FY14 Illinois Institute of Technology Events

SWE-IIT Hosts “SOCIAL BUTTERFLY” Event

The Social Butterfly event presented IIT students with professional coaching with introductions while eating. Dr. Pat Smith-Pierce, CEO and Founder of the Insight Communications Group in Schaumburg Illinois was the evening’s facilitator. Students were taught things such as how one should stand and when to take the next bite while conversing. The evening’s exciting workshop had students practice what was taught. Not only was the event geared towards increasing professionalism and better presentation but it also sought to promote unity among the different professional student organizations on campus. We’ve certainly met our goal!

Dr. Pat Smith-Pierce corrects hand gestures
Dr. Pat Smith-Pierce corrects hand gestures
Chapter President opens the event
Chapter President opens the event

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SWE IIT Engages in ENGINEERING CHALLENGES

At each General Body meeting, SWE has its members engage in simple yet time constrained engineering challenges.  10 minutes are allotted to this challenge where members are given limited time and resources to complete a given task. This approach can be translated to efficiently completing tasks as engineers. Our first was a newspaper tower where students were to construct the tallest free standing tower from 2 sheets of newspapers and 1 inch of tape. The winning team managed to reach a height of 4ft. Challenge 2 demonstrated members creativity and ability to think outside of the box to create the tallest free-standing card tower. Not only did these activities allow members to engage in hands-on tasks where they could apply some engineering skills, they also exercised cooperation and team work to reach an ultimate shared goal!

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SWE-IIT Volunteers at E-Week Event

The annual E-Week activities for 2014 culminated with a fun filled interactive activity hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology at its Rice campus in Wheaton, Illinois. It was geared at increasing the interest in STEM related fields among children of all ages. SWE-IIT has certainly done its share in keeping with this mission. The program allowed both students and parents to get involved with hands-on engineering activities such as straw bridge construction, turbine motion and using brain activity to generate energy. Children were taken through the engineering process, tested their designs and analyzed failure, if any.

Future engineer admiring her work
Future engineer admiring her work

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SWE IIT Executive Board Retreat

How well a group functions depends partly on the commitment of its members and the unity among the group’s leaders. SWE IIT understands that to achieve the goals set by the organization, its leaders must be able to work together. The 4-woman Executive Board of 2013-2014 comprises unique individuals. Our President, Roselle Grant hails from the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Angelica Valadez, the Vice President, is Mexican. Sylwia Odrzywolska, the team’s treasurer, was born in Poland and our Marketing Chair, Sneha Gindodiya is Indian. What a welcomed mix! We are privileged to have so many perspectives, but to ensure that we all remained focused on the SWE mission and are able to compromise and contribute in ways that aren’t misinterpreted for negativity or seen as offensive, an executive board retreat was in order. The team shared cultural experiences, differences and similarities over wine while painting. Leaders were able to better understand each other’s views and tolerate idiosyncrasies. This truly helped with cooperation and has also proven that engineers make some fine artists!

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Sneha’s masterpiece
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Roselle’s masterpiece

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SWE-IIT Tours Caterpillar

We’ve noticed that the membership dynamics of SWE-IIT are changing. Students tend to join SWE at an earlier stage of their college education. Most active members are now freshmen, sophomores and juniors who request seeing the field that they plan to enter at its best. SWE has since done tours to 2 major engineering facilities: Caterpillar’s manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Illinois and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, a global architectural firm whose headquarters are located in Chicago.

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~Article submitted by Illinois Institute of Technology

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