Society of Women Engineers Region E Blog

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Networking at WE17

We are only 11 days away from the start of WE17, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology!

Planning ahead? 

Check out the Conference Planner for the complete schedule of events at WE17. The planner can be used whether you’re logged in or not, however, it is recommended you log in with your confirmation registration ID to save your events. If you are interested in a particular type of event, check out the “tracks” under the Agenda section. Here, you can find Strategic Leadership specific events, Lightning Talks, and much more. Download the WE17 app (available on iPhone/Android) and pull up the full schedule and your saved events during the conference whenever you need!

Looking for guidance via webinars?

There are numerous webinars available for SWE members, but here are a few that can prepare you for WE17 in particular:

  • SWE Conference Networking for Newbies: Networking is one of the most critical skills to develop and maintain in order to have a successful career. Networking provides the most productive, most proficient and most enduring tactic to build relationships. It is identified as THE takeaway to have from internships, research, and first jobs. However, as an emerging young professional, the real question is where to start. How can you get involved and develop your network? How do you create diversity within your network that will promote your own career aspirations? To succeed you must continually connect with new people, cultivate emerging relationships and leverage your network.
  • Hot Trends in Networking Know-How for 2017: If you’re stuck in a rut or confused about next steps for getting ahead, sign up for this “Networking Make-Over.” Update your ideas – and your skills – about how face-to-face networking really works in the real world. Even if you think of yourself as shy, you’ll be surprised how easy it is when you have these tools for connecting and conversing at your command. You can learn  how to  adopt a robust and positive mindset about your ability to build relationships. You can learn how to make the most of workplace and social opportunities to ask good questions and make conversation flow. And we’ll  look at how to avoid asking for too much too soon… or too little too late as you build relationships, extend and diversify your network and explore new opportunities.

The WE16 Opening Keynote with Luann Pendy is also available online. Dr. Luann Pendy, Senior Vice President of Global Quality at Medtronic, was the opening keynote speaker at WE16, SWE’s annual conference. In this podcast brought to you by SWE Advance, Dr. Pendy talks about her education, career, and how she strives to encourage other women to pursue careers in STEM. Dr. Pendy is the executive sponsor of Medtronic’s Women’s Network, which is a resource group creating and promoting opportunities for women in the workforce. She is also a member of the Leadership Council on Advancing Women at the Conference Board. In 2015, she was named one of the Top 50 Women of Influence in Technology by the National Diversity Council.

Finally, please be reminded that the Region E Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 26 at 12:45PM. All are welcome to attend!

See you all at WE17!


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SWE Region E Leadership Summit Recap

On September 23-24, 2017 SWE leaders from around Region E gathered in Allentown, PA for the annual Leadership Summit. Saturday morning began with an ice breaker activity where attendees played a Bingo-style game and the boxes were marked were engineering and SWE related characteristics (mechanical engineer, SWE lifetime member, section president, etc.). An overview of SWE’s Operations and Leadership were presented by Amanda Weissman, the Region Governor, before splitting into breakout groups. Section Presidents, Treasurers, Representatives and the Region Collegiate Team gathered separately to discuss matters specific to their roles before rejoining for lunch.

The afternoon included a series of updates from the Senate and Governance. Society Secretary and former Region E Governor (FY15), Alexis McKittrick, highlighted this year’s theme of “Always Connecting, Always Engineering” and discussed SWE’s strategic goals. Some information presented by our Region Senators, Gail Dyer, Alexis Wasserman and Dhanu Thiyagarajan, are summarized below:

  • There is a motion for senate to vote at WE17 for all collegiate members to become voting members of SWE. This means that we will now have a say regarding SWE elections and our leaders. This will come into effect immediately, so you may be voting as soon as this spring. More information will be conveyed from headquarters [HQ] about the election candidates and process as it approaches if the motion is passed through senate.
  • Regions will be dissolved at the end of this fiscal year. This means you will no longer have region collegiate representatives, senators or governors. Your section president’s main form of communication with SWE will be HQ and the leadership coaching committee [LCC]. Your day to day communication will not be changed and will remain with your specific collegiate section. There are still adjustments being made to this process, but more detailed information will be sent out later in the year with specific changes of HQ vs. LCC taking over specific responsibilities to cover section support exactly the same, if not more than currently existing. You can already contact them for support at This will also change the leadership pipeline, since region leadership will not be a gateway that collegiate can use to become more involved with societal SWE. SWE’s nominating committee will take into account collegiate experience to ensure all voices are heard within each committee. More information will also be conveyed regarding further leadership opportunities within SWE as a senator, part of a committee, etc. This will allow you get involved with societal SWE in a more direct manner and learn about the organization past your specific section. Region conferences will no longer exist and will be replaced by WE Locals.
  • If interested, please check out more information about the governance changes at Please email Region E Collegiate Senator, Dhanu Thiyagarajan at for more information or questions.”

