February is Black History Month and the Society of Women Engineers is proud to celebrate the contributions of black women in STEM disciplines. This edition of SWE Magazine features Alyce Hall, the only black woman to participate in the secret ballistics calculations program during World War II, and her younger sister, Alma. Their work helped the war effort and usher in the computer age. Learn more about the journey to free the sisters' tale from obscurity and recognize their roles during this critical era in American history.
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For more information please download the DMMM1 Flyer here.
This fiscal year the SWE Women In Academia (WIA) Committee is revitalized! The committee works to support academic and academic affiliate SWE members through a variety of initiatives. One of this year's initiatives is to ensure there are professional development opportunities for academics and academic affiliates at the 2014 Annual Conference. WE14 will be held Oct. 23-25, 2014 in Los Angeles, along with ICWES 16.
Proposals are due March 11, 2014.
The committee encourages members to consider submitting a session proposal for WE14 on a topic of interest to women in academia, graduate students or existing collegiate members. This could be a panel session, a workshop or a lecture. Possible sessions might be Mentorship and Sponsorship for Academics; Early Career Mistakes to Avoid; Writing a Tenure Package; Tips for Balancing SWE Involvement and Academic Life; Strategies for Obtaining an Academic Position; Academia as a Career, etc.
If you would like to lead a professional development opportunity for academics and academic affiliates at WE14, e-mail email@example.com. The committee would like to coordinate session submissions to ensure multiple sessions on the same topic are not submitted (competing). Also, by informing the committee, it can put members in touch with others who would like to offer a similar session, which could also lead to collaborators on a session (encouraged).
Again, session proposals are due by March 11, 2014. Please inform the committee by Feb. 28 if you intend to submit.
The WIA Committee hopes members will consider the opportunity to support fellow SWE members through submitting a professional development session proposal.
Join the LinkedIn group—SWE Women In Academia.
Participate in a National Science Foundation funded study on Research in Engineering Education and be heard. This research, co-led by the University of Colorado, Boulder and Engineers Without Borders-USA, aims to study student and professional engineers involved with various professional engineering organizations in order to help inform the ways in which current engineers are prepared for the future of the profession.
To participate, please complete the survey questionnaire using the link below. The survey should take 15-20 minutes, and upon completion you have the option to enter into a raffle for one of several Amazon gift cards and iPads. Please complete the survey by Feb. 23, 2014.
Anonymous survey link.
SWE will benefit from this survey through a better understanding of our membership base and the ways in which the organization can better serve you.
This month, the board of directors (BOD) meeting summary is for the BOD January telecon, which took place Jan. 6, 2014.
- SWE Leadership Diversity Metrics: The board continues to strengthen their commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the Society. This month, the board looked at the diversity metrics of the SWE leadership. We found that these metrics closely reflect the SWE professional membership metrics. A discussion was had regarding initiatives to get minorities more involved in SWE Leadership.
- New Professional Development Offerings: Karen Horting talked about some of the new Professional Development programs SWE will be offering in 2014.
- FY14 Ops Plan Review: Stacey led a discussion concerning the progress that's been made towards the objectives of the FY14 ops plan. The information collected during this time will form the basis for the “State of SWE” presentation that will be given at each of the Region Conferences.
- Strategic Discussion: Associations Unorthodox is a short book the BOD has been reading and discussing. It is organized in ideas called “Shifts.” Shift 4, “Go All in on Digital,” was discussed at the BOD January Telecon. This shift suggests that associations embrace digital opportunities and have less in-person opportunities. Topics that came up in the discussion included the large number of digital opportunities that SWE is already embracing and how networking is still very relevant to many members, highlighting the importance of continuing to offer in-person events as well.
As has been our practice, the minutes from the formal meeting can always be found on the governance section of the SWE website after you login.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you find this information helpful. Thanks.
Wendy Schauer Landwehr, F.SWE
Secretary, Society of Women Engineers
We need your unique perspective to help demonstrate to SWE members around the world why attending WE14 is crucial to their future. Be a part of SWE’s history by submitting your WE14 video by Feb. 28. Let your fellow SWE members know about your experiences at past Annual Conferences and tell us why a Global Exchange for Change is crucial to the future of our profession.
DiscoverE Engineers Week is coming! The annual, volunteer-driven event will take place Feb. 16-22, with numerous activities, programs and gatherings to be held throughout the week in celebration. SWE will join in the celebration as well, helping to close out the week in a special #AskSWE tweetchat with @DiscoverEorg at noon CST on Feb. 21.
