The Monthly SWE Newsletter
August 2014
October 2011

Read This Month's Letter from President Melissa Tata

I hope you are as excited about the "Raising the Heights of Innovation" WE11 conference as I am. I am looking forward to terrific committee meetings, catching up with old friends, making new friends, recognizing our amazing award recipients, meeting our career fair exhibitors and celebrating SWE! I can’t wait to see over 400 enthusiastic young women and over 115 volunteers at our Invent It. Build It. event on Saturday, October 15, in addition to all the great programs showcased at the outreach expo on October 14. We are hosting 175 professional development sessions for all different career stages, so you are sure to find numerous sessions to enhance your skills. I am always inspired by our award recipients, and this year we are proud to distribute over $540,000 in scholarships.

If you can't join us in person at WE11, I hope you will attend via virtual participation, which was very successful in its first year at WE10. We will webcast all the plenaries and the keynote, and 12 popular concurrent sessions will be selected for replay after the conference.

"Raising the Heights of Innovation"  is a universal theme for us this year as I have had numerous discussions with leaders on ideas to engage our current members, ensure we continue to foster an inclusive environment, encourage more collegiate members to transition and entice new members to join. We’ve also discussed how we can expand our outreach efforts, increase interactions between collegiate and professional members and sustain strong relationships with all of our partners. We have added an article from a recent graduate on why they transitioned to professional membership and how they are enjoying their membership today. We would like to include you in providing feedback on our website improvements. Finally, the Board is tracking our ongoing status via a scorecard—I encourage you to review our phenomenal FY11 results.

On behalf of SWE, I attended an event focused on the "Career-Life Balance Initiative" at the White House on September 26. This 10-year plan, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and supported by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Office of Science and Technology, promotes workplace flexibility policies to support America's scientists and their families. Joining me at this event were Siddika Demir, Past President, and Melissa Carl, SWE Washington Representative. In addition, SWE member and Graduate Member Coordinator Prinda Wanakule, who will receive the 2011 Outstanding Graduate Collegiate Award at WE11, attended the event and was invited to meet with the First Lady prior to the event to share her story. We also spent some time discussing best practices with two other event attendees: Vicky Rockwell, ASME President and Mary Kasarda, Ph.D, ASME member and associate professor.

At this event, the First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of supporting and retaining women and girls in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers to encourage growth and innovation. She highlighted that flexible workplaces contribute to our economic competitiveness and that this is not just a women's issue. Amongst the ideas shared were teleworking, family and medical leave and evaluating workers on quality of their work vs. when/where it is performed. Since I am working as a remote employee for Dell Inc. as a new mother, this message was particularly motivational to me.

After the First Lady, there was a panel discussion featuring Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls and chief of staff to the First Lady; Robert Birgeneau, the UC Berkeley Chancellor; Monica Cox, associate professor at Purdue; and Catherine Hunt, the R&D Director for External Science & Technology at Dow Chemical. This panel highlighted that in order to attract and retain the best and brightest candidates, effective policies highlighting entitlement for family-friendly policies are critical. More information on this initiative is available online, as well as a video of the event.

If you're interested in real-time updates on the phenomenal activities like the White House event that I attend on behalf of SWE, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter, @SWE_President. I'd love to talk with you about your SWE experience and I’ll be posting my whereabouts at the conference on Twitter too. As a reminder, our sponsors are critical to our success at WE11, so please take the time to listen to their speeches at the ice cream social and other conference events. Grab your gowns and business suits, and I'll see you for a memorable conference in the Windy City in less than a week!

melissaMelissa Tata
FY12 SWE President
president@swe.org

Call for Nominations for FY13 Society Officers and Trustees

With FY12 activities under way, it is time to identify and nominate potential candidates for FY13 Society officers, board of directors, senate leadership and board of trustees.

Per Article IV, Section 6, of the Society's bylaws, the nominating committee is charged with the responsibility for selecting at least one qualified candidate for each of the following positions for FY13:

  • President Elect
  • Treasurer
  • Director (2 positions)
  • Director of Regions
  • Deputy Director of Regions

Under Society bylaws, candidates for these elected positions must be a voting member of the Society in good standing and must have served at least two years in the aggregate as a professional member of the senate, Society committee chair, region governor, professional section or members-at-large president, or professional section or members at large representative, except that one year as a collegiate senator or collegiate representative may be counted. Proviso: For the purpose of fulfilling eligibility requirements, service as an international representative for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, shall count toward these requirements (expires 2019).  A candidate for president elect must be either a senior member or a fellow, and must have served at least two years on the board of directors. A candidate for director of regions or deputy director of regions must have served as a region governor (or region director prior to 2004).

