FY19 SWE Board Member Karen Roth on Giving Back to SWE

SWE could not function without the tremendous leadership and generosity of the Board of Directors and we are pleased to feature a few of their personal reasons for giving back to SWE through this short blog series!
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As the FY19 SWE leadership teams prepare for this upcoming year, we continue to take moments to thank the most recent past Board of Directors for their tremendous leadership, volunteer service, and generosity to the organization through their personal stewardship.

In addition to providing the invaluable service of volunteer leadership to SWE, all SWE Board of Directors and Leaders are encouraged to contribute to SWE each year. These donations are both a vote of confidence in SWE’s capacity to fulfill its mission and provide vital support for the organization.

SWE could not function without the tremendous leadership and generosity of the Board of Directors and we are pleased to feature a few of their personal reasons for giving back to SWE through this short blog series!

FY19 SWE Board Member Karen Roth on Giving Back to SWE
Karen Roth

Name: Karen Roth
FY18 Title:  Director of Professional Excellence
FY19 Title: Treasurer

SWE: How and why do you donate to SWE?
Roth: I have personally donated an amount every year to SWE and then pursued additional funding from my employer. Sometimes that means asking for travel funding, sometimes that just means making sure I have the time off to travel to meetings. If I’m traveling for something that my employer is not able to reimburse then I look at what reimbursement donations I can make. Even just donating your mileage back to SWE can add up!

SWE: In looking at this past year, can you share one or two of your favorite ways you have seen SWE strive to fulfill its mission?
Roth: I’m incredibly proud of the strides that the strategic planning groups in SWE have taken in the past few years to refocus SWE on our mission and ensuring that we’re using our resources to the best of our ability. That means we can stretch every $$ that comes in even further and make sure it’s going back into programming or scholarships for women in engineering.

SWE: What words of encouragement do you have for the FY19 Board of Directors and SWE Leaders around giving back to SWE?
Roth: I greatly appreciate the countless hours that every SWE volunteer puts into our organization to engage with as many women as possible. Our supporters recognize that time as well, but also look to our SWE leaders to be financially invested in the success of the organization that we’re promoting. Every budget is different and every member is at a different stage in their lives, but I encourage you to find a few extra dollars in your budget to help demonstrate to our supporters that we’re 100% committed to the future of SWE and those lives that we impact every day.

More about Karen Roth

Karen Roth is the Chief Engineer of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, New York. She recently transitioned from Sikorsky Aircraft where she was the system security lead for the new Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter. Her responsibilities included execution of cybersecurity requirements and program protection elements.

Roth holds degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University in software and systems engineering, and is pursuing an MBA from Indiana University. Additionally, she is a regional Young Technologist of the Year, a USAF Civilian Achievement Medal recipient, and was recognized as a SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2013.

She joined SWE in 2001 as a collegiate member and has been an active leader ever since. She has served as a collegiate and professional leadership coach, members-at-large president, lieutenant governor, Society audit chair, senator, a member of the strategic planning committee, and, most recently, as deputy speaker of the senate. Her passion is coaching and creating networks within the organization.

Outside of SWE, Roth actively participates in her local community on the regional engineering council board and her local Rotary board. Through these organizations she has advocated for STEM activities via MATHCOUNTS, Project SITES, and the Books for the World program.