Leadership Posts

This is the place for the latest updates from your Region H Collegiate Team!


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 (Carol.Weber@SWE.org).

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!


Jamie Sanderson (jlsand@umich.edu)
FY15 Region H Collegiate Senator

As noted earlier, rebranding was one of the agenda items for the FY15 Annual SWE Senate meeting. Following the meeting, the results and recommendations were presented and discussed at all the region conferences, including the Region H Conference held March 6th –7that the University of Notre Dame. We thought we’d use the conference video tape to ensure all points brought up during the collegiate meeting were covered, but it turned out the collegiate meeting wasn’t included so please feel free to contact me if the following information does not answer your questions or if you have additional comments you’d like to share. I definitely want to represent our region as well as possible!

The David James Group (DJG), SWE’s in-house marketing agency for the last eight years, conducted a survey during the spring of 2014. 58% of the 2000+ respondents were members of a professional SWE section, 27% were members of a collegiate SWE section, and 15% were non-members. DJG’s recommendations were based on the results from this survey as well as some additional benchmarking efforts.

DJG explained that the gear is less literal which is meant to remove any limitations about the gear not representing all of the engineering disciplines; that the three sections of the logo visually tie to the tagline, Aspire / Advance / Achieve; that the acronym is featured because it is how most members and supporters refer to SWE; and that the acronym approach will make the logo more easily understood on a global basis.

Lower case letters were selected because they are perceived as being more welcoming. DJG also showed examples where other large corporations use lower case, e.g., UPS:

(Image retrieved from http://www.pressroom.ups.com/Fact+Sheets/The+UPS+Logo+-+A+Brief+History)

The words Aspire / Advance / Achieve were included in the logo because more than two-thirds of the DJG survey respondents fell into the category that said they “really liked” them. However, for logo usage under 1.5 inches, the logo would appear without the full name or tagline:


The increased cost associated with screen printing three vs. two colors, as in the current logo, was discussed. A single color or a “reverse” version of the logo that requires only one color could be used to reduce costs.

Example of reversed image of logo less than 1.5 inches:


DJG indicated that the current logo is challenging to accurately reproduce because of the way theletters are contained within the gear. We were told the colors chosen for the proposed logo work well on the web.

Proposed logo with Aspire/Advance/Achieve tag line:


When used for collegiate sections, the collegiate section information would replace the Aspire / Advance / Achieve tagline.

The ballot for voting on the proposed logo is now open for Senate members. It will remain open until May 7th so, again, please feel free to contact me if you have additional comments or questions or simply want to let me know how you feel. I appreciate your input!


Jamie Sanderson (jlsand@umich.edu)
FY15 Region H Collegiate Senator

I hope the end of the school year is going well for you! The SWE Senate has been busy, and I have a few updates to share.

Cathy Pieronek
I’m sure most of you have already seen and/or heard that Cathy Pieronek, Region H Senator, Region Conference Advisor, and Notre Dame SWE Advisor, passed away on April 9th. I had the opportunity to serve with Cathy this past year. I enjoyed working with her and respected her a great deal. We will all really miss her.

FY15 Annual SWE Senate Meeting
The agenda for the FY15 Annual SWE Senate Meeting included, among other things, Motion S-1501 (Member Removal), an update from the Strategic Initiatives Committee, and a presentation on and discussion about rebranding efforts.

Motion S-1501
Motion S-1501 proposed a bylaws amendment to clarify that SWE membership can be revoked not only for failure to pay dues, but also if a member is found by the Ethics Committee to have violated the Code of Conduct. The motion passed, and the bylaw now reads as follows:

Section 4.B.
Any member who fails to pay dues according to the established schedule shall be dropped from the Society’s membership register. A member may be disciplined or removed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the “Procedures for Review of SWE Member Conduct,” which shall be kept updated on the SWE website. Amendments to these procedures may be proposed by the board of directors or the ethics committee, for approval by the Senate.