There are four key characteristics of SWE leadership that each future leader should possess to some degree: People Skills, Knowledge of the Organization, Strategic Thinking and Results Generation. Click here to review these key leadership characteristics, which provides additional information on requirements and duties for each position. Please review the skills, leadership characteristics, interests and SWE experience of members you are familiar with, and use this form to recommend appropriate candidates.

The nominating committee is also calling for candidates for additional FY13 positions:

  • Trustee (2 positions)
  • Deputy Speaker of the Senate
  • Senate Secretary

At the request of the board of trustees, the nominating committee has been asked to recommend two candidates for trustee. There are six members on the board of trustees who serve staggered three-year terms; two new trustees must be elected for FY13. A key factor for a candidate for trustee is expertise in handling all types of financial investments. While not necessary, it is beneficial for the candidate to be familiar with Society operations.

Trustees maintain fiduciary responsibility for SWE's endowed and reserve funds by prudently selecting and overseeing investment managers, in light of economic and financial conditions in the world economies and in SWE.  

Candidates for Trustee should have a thorough understanding of global economies and markets and should be comfortable with a broad range of investment vehicles. Candidates should also have strong strategic thinking and communications skills.

At the request of the speaker of the senate, the nominating committee has been asked to issue this call for candidates for deputy speaker of the senate and senate secretary. A candidate for deputy speaker of the senate or senate secretary must be a voting member of the Society, and have served a minimum of two years in the aggregate on the board of directors, as a professional member of the senate, Society or senate committee chair, region governor, professional section or members at large president, or professional section or members at large representative, except that one year as a collegiate senator or collegiate representative may be counted toward this requirement.  Proviso: For the purpose of fulfilling these eligibility requirements, service as an international representative for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, shall count toward the requirement  (expires 2019).  The senate nominating committee will evaluate deputy speaker of the senate and senate secretary candidates.

The nominating committee is responsible for insuring that qualified candidates are placed on the ballot; however, identifying SWE's future leaders is everyone's responsibility. Our Society has many competent members who are interested in leading us forward.  It is the responsibility of all of us to see that they are considered for the Society's elected offices.

Nominating Instructions:

The deadline for submitting recommendations is October 21, 2011.

  • Please complete a nomination form for each recommended candidate for the Society's offices and trustees for FY13.
  • Provide the candidate's name, address, phone and email.
  • Include all positions the candidate is being nominated for on the same form.
  • Provide some brief background information explaining why the person is appropriate for the office, for example, SWE experience, leadership characteristics, financial planning experience, etc.
  • Obtain a candidate consent and eligibility form from each recommended candidate.  This must be submitted along with their nomination form. The nominating committee chair must receive this confirmation of consent and eligibility before the candidate will be considered.
  • Use additional nomination forms as necessary to nominate additional candidates.
  • Please send the nomination package (nomination form and candidate consent and eligibility form) to the nominating committee chair.

Nominating Process:

  • This call for candidate recommendations is NOT used for region positions.  It is each region's responsibility to select candidates for region governor and nominating committee representatives in accordance with region bylaws.
  • Questions about eligibility, duties of office, or the process the nominating committee follows can be directed to the nominating committee chair or your region committee representative.
  • The information supplied by the candidates, and the feedback on the candidates supplied by other SWE members during the nomination process, is regarded as highly confidential information. It is not shared outside the committee, and it is not saved from year to year. In order to preserve the confidentiality and integrity of our process, questions, concerns, or feedback about individual candidates that arise outside of the formal feedback process must be directed to the nominating committee chair. Please respect that members of the nominating committee are duty-bound not to discuss information related to individual candidates!

Nominating Committee:

Nominating Committee Chair: Faith Kay

Members:

  • Elizabeth Guiliani, Golden West Region (A)
  • Betty Irish, Sonora Region (B)
  • Stacey Culver, Gulf Coast Region (C)
  • Cassie Bayer, Southeast Region (D)
  • Michelle Tortolani, Mid-Atlantic Region (E)
  • Bernice Brody, New England Region (F)
  • Pam Snyder, Ohio Valley Region (G)
  • April Privett, Heartland Region (H)
  • Jill Tietjen, Square Root (-1) Region (i)
  • Suzanne Hakam, Northwest Star Region (J)

The Nominating Committee encourages all SWE members to consider service at the highest levels. Please feel free to contact any of the Nominating Committee members to discuss requirements for service, the process of application, and your plans for service over the short and long term.