DiscoverE's mission is to grow the engineering profession into a more diverse environment through outreach, celebration and volunteerism. Engineers Week promotes that mission through a huge number of events, spearheaded by volunteers across the country. These events commemorate the work of the engineering community while engaging students in engineering activities, bringing them together with educators and professionals to improve the dialogue between them. This year's theme, Let's Make a Difference, promotes the influential work of engineers worldwide and their drive to inspire the next generation.
There's plenty of opportunity all week long for engineers, educators and parents to get involved with already scheduled events or to host their own. One of the most important parts of Engineers Week will be Girl Day, on which a number of special events across the country will emphasize the importance of women in engineering and encourage young girls to follow in those footsteps, inspiring them by demonstrating how collaborative and creative engineering can be.
DiscoverE has made it easy to get involved by offering a wealth of resources on their website, discovere.org. There, volunteers can download all the resources they need to host their own Engineers Week event. Be sure to join us in our #AskSWE tweetchat with @DiscoverEorg at noon CST on Feb. 21 to celebrate Engineers Week and let us know how you're getting involved.
Last month, SWE members came together on Facebook to discuss an interesting topic: how to best combine an engineering education with a fine arts education. Helen S. posed the following question:
"My daughter is a junior in high school studying in the engineering program (Project Lead the Way, grades 10-12) and is also a talented artist. She is interested in finding a college program that blends engineering and fine/studio arts. Any recommendations are welcome!"
Members were happy to reply with personal experiences and advice. Here are some of the most popular responses.
"The possibilities are endless and there are so many options. I suggest she narrow down her likes (does she like civil, mechanical, electrical, computer) and go from there. Just about any degree can have an artsy side to it ... Electrical Engineers can do a lot of stuff with CAD while working alongside architects. She just needs to figure out her likes and run from there." - Jennifer G.
"Georgia Tech has a nice industrial design program that blends the two. If she is interested in computing the computer science program also works closely with artists and design." - Jenny M.
"Film & Animation at RIT is a direct blend of Comp Sci and studio arts. It's great. There's some IT programs that do a heavy concentration on design as well. " - Karen R.
"I went to Colorado State University where they have a dual major program in Engineering (pick a discipline) and Liberal Arts. I supplemented my touch mechanical engineering classes with things such as economics and French because that's what I wanted to study as well. Many colleges have similar dual degree programs. It was the best decision I made." - Allison M.
"She might also want to consider a dual major in engineering and digital arts. I'm doing a dual degree in mechanical engineering and chemistry. It's no rougher than just doing engineering but it will take you a little extra time in school." - Catherine K.
SWE needs your help to make the Scholarship Program a success. Volunteers are needed to act as judges, who play a vital role in the program. It is through the dedication and generosity of these volunteer judges that young women are able to fulfill their dreams of becoming engineers and make significant contributions to society.
Last year SWE awarded 200 scholarships valued at more than $500,000, and it's now time again to help judge scholarship applications for upperclass and graduate students.
Many judges consider the process to be a rewarding experience. Scholarships are awarded to talented and aspiring future women engineers, and the applications they deliver are often considered an inspiring or nuanced glimpse at the future of engineering.
Judging will take place from March 3-24. All judging will be done online, allowing volunteers the flexibility to judge at their own pace and in line with their own schedule. A webinar training volunteers in the judging process will be offered March 3 and recorded for later viewing.
Rally your fellow SWE professional members to help judge the upperclass and graduate student scholarship applications. We look forward to having you participate, please sign up. Please contact SWE Scholarships if you have any questions.
Inaas Darrat, P.E. and Amanda Weissman
FY14 Scholarship Coordinator and Coordinator-Elect
We rolled out SWE’s new strategic plan in August and we're now past the halfway mark for FY14. Join President Stacey DelVecchio as she shares the State of SWE with all members via a webinar.
Date: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Time: 7-7:30 p.m. CST
SWE has already experienced some early success with Make Connections. Make History. Stacey will review progress towards our strategic goals of professional excellence, globalization and advocacy, and try to answer the question: Just how record breaking will FY14 be?
Attending one of the upcoming Region Conferences? You’ll also have the opportunity to hear the State of SWE presented by Stacey or another member of SWE’s board of directors.