Strategic Initiatives
The FY15 Strategic Initiative focused on how SWE can better support small business members and improve its relationship with small businesses. Members employed by companies with less than 500 employees (which is the small business size standard established by the U.S. Small Business Administration) were surveyed regarding membership, professional development, awards, and networking. The results will be used to try to develop new tools and programs that will be helpful to small business members. It was also specifically noted that the needs of entrepreneurs may not be identical to the needs of small businesses.

The Strategic Initiatives Committee has been soliciting ideas for FY16 and will select the next topic in late May.

Brand Messaging and Identity
SWE chose to work with the David James Group (SWE’s in-house marketing agency for the last eight years) for its rebranding efforts. Results include a revised brand positioning statement and a proposed new logo:

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development and shapes public policy. SWE champions the value of diversity and inspires girls to become engineers in order to expand the engineering profession’s ability to improve the quality of life for billions of people worldwide.


Pictured from left to right: Cathy Pieronek, Kalyani Mallela, and Jamie Sanderson.

The David James Group explained that the gear has been re-imagined and is more stylized and less literal which removes any limitations about the gear not representing all of the engineering disciplines; that the three sections of the logo visually tie to the tagline, Aspire / Advance / Achieve; that the acronym is featured because it is how most of the members and supporters refer to SWE; and that the acronym approach will make the logo more easily understood globally.

Additional discussion about rebranding and the proposed new logo will follow in another post.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions about any of these updates.

Good luck to everyone finishing up the semester!


Congrats to the newly elected FY16 Region H Collegiate Team:

Region Collegiate Representatives: Emily Matijevich (U-IL) & Elia Zanella (U-MN);
Region Collegiate Communications Editor: Elisa Hutchinson (IA St);
Region Collegiate Senator: Abigail Hedlin (Valpo)

Looking forward to working with you this next year!

And on a side note: There are many other volunteer roles that some of you collegians can get involved with in Region H! (See my August post.)

And for you Freshman and Sophomores – get nominated for the SWEFL program (See details below)!

Betty Leonard
SWE Region H Governor FY15 & FY16


The SWE FY15 Senate – with all 32 professional and collegiate members in attendance – met during the annual conference on October 25, 2014. Diane LaFortune, SWE Senate Secretary, did a great job summarizing the meeting in the minutes, but here are a few highlights:

  • SWE re-branding efforts continue. This is something for sections to keep in mind as they design and/or order merchandise. Sections may want to hold off until around March if they want to use the updated brand.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Knowledge Cards have been developed through collaboration between the Society of Women Engineers and ARUP. Each card revolves around a key aspect of identifying the unconscious biases in the engineering industry, academia, and government in North America. The intention of these cards is to act as a catalyst for discussion and reflection. They are available for purchase through the SWE Store.
  • The Strategic Initiatives Committee (formerly known as the Mega Issues Committee)  “…performs necessary research and develops white papers to facilitate the society’s dialogue on strategic initiatives that align with the society’s strategic goals.” To make sure it focuses on issues that interest you most, its members want to hear from you. The idea submission form can be accessed here.
  • The SWE Work Life Integration Playbook E-Book is an example of this group’s work.
  • The Senate’s winter face-to-face meeting will be held January 30th and 31st in Nashville, TN. Please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to discuss.

Also, the nomination process for FY16 positions begins soon. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in running for next year’s RCS position or would just like to learn a little bit more.

Good luck to everyone finishing up the semester!

Jamie Sanderson


Hello Section Presidents!

Is your section interested in making a bid to host the FY16 Region H Conference? If so, the Bid Packet for the FY16 Region H Conference is provided here:

2016 Region H Conf Bid Presentation (pptx)
2016 Region H Conference Bid requirements (doc)
2016 Region H Conference Bid Budget worksheet (xlsx)

Bid Timeline

Date Activity
Nov 7, 2014 Schools interested in bidding indicate so in an email to Lt. Governor
Dec 19, 2014 Bid packages due to Lt. Governor
Jan 2, 2015 Lt. Governor will provide bid feedback including ability to continue bid
Feb 15, 2015 One-page PR Summary is due to Lt. Governor for distribution to Region
Mar 7, 2015 5 minute bid presentation at FY15 Conference

All items should be submitted to Lt. Governor Carol Weber at carol.weber@swe.org.