Invite Others to Attend WE11!

Whether you are an experienced professional or a collegian looking to start your career, WE11 offers numerous opportunities for you to network with potential employers and enhance your skills through our numerous professional development sessions.

If you haven't already spread the word about the many benefits of attending WE11, now is the chance to do so, by using our E-inviteClick here to invite your colleagues or fellow students to the leading conference for women engineers and technologists!

"Why I Became a Professional SWE Member After College"

What I really enjoyed about being a SWE leader as a collegian, was the ability to have an impact on so many people through outreach events, professional development workshops, leadership opportunities and career guidance. SWE really opened the doors for me professionally, landing me an internship and my first (and current) job out of college. All of the relationships I made with other SWE members (collegiate and professional) I still have today, and these women are the reason I wanted to and continue to be involved as a professional. While it may seem like section events in college are the only thing going on, there are so many other outlets of SWE that a member can take advantage of and be involved in, that are just as fun.

I actually realized there was more to SWE than the events my local SWE collegiate section hosted when I attended my first SWE Annual Conference. There were opportunities for leadership experience in other areas I couldn't get in school or at work, including the ability to network and get to know women from all around the world. This is what made me really want to continue my SWE membership when I became a professional. Being on the SWE Board of Directors, serving on SWE senate and being on several SWE committees has given me several skills I can use in my job, and that will help me develop and grow as an engineer. I enjoy being a professional SWE member today, and I know that SWE will keep giving me reasons to stay involved!

~Brittney Elko

Brittney has served many roles in SWE. She was Region C RCR, Collegiate Board Representative, and as a Professional Member, she is currently a Region A Senator and employed by The Clorox Co.

SWE to Update Its Website

Since the current SWE website was launched four years ago, our content has grown by 250 percent, mobile device access to websites has become common and social networking technologies have transformed communications. It is time for an overhaul of the SWE website to update and streamline the content, and improve the member website experience (i.e., ease of use and ability to access key information quickly). This overhaul will provide an improved interactive experience for members, leaders and partners whether they are accessing from a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

The project began with a "needs" analysis and the development of a content strategy. Thank you to the many SWE members that provided input through the member survey, individual interviews or participation in exercises to capture information organization preferences. We are now in the high-level design phase. During WE11 we will be looking for additional member feedback. Please join us at the Lava Lounge on Thursday and Friday from 1:00–3:00pm to provide your input. We'll also be utilizing online surveys for all to provide their input on the new screen designs. Watch your email for upcoming opportunities.

We anticipate that the website will be available in mid-January for beta testing with members. The launch is planned for early March.

How do you manage your time at the conference in order to attend all the activities in which you are interested?

Know ahead of time the workshops you want to attend, and remember to schedule time for lunch and a break for your feet!” ~Ivelisse D.

You don’t! That’s what makes you want to come back every year!” ~Julia F.

Look at the schedule online before you arrive at the conference and then adjust as needed.” ~Gail D.

I put all of the sessions I want or need to attend in my phone’s calendar. Then, I can see where I have or need to make free time.” ~@KUtrekkie, via Twitter

To discuss these tips further, visit our Facebook page!

Public Policy Washington Spotlight (October)

Each month Melissa Carl, SWE Washington Representative, spotlights SWE’s public policy initiatives as related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, as well as the application of Title IX to STEM fields. This month’s spotlight includes:

  • SWE Leaders Present for White House Announcement of New Workplace Flexibility Policies
  • Appropriations Committee Releases Draft Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Bill
  • President Obama Announces NCLB Waiver Process
  • Senators Introduce Series of Bills to “Fix” No Child Left Behind
  • Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration Releases Third and Final STEM Report
  • “Hispanic College Enrollment Spikes, Narrowing Gaps with Other Groups”: Pew Report

 

October's News

Each month, All Together features the latest engineering and industry news.  This month's news includes:

If you have engineering and industry news to share, comment below!

Conference 2011 Issue

Earn Continuing Education Credit at WE11

SWE offers the Career Enhancement Series at WE11 which offers credits for CEUs and focuses on numerous topics such as Critical Success Factors for New Managers and Networking Know-How to Get the Job and Advance Your Career.

If you haven’t already, click here to learn more about the Career Enhancement Series.

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