailing list. How does SWE as a professional differ from SWE as a collegiate? Here are some thoughts about the transition:

  • Just like collegiate sections, there are varying levels of activity and size for professional sections. If you’re eager to be active, don’t be afraid to jump in and start planning programs. You may be new to the section and how it operates, but you can be a valuable set of fresh eyes with previous SWE experiences under your belt.
  • Unless your employer happens to have a large number of SWE members at your workplace, getting your professional section together in person may occur less frequently. Some sections cover large geographical areas.
  • Free food is a great incentive for college students, but you may need to be more creative about getting attendance from professionals. Professionals often have busy work and personal lives, and they are interested in learning different skills and information than collegiates.
  • You can still be involved in SWE committees and/or leadership roles at the regional and society level! This may be especially useful for MALs without a nearby section to be involved in.
  • If your employer sends people to SWE conferences, ask if you can attend. Conferences are fantastic experiences both as a collegiate and as a professional. You may even apply to be a presenter, or attend workshops for continuing education credits.
  • SWE has a different set of individual awards and section awards for professionals than for collegiates. Be sure to apply so that your achievements can be recognized by SWE!
  • You have the opportunity to interact with collegiate sections in a mentoring or alumni relationship. Keep in touch with your college section. Your experiences as you start your career can be very beneficial to share. In the future you may even consider being a SWE counselor for a collegiate section.


I hope this helps with transitioning smoothly. Good luck to everyone!