Welcome to FY15! My name is Betty Leonhard, your Heartland Region Governor.  I look forward to meeting many of you this year at various SWE conferences and events.  I want to reach out with a quick hello and encourage you to keep up the good work in your local SWE sections, as you are the grassroots arms and legs of SWE that gets things done and helps SWE meet its goals and live up to its mission.  I also wanted to let you know that one of my main goals in region H this year is to get many more collegiates involved in region committees, and I have encouraged your region collegiate team (RCT) to develop more roles to join them in supporting our many collegiate sections. The RCT is already discussing the roles and responsibilities they want to include on that team.  As for some other general SWE roles, I’d like to specifically invite any of you to consider the joining one of the following:

  • Region H financial assessment committee – This committee checks the region’s financial records and makes recommendations on improved financial practices we should perform. This would be great for a young member who is or wants to be a section treasurer (or region or Society treasurer someday.)  This committee is only active for a month or two in the winter, near or at region conference.
  • Region H nominating committee – This committee accepts, seeks out, and discusses potential candidates for region H elected positions. Such positions include region officers and the region collegiate team. It is a year long committee because we always need to watch for potential candidates but most of the work occurs January through March. Now that the region nominating committee also is charged with developing the collegiate slate of candidates, it is very important to have a collegiate member volunteer.  The only caveat is that you wouldn’t be able to run for an elected region position for FY16 if you are on the committee in FY15.
  • Region H individual awards judging sub committee – This is a sub committee under the region awards umbrella and this person will help review and decide who should receive this year’s region-level awards. Those awards are collegiate emerging leader, professional emerging leader, and distinguished service. The time frame of this committee is still under debate.
  • Region H spirit & recognition committee – This committee will assist the RG in gathering the scavenger hunt photos and preparing for the region H slide show at Celebrate SWE banquet as well as purchase any spirit goodies to unify our region at that banquet. They will also develop a concept for continuing recognition that may include creating a region H SWE mascot. This committee will primarily be active in the Fall.
  • Region H procedures committee – This committee updates existing region policies, procedures, and forms as needed or as requested by the region council. You might help define a new procedure for the selection process of some new RCT roles.

Anyone in the region can fill these positions. We encourage involvement from others in your collegiate sections, professional sections, and the MALs.  Most region positions are a fairly low time commitment compared to local or Society roles, so they are a great way for SWE members to keep up their engagement level.  Contact Betty at governor-h@swe.org if interested in learning more.


Greetings Region H!

My name is Ashley Stroup, and I am the Region Collegiate Senator for Region H. This past week I had the awesome opportunity to attend the SWE Annual Conference, WE ’13. As a member of the Senate, I attended the SWE Senate Meeting on Saturday. This was a great opportunity to see how SWE functions at its top levels.

At the senate meeting, we voted on three Bylaws Amendments. The first vote concerned who would chair the Nominating Committee. There was a motion to require the immediate past president to serve as the chair of this committee. Having the past president serve as chair would be great because they are very well qualified for the position. However, this lengthens their term to three years (one as president elect, one as president, and one as chair of the committee.) Due to the concern of burnout, a substitute motion was passed that allows the past president to serve as chair should they wish, but does not require it.

The second amendment voted on concerned the election of the Collegiate Director. In the past, the Collegiate Director was nominated by the president elect and approved by the Board of Directors. The senate voted nearly unanimously to change the Collegiate Director elections to be voted on by collegiate section presidents. This brings continuity to the election of the region collegiate team since collegiate section presidents currently vote to elect Region Collegiate Senator (RCS), Region Collegiate Representatives (RCR), and the Region Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE).

