Society of Women Engineers Region E Blog

East Coast: we have the most!

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SWE Scholarships

Originally posted on Society of Women Engineers Region J Blog:

Apply now for Society of Women Engineers scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year. Students who will be sophomores through PhD candidates can apply on-line by February 16, 2015.

You complete one application and are considered for all scholarships for which you are eligible. The online application is entirely electronic – including submittal of reference recommendations and transcripts.

The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs, in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science.  In 2014, SWE disbursed over 230 new and renewed scholarships valued at over $720,000.

For more information about eligibility and requirements and a link to the application, go to SWE scholarships.

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November Hot Topic: Outreach Programs

Outreach is an integral part of any chapter of SWE. It gives us the opportunity to carry down our knowledge onto the younger generation of girls from K-12. Young girls should be empowered, because they are valuable and can make significant contributions to the STEM fields.The need to engage girls of this age range can be seen by these statistics below:

  • STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations and workers command 26% higher wages than non-STEM peers (US Dept. of Commerce, STEM: Good Jobs Now and For Future, 2011)
  • Males were 6 times more likely to have taken engineering (6% versus 1%).
  • Women make up 47% of the total U.S. workforce, but are much less represented in particular science and engineering occupations (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, 2013). For example:
    • 44.2% of chemists and material scientists are women;
    • 25.7% of environmental scientists and geoscientists are women;
    • 17.7% of chemical engineers are women;
    • 13.7% of civil engineers are women;
    • 8.8% of electrical and electronics engineers are women;
    • 18.8% of industrial engineers are women; and
    • 4.5% of mechanical engineers are women.

In addition, I have included a women in engineering video provided by NASA:

Want your past Outreach Event to be featured in our next blog post? Email me at with a description of your event as well 2-3 photos. Submissions are due by Sunday, December 14th.

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Regional Updates – November

FY15 RCT Goals
Increase Engagement of sections / collaboration
  • Promote 2 collaborative events with Region E on our Blog
  • Support reactivating 5 sections within Region E
  • Conduct a baseline survey of our graduate members within Region E to understand the level of activity & how to improve engagement.

SWEet Collegiate Leadership Summits

  • Pilot 3 SWEet Summits in FY15 in Region E (UVA & UMBC successfully executed!  NJIT coming up in April)
  • Select 5+ Summit Hosts for FY16
Region Officer Transitions:
  • Develop a standard process / handoff packet / checklist for region officers (RCRs)
Collegiate Welcome Packet:
  • Update the Collegiate Welcome Packet for FY15 by November 25
Recognition/Social Media:
  • Increase Region E blog followers by 100 % (to 350+ followers)
  • Increase twitter followers to over 200
  • Create a LinkedIn page for Region E with professionals and collegiates (CG)
Region E Conference – Workshop Submittal Deadline this Monday, November 3
February 20 – 22, 2015 Hosted by Drexel University in Philadelphia
Planning is already underway for the 2015 Region E Conference!  Registration will be open late November / early December at:
Our call for workshops & speakers is out and we’re looking for interesting and engaging topics!  If you have something you’d like to present the conference, submit a workshop proposal (includes abstract & all speaker bios) by November 3 at:

Call for FY16 Region E Conference Bids – Letter of Intent Due November 15!
The request for bids to host the 2016 SWE Region E Conference has been emailed to all collegiate & professional section presidents.  This is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of your section or MAL group with SWE members, sponsors, and your own community.  Please review the request and discuss the possibility of putting in a bid for the conference with your section or MAL group.  As we did last year, the Region Conference Planning Committee (RCPC) is using a simple and concise bid package request (as described in the attachment) that should make it easy and efficient for folks to submit a bid.
Please note that a brief notice of intent must be submitted to the Region Governor by 11/15 if your group is interested in submitting a bid by the 11/15 deadline.  The notice may be submitted as an e-mail, word document, or pdf.  Do not hesitate to contact Alexis ( if you have any questions (or need a copy of the request!).
Society Level Graduate SWE Engagement
As part of the objective to make sure we are including graduate members in our activities, can you please make sure the Regions all have a link to the GradSWE blog either on their webpages or region blogs?  GradSWE has already provided links to each of the region pages for the members to access.
Membership Committee will also be working on a toolkit item for both collegiate & professional sections to engage graduate students based on the blog posts by the GradSWE team.
Region Level Graduate SWE Engagement
Our graduate student representative on our Region Collegiate Team (RCT), Smruti Ragunath, has put together an engagement survey that we’ll be sharing with our collegiate section presidents.  We will be using this survey to get a better idea of the level of activity of our graduate members in Region E as well as better ways to engage & support them.   Look for this survey after WE14 (For any details/ comments or
Section Presidents follow this link to take the survey and Graduate Members at Region E click here to take the survey.
Collegiate Director Blog
Our Collegiate Director (and former Region E RCCE!), Nicole Woon, has a monthly column in SWE All Together.  Take a look at the last couple months!

