Diverse Podcast: SWENexters Ask about Applying for College

SWENexters interview mechanical engineer Beth Holloway, Ph.D. about applying for college.
SWE Leadership Summit Update

In the latest episode of SWE’s Diverse podcast, moderator Jo Miller interviews Beth Holloway, Ph.D., director of the Women in Engineering Program and assistant dean for undergraduate education in the College of Engineering at Purdue University about applying for college.

According to the US Department of Labor, women currently make up 7% of mechanical engineers. Early on in her career, Dr. Beth Holloway was one of them. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue.

Beth Holloway, center, shares a celebratory moment with the Purdue University SWE officers.
Beth Holloway, center, shares a celebratory moment with the Purdue University SWE officers.

Dr. Holloway, who is also a professional member of SWE, answers questions from girls who are SWENexters. SWENext is a great way for students aged 18 years and under to get involved in the Society of Women Engineers. We asked SWENexters to submit their questions for Dr. Holloway, who spoke about the engineering profession, the college application process and how to prepare for life as an engineering undergrad. Her advice on applying for scholarships is not to be missed!

SWENext is a program that provides students, parents and educators with tools to understand the profession of engineering and engage girls who want to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

15-year-old high school student Lisa Aberg from Orlando, FL, called into the podcast to ask Dr. Holloway about travel opportunities for engineers and classes that Dr. Holloway wishes she had taken when she was in high school and college.

You can also find this podcast and the rest of SWE’s Diverse podcast series on iTunes.

In the winter issue of SWE Magazine, Dr. Holloway has written an article about why she left her job in industry to direct an engineering program at her alma mater, Purdue.

“In the 1970s, a handful of engineering schools hired social scientists to determine why girls in high school were not interested in engineering and to develop programs that would attract them to apply to engineering schools. Seriously declining enrollments in engineering schools, and the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the Women’s Educational Equity Act in 1974, all suggested that female students should be encouraged to consider engineering as a career choice. Female engineering students and alumnae were recognized as key elements to the success of the outreach efforts, mentoring, and the Women in Engineering Programs developed by the social scientists. It should come as no surprise that some of the women who benefited from these efforts later became interested in the development of these programs,” she writes.

Jo Miller is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com and CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. Jo is a sought-after speaker who has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and leadership workshops.

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