Sunday morning wrapped up the Summit with Outreach updates, a Financial Report and Policies update from the Region Treasurer, Susan Best, and a Leadership Coaching Committee (LCC) Module on Conflict Resolution, presented by Jayne Peterson and Cathleen Saunders.

Thank you to everyone who attended! We look forward to seeing everyone from the Region at WE17.


Group photo on Sunday


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WE17: Always Connecting, Always Engineering

We are only 41 days from the start of WE17, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology! WE16 had 308 exhibitors and a record number of 11,724 attendees gather in Philadelphia, PA – let’s break this record!


Early bird registration ends Sunday, September 24, 2017! Registration is broken down into the following categories: exhibitor, professional, collegiate and virtual. Professional and collegiate members- be sure your FY18 membership is renewed for additional savings on registration. The full breakdown of fees can be found HERE and the link for online registration can be found HERE.

Travel and Housing

This year’s WE Conference will be held in Austin, TX. Check out the provided travel information and housing affiliated with WE17. There are plenty of hotels in the downtown Austin area that provide shuttle service to the Austin Convention Center as well as Uber and Lyft services.

Career Fair, Exhibitors and Events

This year, the career fair will be open longer than ever before. The full list of exhibitors can be found HERE and the schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct 26:

  • 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m (Opening Reception + Career Fair)

Friday, Oct 27:

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Professionals Only)
  • 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Open to both Collegiates and Professionals)

Hospitality suites will take place after 8PM on Thursday and are hosted by companies such as Accenture, Dell and Boeing! All events (including workshops and talks) can be found on the conference planner online; a mobile app is also available for iPhone and Android and logging in with your Registration ID can allow synchronization of events (and their times/locations) you save online.

The Region E Meeting will be taking place on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 12:45-1:45PM in the Convention Center, Room 16A. Please join us as we will be discussing region governance updates!

In addition, there are many on site services available for conference attendees, such as child care and the resource center.


There are a number of volunteer opportunities available at WE17 to help with logistics, the career fair, registration and more! Spots are limited and are done on a first come, first serve basis. Volunteers may receive 50% off registration fees. For more details, click HERE.

Still have questions?

Check out the frequently asked questions and these SWE webinars for making the best out of your WE experience:

Hope to see you all in Austin!

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Welcome FY18 Leaders!

Congratulations and welcome to all FY18 Leaders and members! We are excited to kick off another SWE Fiscal Year and pleased to announce our Region Officers, Committee Chairs and Collegiate Leadership Team:

Amanda Weissman, Governor
Cassandra Zook, Lt. Governor
Cathleen Saunders, Secretary
Susan Best, Treasurer

Gail Dyer & Alexis Wasserman, Professional Senators
Susan Best & Sandra Hyland, Bylaws
Beth Mellott, Nominating
Andrea Stenberg, Society Nominating Comm Rep
Sue Parsons, LCC Region Leader

Dhanu Thiyagarajan, Collegiate Senator
Madelyn Langin & Maissoun Ksara, Region Collegiate Representatives
Emily Ng, Collegiate Communications Editor
Emily Bautista, Sophia Blanc & Kristine Loh, SWE Future Leaders

Please feel free to reach out to members of this team for any questions or concerns you may have via email. In addition, be sure to utilize these resources from to get started on the upcoming year:

  • Not sure where to start in your section or career? Check out the resources available online HERE where you will find free podcasts, diversity & inclusion resources and the career center!
  • Interested in becoming a member and joining the SWE community? Collegiate membership starts at just $20/year and offers various opportunities in webinars, scholarships and development. Graduate and professional memberships are also available! Find out more by clicking HERE!
  • Learn more about Region E and the different collegiate and professional sections by clicking HERE. Get involved with your local section!

Again, welcome to FY18 and have a great start to the year!

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Approaching Deadlines: Nominate a FY18 SWEFL & Vote for FY18 Collegiate Leaders

Nominate a FY18 SWEFL

Nominations for the FY’18 SWE Future Leader (SWEFL) Program are now open and can be completed HERE! The deadline to nominate a collegiate member is Friday, March 31, 2017.

The eligibility criteria for nominees includes:

  • Must have at least two years left of a current degree program (i.e. freshmen and sophomores for undergraduates or 1st/2nd year graduate students going for a doctorate)
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Should be active collegiate members of the Society
  • Must have a current SWE membership and be in good standing

Collegiates who have been previously selected as SWEFLs are not eligible to be nominated. The nominee should not be on study abroad during her term as a SWEFL, so that she may be an active participant in her regional team.

