Podcast: WE Local Tulsa and SWENext DesignLab Tulsa

FY18 SWE President Jonna Gerken talks about WE Local Tulsa and SWENext DesignLab with Kristina George and Rachel Harvill.
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Our Diverse podcast is brought to you by SWE Advance, supporting the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in engineering through career resources, professional development and one-to-one networking opportunities.

(Jonna)

Hi, I’m Jonna Gerken, FY18 President of the Society of Women Engineers, and this is SWE’s Diverse podcast series. Please remember to add this podcast to your iTunes and like or follow us on social media.

Registration is now open for SWE’s 2018 WE Local Conferences in the U.S. and India. All conferences feature inspiring keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. The first one this year is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 26-28, 2018. Register for WE Local Tulsa  now.

Joining me now to talk about WE Local Tulsa are SWE Members Kristina George and Rachel Harvill. Kristina is an engineer for Magellan Midstream Partners and Rachel is Laboratory Supervisor at Access Pain Solutions. Both Kristina and Rachel have been active leaders in the Tulsa North-eastern Oklahoma Section.

Thanks for joining us.

(Questions/Talking Points)

Kristina, you are the 2018 WE Local Host Committee Chair for WE Local Tulsa. Tell us more about the conference.

(Kristina)

WE Local is a combined effort from SWE’s HQ, the Local Advisory Board and local SWE section members which we call the Local Host Committee. It has many focuses including professional development, networking, STEM outreach, awards and more – so there is something for everyone! There will be 4 other WE Locals in Phoenix, Milwaukee, Portland and Providence.

(Jonna)

Rachel, you are the volunteer coordinator of SWENext DesignLab Tulsa, which is a hands-on engineering experience for girls interested in STEM that happens during the conference. Tell us what DesignLab is, and what kind of engineering activities will the girls be doing?

(Rachel)

SWENext DesignLab is a half-day event that takes place on the second day of each WE Local conference. It is an experience designed to encourage girls to choose a career in engineering. 

(Jonna)

And Rachel, I understand you could also use some Tulsa volunteers to help with DesignLab?

(Rachel)

We're in need of volunteers for role models. We're looking for SWE members who are also engineers. Sign up here.

(Jonna)

Kristina, what has planning your first WE Local conference been like?

(Kristina)

It’s been a great experience. I have 15 Local Host Committee members who are divided up into subcommittees – think social, DesignLab, Volunteers, etc – and they also have a subcommittee leader either within HQ or the Local Advisory Board. All around there is a lot of support

(Jonna)

And Kristina, tell us why women engineers in the Midwest should consider attending WE Local Tulsa?

(Kristina)

For the networking! WE Local truly brings the larger Annual Conference to your backyard – or at least near it. I remember being a collegiate and attending my first annual conference and was completely blown away by how many people were at the conference, how large the career fair was, and how many opportunities there were. With WE Local, it has a smaller feel allowing you to make connections and start forming that SWE circle. 

(Jonna)

Rachel, DesignLab isn’t just for students. There’s a program for parents and educators, right?

(Rachel)

Yes, the Parent Educator Program (PEP) includes a hands-on activity and a panel discussion for parents and educators.

(Jonna)

Anyone interested in registering or learning more about WE Local Tulsa, SWENext DesignLab Tulsa and SWE’s other WE Local events should go to welocal.swe.org.

(Conclusion)

Kristina and Rachel, thank you so much for joining us to talk about WE Local Tulsa and SWENext DesignLab Tulsa.

For SWE, I’m Jonna Gerken.