Better Know a Section: H058 Iowa State University

Section website: http://www.eng.iastate.edu/swe/
Section contact email: isuswepresident@gmail.com

About

When was your section first chartered?
1975
About how many members do you have? What is the (approximate) male to female ratio of you SWE members?
We have approximately 110 members, which has been a 200% growth rate for our section since the previous year. Our approximate male to female SWE member ratio is 1:25.
How many officers do you have? Do you have an office on campus?
We have 38 cabinet members, of which there are nine directors for our various categories, including outreach, publicity, and special events. Yes, we have a large room and a spacious closet in Marston Hall, one of the engineering buildings on campus.
Are you a commuter school, or do most students live on campus?/dt>

Most students live on campus or live near to campus. A majority of those who live on campus are freshmen and sophomores, but quite a few upperclassmen live within ten minutes walking time to campus.
How many students are in engineering?
All most all of our members are in some form of engineering.
What would you tell someone if they were first coming to your campus?
If someone were to visit our campus, I would tell them to bring a camera. ISU is a gorgeous place, especially in the spring. When I walk around from class to class I feel like I’m walking through a park. I would also tell them to spend time looking at the many paintings and sculptures that are scattered all about.
How often does your section attend a Regional or National Conference? How many members usually go for each?
How many members usually go for each? Our section always has a group attending the regional and national conferences. For regions we usually have eight to twenty attendees for both conferences.
Has your section hosted a SWE conference before, or plan to in the future?
We hosted the Region H conference in 2006.
What is your school and/or college of engineering known for?
Iowa State is known for excelling in all engineering disciplines. A few exceptionally noteworthy areas of ISU’s engineering include the nondestructive testing facility (and the nondestructive evaluation minor), the wind-tunnel test laboratory, and offering international classes in engineering and sustainability. Iowa State is also accredited with being the birthplace of the first digital computer.

Section History

What are some of the things your section does to archive its history?
We have a historian who takes photos of our events, and we have scrapbooks from past years.

Event Highlight

Describe an event that your section does that relates to (pick one): outreach, your unique section, a social activity, technical learning, professional development, joint events with other organizations, etc.
Our section is well known for outreach in multiple areas. We host an annual Fall Festival for elementary kids with science-themed activities and volunteers from other engineering organizations. We also recently started a tradition of hosting a Girl Scout Day, where local troops come and earn science and engineering badges and they learn about SWE.
What kind of new events do you plan on starting at your section?
This semester we have a cabinet member who is starting up a career development series. She is planning to have at least three sessions about everything that engineers need to know about obtaining internships and full time positions. The series will cover resume writing, interview skills, how to network with company representatives, and evaluating job offers. Career development has been one of our section’s main areas and we aim to help both freshmen and graduating seniors gain the skills and learn the unspoken rules that they will need in the workforce.
Do you do anything special or interact with a nearby professional SWE section?
We invite the local professional section to our semester banquets.
Does your section interact with other nearby sections?
We have a tradition of playing wiffleball with the University of Iowa SWE section on the day before the famous Iowa-ISU football game.

Section Strategies

What does your section do to attract and retain members?
We put on a Welcome Picnic in the fall and send out invitations to all female engineering students. Our publicity committee designs and distributes flyers through campus before each meeting or big event. This past year we had companies sponsor SWE membership for the freshmen women in engineering, which helped encourage many more girls to join SWE and stay in engineering.
How do you reward members?
We have a system of membership points in which at the end of each semester our active members receive rewards, including our coveted SWE section T-shirts. Throughout each semester attending meetings, belonging to a committee, volunteering for our community service and outreach events, and going to conferences ear our members points. Our director of membership keeps a running spreadsheet and updates everyone on how many points they have. We have three recognized point levels, silver (40 points), gold (60 points), and platinum (80 points).
Some states get cold in the winter. How do you get members out when it’s cold outside?
We have our meetings in one of the engineering buildings so that it’s a central location for everyone. Our upperclassmen members are also very nice about giving rides to campus or to activities so that our members don’t freeze in the cold.
How does your section obtain funds to help defray the costs of attending a conference?
Our corporate relations directors find company sponsorship for our conference attendees. The fundraising committee, which runs pizza sales and football concession stands, also contributes to reducing the cost of attending conferences.
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