The third, and final amendment voted on concerned the number of Region Collegiate Representatives per region. Currently, each region is assigned one RCR per 20 collegiate sections. Eight out of the ten regions within SWE are large enough to have two RCRs. A task force had recommended that each region be allowed only one RCR. This change also includes significant position responsibility changes. Should the amendment pass, the RCR and RCCE would redistribute their responsibilities in order to manage the work load associated with larger regions. After much discussion, the amendment was postponed indefinitely, and will likely be discussed again at the spring senate meeting.

I hope everyone who attended WE ’13 had a great time, and I would encourage all of the WE ’14 attendees next year to consider attending the Senate meeting. These meetings are a great way to see what changes are happening within SWE, and to see what leadership positions are available as a professional member.

Thanks for reading!

Ashley Stroup


Happy September!!!

Welcome back to school collegiate members!! Hope you had a great summer with wonderful experiences both professionally & personally. 

We start off the fiscal year with a change to some of our SWE programs: some re-alignment & expansion.  The biggest change is that we have 11 SWE future leaders (SWE FLs) and they along with our region collegiate team will be attending a new event at WE13 called the Collegiate Leadership Institute.  At this day long event, attendees will get professional development training and the opportunity to network and possibly gain a mentor with someone in industry.  (For those professional members reading this post, SWE’s coordinator for the event is still looking for some mentors, feel free to contact me or email hq@swe.org – Attn: Peter Finn – Collegiate Leadership Institute). Also, this year we are trialing an expansion to our Heartland Annual Round Table (HART) Leadership Summit to include more professional section leaders & the SWE FLs to come together for training as well as networking. 

The Region Collegiate Team will help me keep you up to date! I look forward to meeting many of you at WE13 in Baltimore and/or FY14 Region H Conference at Michigan Technological University. We will have opportunities for you to interact with professional members, so please take advantage of it.  Oh! Don’t forget to bring your SWE counselor and faculty adviser to these events, there are sessions for them as well.

Good luck this fall semester!

Jenny Morikawa

Region H Governor


Message from the Region H Governor:
The past 6 months have been exciting ones for Region H especially because WE11 was in our region.  I am a member of the Chicago Regional Section, who did a great job in coordinating the volunteers and other responsibilities. Region H had an awesome turnout, especially from the collegiate sections.  Do you know that we filled 28 tables at Celebrate SWE? We had many award winners too.

Just recently I have attended two Charter banquets for new professional sections.  It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm with these new groups.  The two new sections are: Southwest Central Indiana near Bloomington, IN and the Dubuque Area Section, Dubuque, IA and nearby Wisconsin towns.  If you end up in one of these locations with your job after graduation, check out these sections.  Definitely check out any local SWE professional section where you are working, there is always something interesting going on and leadership opportunities.

The 2012 Region H conference is coming up February 17-19 in Madison, WI.  I have been working with the University of Wisconsin section and they have a great group of sessions planned.  The whole conference will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Conference center. This is something not be missed.  Please register by January 9th, it is coming up fast!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and safe travels

Wendy Landwehr

SWE Region H Governor


Hi Region H,

I was great to meet some of you at the SWE Annual conference.  I am so excited that we won the SWE Spirit award.  Katy and Tricia were awesome.  Thanks to everyone who helped with the answers to the questions.  We really dominated by also winning the Region Programming Excellence award for our session at last Region conference.  I am compiling a list of all of the Region H award recipients and will recognize them on the website.

We are getting ready for the Region Conference, February 4-6, 2011 at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.   Aryn and Ellen have kept me informed of the planning status and it is turning out to be wonderful conference. I am very proud to be the Governor for Region H an represent all of the collegiate & professional sections.

-Wendy Landwehr, Region H Governor

Hi Region H SWE Members!

For those of you who were able to attend the WE10 Annual Conference, I hope you had a great time and were able to benefit both professionally and personally from the activities provided. To recap, the Region Collegiate Team will be working to make sure all sections’ bylaws are approved and submitted to HQ. We will also be working to help all sections obtain an EIN number if they currently don’t have one.