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October Hot Topic: Annual Conference


WE14 is approaching!

Next week, 5000+ members of SWE are heading to LA to meet for our annual society conference!  Registration closes this Friday, October 17, although we hope those of you attending have already registered!

Our Region Collegiate Business Meeting & Joint Professional Business Meetings will be on Thursday, October 23 from 1:45 to 3:45 PM (PST) at the LA Convention Center (LACC, 506).  If you’re in town by Thursday afternoon- plan on attending our business meetings!

WE14 App

Download the WE14 App in the itunes / android stores – it includes the full conference schedule, opportunities for feedback & sharing on social media & more!

Region Boutique at WE14

Region E will once again be selling amazing SWE merchandise at society conference to benefit our scholarship program.  Marge does a fantastic job getting everything ordered and to the conference, but we need volunteers to staff the table.  If you have some time to spare on Thursday or Friday, please let Marge know (

Photos for Region Slideshow

Thanks to the sections that have sent me photos, but I have only received a few so far (original e-mail below). We really need a lot of pictures of our amazing sections and MALs to make our slideshow a success.  Please send the photos to by Friday, October 17!

WE14 Photo Scavenger Hunt Photos:

  1. Higher Learning: An official sign clearly showing the name of an institution of higher education (university, college, or trade school)
  2. Inspiring the Future:  Showcase an outreach event introducing 5-18 year old girls to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.
  3. Day in the Life: Professional engineers and scientists at work. Interesting props/equipment highly encouraged.
  4. Working Together: Photo from a joint professional-collegiate event.
  5. Mascot: Photo with a school, region, section, sports team or company mascot.
  6. Sight-seeing: Take a photo with a historical landmark. The landmark should be prominent, and please also tell us what it is. (Does not have to be from the last year)
  7. Celebrate our Success: Recognize a signature event or accomplishment from your organization. Accomplishment should have a historical context, such as a section anniversary celebration, a chartering banquet for a new section, a 5thannual golf tournament, etc.
  8. Diversity and Inclusion: Photo that highlights diversity (gender diversity, ethnic diversity, etc.).
  9. Looking Good: Show us what the successful business woman should be or will be wearing at the Career Fair. Does not have to be taken at the Career Fair, but may be,
  10. Getting there is half the fun: Photo of members traveling to WE14/ICWES16.
  11. Leadership: Take a photo with a past or current SWE or INWES Board of Directors Member.
  12. New friends from around the world: Photo with people who live at least 2000 miles from one another. Include a map with home locations indicated.
  13. I love LA!: Include a photo that shows how you will remember your visit to Los Angeles and WE14.
  14. Holiday spirit: Photo of your favorite costume at the I-scream social on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
  15. WE14 Wild Card photo: TBD. Photo requirement will be distributed at RG meeting on Wednesday.

WE14 Photo Scavenger Hunt Rules:
All photos must be taken since WE13 (November 2013 or later) unless otherwise noted.
·         All photos must include at least one member of your organization.
·         All the photos can not be provided by the same subgroup (SWE section, for example). Multiple sections or groups must be evident in the slide show.
·         Have fun!



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Welcome to FY15 in SWE Region E!

Our region collegiate officers are excited to welcome you to the start of the year and hope things are going well for all of you!  Here are our FY15 collegiate officers:

Region Collegiate Representatives (RCR): Claudia Guiterrez (Drexel University) & Katherine Fetscher (University of Virginia)

Region Collegiate Senator (RCS): Masroor Khan (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Region Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE): Vacant – Call for Nominations & Elections are forthcoming

Our Region Collegiate Team is led by our RCRs, RCS, RCCE and Region E Lt. Governor with the help of our CLCC, SWEFLs, Graduate Student Representative and Region Governor.

