Six SWE collegiate section faculty advisors presented a Panel on Best Practices for Faculty Advisors of Student Chapters/Sections of Professional/Honorary Engineering Societies at this year’s ASEE national conference.
The participating Faculty Advisors were Diane Peters of Kettering University, Beth Todd of the University of Alabama, Marca Lam of Rochester Institute of Technology, Karinna Vernaza of Gannon University, Ted Song of John Brown University and Becky Bittle of Texas Christian University, moderator. This group represented advisors for multiple organizations outside of SWE as well, such as ASME, SAE, SME and others.
Each panel member gave a brief history of their time spent as advisors to various organizations and then launched into best practices, important problems, perspectives, and solutions for faculty advisors working with student engineering societies. After that, the floor was opened for questions. The attendees including experienced and new faculty advisors, thus the questions covered a wide range of topics. Many of the new advisors in particular were seen to be taking lots of notes. The panel went well and the time was fully spent with more exchange of ideas taking place after the official time was up. Thus we shared a SWE Best Practice idea from our national conference: Having a Faculty Advisor/Counselor meeting and idea exchange.
A group of faculty advisors and SWE collegiate members also authored a paper which was presented at the ASEE conference, titled “Changing of the Guard: Tips for Enabling Smooth Officer Transitions.” This paper discussed the ways in which a diverse range of SWE collegiate sections work to maintain a leadership pipeline and facilitate officer transitions as collegiate leaders graduate and move on. Topics included transition documents, officer and committee chair structure, and the process of mentoring leadership within the section. The authors of the paper were Monika Ingalls, Elizabeth Hill, Helen Finger, Marca Lam, Gloria Ma, Diane Peters, Stephanie Wettstein, Deborah Won, Claudia Mara Dias Wilson, Cheyanne Rivera, Emily Silva, and Tara Sundsted. The paper was presented in the Student Division of the conference by Diane Peters, and attracted interest from people in a variety of different organizations who wanted to ensure that their organizations’ student sections remained active through leadership turnovers.