-Debra Lin, Region H RCR

Hello Region H!

I hope everyone had a a great time at WE10!  We are looking forward to a successful Region H Conference and a great rest of the year.  A few reminders from your RCRs:

  • If you are interested in taking your SWE involvement to the next level, now is the time to contact us!  Elections for Region H Collegiate Senator, Region H Collegiate Representatives, and Region H Collegiate Communications Editor are coming up!
  • If you have any additional best practices you would like to share with us, please do so!  We are in the process of compiling everything from Annual Conference and will have that info posted soon!

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

-Kristina Kremer, Region H RCR

Get to Know Your Region Collegiate Team!

Kristina Kremer, RCR

Kristina Kremer is a senior in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She was introduced to SWE as a senior in high school, when she was invited to visit campus as a part of SWE’s Little Sister Weekend.  She has been a very active member ever since.  As a sophomore, she served her section as Recruitment Director.  Last year, she was her section’s president.  She is really enjoying her role as RCR this year.  Her favorite aspect of SWE is all of the opportunities for networking.  She is excited about joining SWE as a a professional member after she graduates in May.

Debra Lin, RCR

Hi! My name is Debra Lin. I’m one of your Region H Collegiate Representatives for the FY11 fiscal year. I am currently a fifth year senior at Purdue University in West Lafayette. However, I grew up in Plano, TX, just outside of Dallas. I decided to attend Purdue University because of the great programs it had for women interested in studying engineering. Very quickly into my freshman year, I became involved with the Purdue SWE section. As a freshman, I had the opportunity to go to the National Conference in Kansas City. The National Conference really opened my eyes to the countless opportunities and benefits SWE provides to its members.  Throughout my sophomore, junior, and senior year, I took on different leadership positions within Purdue SWE. After finishing my presidency last year, I decided to take on a leadership position at the regional level.

So far, I’ve had a terrific time as a Region H RCR. This past summer, I had the opportunity to fly to San Francisco and attend the Collegiate Leadership Conference where I met all the collegiate leaders from across the country as well as the SWE Board of Directors. This conference reminded me about the countless reasons why I love SWE. There are so many great individuals within SWE that all support women in engineering. Many of these individuals are now my friends, co-workers, and mentors. I received my first internship from attending a professional development workshop hosted by SWE. Also, through my involvement in SWE, my professional network of individuals I know has doubled each year! After my collegiate career, I look forward to joining SWE as a professional and adding to the number of great memories I have!

(from left to right) Emily Breymaier, Siddika Demir (President of the Society of Women Engineers), Claire Rydeen (Region H RCCE), Debra Lin (Region H RCR), Kristina Kremer (Region H RCR)

Allison Machtemes, RCSMy name is Allison Machtemes and I am your Region Collegiate Senator (RCS) for FY11.  Currently, I’m a graduate student at Iowa State University studying structural engineering with my research area in understanding the structural capacity and behavior of historical timber covered bridges.  I will be graduating this May and heading into the big world of unknowns.  Also, this past May, I graduated from the Iowa State concurrent program of MBA and BS in Civil Engineering.  I have been very active within my collegiate section but felt that I need to step outside my comfort zone and have a new experience.

So far this year SWE has been fantastic like usual.  The senate is voting on ten bylaw amendments of which four will drastically increase the ability for collegiates to take leadership roles outside their collegiate sections along with potentially making the collegiate representative position a permanent position on the Board of Directors.  This really shows that collegiates such as yourself have a great influence and importance within the Society.  I would like to challenge each and every collegiate member to take on a leadership role outside their collegiate section – either on the Region Collegiate Team (RCR, RCCE or RCS), join a national committee/task force (they are all great and a fantastic way to meet professionals and collegiates outside of your section), or a region committee/task force.  My experiences as RCS and involvement on a national committee and region task force have been unbelievable rewarding thus far and I’m sure this will continue.  I hope everyone has a great time at WE10.


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