Region E Governor: Alexis McKittrick (BWS Section)

Region E Lt. Governor: Libby Taylor (DelMar Peninsula Section)

Collegiate Leadership Coaches: Claire Dvorak, Sarvenaz Laussermair, Melissa Mastro, Jayne Peterson & Cathleen Saunders

SWEFL: Vini Mehta (New Jersey Institute of Technology) & Danielle Schroeder (Drexel University & Interim RCCE)

Graduate Student Representative: Smruti Ragunath (New Jersey Institute of Technology & FY14 SWEFL)

Section Contact Information:

If you are a section president and aren’t receiving emails from the section, it probably means your Leadership Report was not updated with SWE HQ.  Send a note to as well as so we can ensure your section is getting up-to-date communications from the region & society!


Section Reports:

Our first collegiate section report is due on Wednesday, October 1.  All collegiate sections presidents should have received an email from either Claudia or Katherine with this template and instructions.  If you haven’t, please send an email to


Piloting our SWEet Summits:

For those of you that attended our collegiate business meeting at VT last year, you may remember us bringing up smaller leadership summits for our collegiate summits.  We know these summits will help encourage collaboration & networking within our collegiate summits and are excited to see how our first two come to fruition this fall!  Pending the success of the 3 pilots, we hope to execute these in all 7 of our SWEets in FY16.

This year we will be piloting 3 summits in the region –University of Maryland – Baltimore County for our DelMarsey SWEet, University of Virginia for our Virginia SWEet and New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Leadership at each of these schools, with the help of the RCT, are working hard to plan and execute these summits!


CLCC blog:

You may not have heard about it, but there is a CLCC blog.  It has a list of the modules as well as contact information.  Check it out and pass the word on to your sections!



Electronic deposit:

SWE HQ offers electronic deposit that can simplify and expedite the rebate process.  Please help share the information below and encourage collegiate sections to sign up with SWE HQ.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Headquarters Office has been moving from manual checks to electronic fund transfers (ACH or direct deposit).  This distribution system not only is more efficient, but eliminates delays due to mailings and or lost checks.  The check amount is deposited directly into your section’s checking account within a couple of days of an approved check request.

Contact Briana Aviles ( for details on how to set this up for your section!

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Getting to Know You: SWEFL

Thanks for tuning into the latest edition of the “Getting to Know You” column! This monthly series features one of Region E’s FY14 leaders so you have a chance to “meet” her, hear about her SWE career path, and learn a fun fact or two by the end!


Region E’s 2013-2014 SWEFLs (CW, from top left): Smruti, Samantha, Meaghan, Sasha, Shelby (front and center), and Genevieve.

This month, you’ll hear from more than just one of our FY14 leaders: we’ve got 6 of our SWEFLs on deck! Meet Meaghan Paulosky (Drexel University), Samantha Schneider (Drexel University), Smruti Ragunath (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Shelby Coppolino (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Genevieve D’Antonio (James Madison University), and Sasha McIntosh (Columbia University).

1) When did you begin your SWE career?

MP: The end of my sophomore year as Drexel’s Newsletter Chair.
SR: Spring 2012.
SS: I joined Drexel and society-level SWE my freshman year of college.
SC: Fall 2011 is when I started attending my chapter’s meetings. By Spring 2012, I was already voted in as Treasurer.
GD: I joined SWE when I was a freshman at James Madison University. I wanted to get more involved in my department and I wanted to become an exec member at that time because the SWE section at JMU was just starting. I was able to help form JMU SWE from the very beginning.
SM: I first became a member of SWE when our section held the Region E conference.

2) Explain a little bit about your current SWE position(s).

GD: I just got elected as SWE President for the JMU section for 2014-2015! This past year I was Vice-President of our section and in the past I was head of the Outreach Committee. I am a SWEFL (SWE Future Leader), which has given me the opportunity to get involved in my region and get to know other SWE leaders.
MP: I participated on the RCT this year as a SWEFL, which led to my position as Publications Chair for the RCPC. I greatly enjoyed both as they were an introduction to leadership outside of my own section; however, this was a particularly exciting year because I am also the Drexel SWE president. I am less than halfway through my term and working with 21 other dedicated officers to grow our section in preparation of hosting the 2015 Region E Conference.
SM: Currently I’m the outgoing President of our section and incoming Secretary of our section.
SC: I am currently the VP of the UMBC chapter and a SWEFL. Before I became VP, I was the Treasurer.
SS: I am currently the Vice President of our section. Our section leaders include President, Vice President, nine directors (Professional Development, Wellness, Conference, Secretary, Treasurer, Networking, Outreach, Membership, and Public Relations), and chair positions (1-3 chairs assist each director).
SR: I am the president of Graduate board SWE at NJIT for the academic year 2013-2014 as well as member of WE13 & WE 14 graduate planning committee.

3) What does SWE mean to you?