SWEFLs will be given the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and SWE knowledge throughout the year via professional development opportunities, mentoring relationships and acceptance into the Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI) at the WE17 Annual Conference. At the conference, SWEFLs will join other collegiate leadership in professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

Nominators should have an established relationship with the nominee that permits detailed insight into the nominee’s leadership potential and interest in the Society. The nominator cannot be the nominee herself. Nominators are not required to be members of SWE, but should have some knowledge of the Society to understand the value of the program and the Society’s goals. Examples of past nominators include professors, counselors and SWE section presidents.

The nominee will receive a request for follow up information after the nomination form is complete and submitted. Please make sure the nominee’s contact information is correct and monitored. We look forward to receiving your nominations.

Vote for FY18 Collegiate Leaders

The deadline is quickly approaching to vote for FY18 Collegiate Leaders. Voting is done electronically and limited to one vote per collegiate section in good standing. The deadline to elect the following positions is March 31 at noon central time:

  • Collegiate Director
  • Collegiate Senator (RCS)
  • Region Collegiate Representatives (RCR)
  • Region Collegiate Communication Editor (RCCE)

Please review the collegiate director candidate statements and videos for both Ingrid Arambula and Ruth Williams. Each Region Nominating Committee sets its process for selecting FY18 RCR, RCCE, and RCS candidates. Please refer to the Collegiate Elections Overview for key responsibilities of each role. Then review the documents below containing candidate statements and photos for each RCR, RCCE, and RCS candidate for our Region E.

Remember that each section is only allowed to vote once, so please review the candidate statements with your section and then submit one vote on behalf of the entire section. Please note that only section presidents have received an email with the link to vote. Election results will be announced by April 15.

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2017 SWE Mid-Atlantic Region Conference: Recap!

From Friday, February 24th to Sunday, February 26th, the Greater Syracuse Area SWE and the Region E Conference Planning Committee welcomed our members to Syracuse, New York for the 2017 SWE Mid-Atlantic Region Conference. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and learn from SWE members from all across our region and to expand their network and build connections. The packed schedule included an interactive networking reception, informative workshops, motivating keynote speakers, and a career and graduate school fair that featured nearly 25 participants. The inspiring conference concluded with an awards and recognition banquet to honor SWE members and sections. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Outstanding Mentor: Karolina DuBois

Governor’s Choice: New Jersey

Communications Media: Philadelphia

Outstanding Collegiate Section 2nd Place: Rochester Institute of Technology

Outstanding Collegiate Section 1st Place: Rutgers University

Membership Award- Collegiate Small Section: SUNY at Stonybrook

Membership Award- Collegiate Large Section: Syracuse University

Membership Award- Professional Small Section: Lehigh Valley

Membership Award- Professional Large Section: Philadelphia

We hope that the last SWE Mid-Atlantic Region Conference was enjoyable and rewarding and we look forward to seeing everyone at WE17 in Austin, Texas this October!

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Approaching Deadline: Don’t miss out on a SWE Scholarship!

For all of you who weren’t aware of our lovely SWE Scholarships, the deadline is coming soon (yikes!). You have until February 15th to make sure your application is complete. Need some help? This blog post has you covered.

First and foremost, it is important to check your eligibility before you even start the application. The eligibility criteria includes:

  • Must be a woman
  • Must be a sophomore or above
  • Undergraduate applicants must be planning to study in an ABET-accredited program in engineering, technology, or computing
  • Graduate level students must be enrolled at a school with ABET-accredited programs in engineering, computing, or technology
  • Must be a full-time student
  • Must not be fully funded for tuition, books, fees, or equivalent

Second, make sure your resume is up to date! Your new experiences, grades, involvements should be included to make sure you have the most up to date resume possible.

Third, and in my opinion the hardest part, is the short essay question. The word limit is 350 words asking why you want to be an engineer or computer scientist. The best way to tackle this is to first brainstorm. Write about your childhood, or how you first got introduced to engineering. Try to remember a particular event, if any, that sparked your interest in the field you are pursuing. Then just allow yourself to write, put it away, write again, while taking breaks in between! And don’t forget to have someone look over it for you for advice.

Lastly, two recommendation letters are required for the application. The first one should be from a professor and the second from a personal reference (outside the family). Before asking for recommendations, make sure you allow enough time for your recommendors to write the letters! Once it gets close to the deadline, it is important to remind them and thank them for their time.

For more information, check out this helpful video on a step by step process through the application. Don’t sweat it, and good luck!