SC: Everything. SWE represents what I stand for. I love being a woman in engineering and supporting others achieve their career goals.
SM: SWE is a huge part of my collegiate experience. For me, SWE is a place where an amazing group of women come together to promote, encourage and support women in engineering.
SS: SWE is a diverse group of women (and men) in the engineering field that support each other. The friends that I have made in my section have encourage me to aim high and achieve my goals.
MP: SWE means recognizing what uniquely drives you and celebrating it so that other women can do the same for themselves.
GD: SWE is such an amazing society and it has given me so many opportunities to network, gain leadership and communication skills, and obtain advice for helping better the JMU SWE section.
SR: A platform for aspiring women to progress as leaders in their chosen field of their choice.

4) What advice would you give to people just starting their SWE careers?

SM: Go big! It may seem daunting to jump into a leadership position right away, but give a try! You’ll become very close with the people in your section quickly and you’ll learn so much.
SR: Make good use of the opportunity and make the best out of it.
GD: I would tell them to get involved early on in their section and regionally. It can seem intimidating and overwhelming but everyone in SWE is so helpful and they will help you to succeed.
SC: It is okay to be different; it is okay to stand out! People don’t listen to your ideas? Say them louder. Let your voice be heard.
MP: Don’t be afraid to say yes. When I first joined SWE three years ago, I was unsure about what I had to offer and let it limit my involvement. My new SWE friends encouraged me to host events and take on responsibility. Despite my nerves, I started saying yes and got involved with every board position Drexel SWE has. I learned new skills, made new friendships, and achieved new goals along the way.
SS: Whether you are at a section event or society conference, get to know as many people as possible! You will learn a lot and expand your network, which could be beneficial when you are looking for a job or making an important decision.

5) What is the first thing you notice about a person?

SS: A smile! Always try to have a positive attitude :)
SM: The first thing I notice about someone is their confidence and presence.
MP: Their posture. When people get excited or feel good about what they’re talking about, I’ve noticed they tend to straighten their posture to show strength and poise. I try to use this to gauge who is actually passionate about their work or who needs help identifying their source of confidence.
GD: The first thing I notice about someone is their personality.
SR: Aspiration in life, positive attitude and approach towards their set goals.
SC: Whether or not they are talkative.

6) If money was no object, what would you be doing right now?

SR: Serving humanity to my heart’s fullest.
GD: If money was no object, I wouldn’t go to college. I would try to learn as much as I can in the engineering field by using hands on experiences by working on projects around the world and by using the experiences to help to make a difference!
SS: Traveling- there are so many places I want to see!
SM: If money was no object, I’d probably be studying abroad in Europe somewhere.
MP: Launching my own biotech start-up.
SC: Exactly what I am doing now! (If you don’t love what you do, why do it?) Plus a building a few more robots and a few more shopping trips…

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GEARS Day 2014 was an engineering educational outreach event geared towards Philadelphia high school girls held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014. The event was hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Society of Women Engineers section in conjunction with Philadelphia Society of Women Engineers section. This year’s GEARS Day marks the fourth year of the event being held on UPenn’s campus.


This year’s GEARS Day was attended by seventy-six sophomore and junior high school females who attended high school as close as Philadelphia and as far away as Maryland, and was made possible by the efforts of over forty-five volunteers, ranging from undergraduate, graduate, and professional SWE members.


Throughout the one-day event, students participated in four different workshops, each workshop having a concentration in different engineering fields.


Students interested in Civil Engineering participated in our Bridge Design workshop, were students modeled their own bridges and simulated stress tests.


A bioengineering workshop, called DNA Extraction, allowed participants to extract DNA from strawberries and bananas and observe them under microscopes. A new addition to this year’s workshop roster, a Wind Tunnel workshop, gave students the opportunity to build their own wind turbines out of various materials, place them in a wind tunnel, and measure the power generated by each of their designs.


Overall, ten different workshops across the engineering disciplines of bioengineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, and systems engineering were represented at this year’s GEARS Day.


Speaking to participants during and after the event, students who had previously never had exposure to engineering expressed excitement at an event that introduced them to a variety of different engineering fields. Specific feedback from follow-up surveys had participants commenting that through their involvement in GEARS Day 2014, they now had an increased interest in pursuing engineering in college and beyond. Collegiate and professional volunteers expressed their enthusiasm at being able to share their experiences in the engineering career path with a new generation of potential engineering students. The ladies of Philly and UPenn SWE had a great time hosting the event, and are already looking forward to next year’s event!


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