Special Opportunities Available to Graduate Students attending WE14

Announcing 2 unique events that will be occuring at WE14 (http://we14.swe.org/) with limited spots open for graduate students. These events do not require any additional cost but you will be responsible for your own cost for travel and conference registration.  

The first event is the Collegiate Leadership Institute at WE14 (Thurs – Saturday Oct 23-25th). It is 3 half day sessions spread over three days. The complete Collegiate Leadership Institute Agenda with speaker bios: CLI_agenda_7_28_14. Only 10 spots are available for graduate students.

The second opportunity is a luncheon with Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd. It will be on Friday Oct 24th from 11:45-12:45 pm at the J.W Marriott. We have room for 40 graduate students to attend the luncheon. This luncheon is part of the Academic Women Workshop.  

If you would like to have a spot reserved for you to participate in either or both of these events please complete this form before Sept. 15, 2014. If you have questions you can contact Marcella Vaicik at (marcella.vaicik(at)swe.org)




What’s my region?

Classes are about to resume which means there are many new sets of graduate students beginning their studies. As someone who changed regions between undergrad and grad school, I was confused as to what my new region was when I began at UT-Austin. Here are some helpful resources for anyone switching regions or who may be curious as to what the other regions are up to.

SWE map of regions: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/index.php/membership/swe-sections

Feel free to contact any of the Grad Community Leadership Team if you have a question regarding how to get involved in your region. You can also contact the Region Governor, or the Region Grad Student Rep listed on Region Grad Reps page of this blog.

If you have switched regions, make sure to contact SWE HQ to let them know by sending an email to Membership@swe.org. Make sure to include your membership number, your former section (professional or collegiate), and your new section (professional or collegiate). It is important to have the proper section connected to your profile for section financial purposes as well as general demographic information.

The Graduate Community is working with each region to ensure information regarding how graduate students can get involved with SWE may be found on all the websites and blogs. Lots of great information can be found on the region sites and blogs…check them out here:

Region A:

Website: http://www.swe-goldenwest.org/

Blog: http://regiona.wordpress.com/

Region B:

Website: http://sweregionb.org/

Blog: http://regionb.wordpress.com/

Region C:

Website: http://regionc.swe.org/

Blog: http://regionc.wordpress.com/

Region D:

Website: http://www.sweregiond.org/

Blog: http://regiond.wordpress.com/

Region E:

Website: http://regione.swe.org/

Blog: http://regione.wordpress.com/

Region F:

Website: http://regionf.swe.org/

Blog: http://regionf.wordpress.com/

Region G:

Website: http://www.swe.org/regiong/

Blog: http://regiong.wordpress.com/

Region H:

Website: http://regionh.swe.org/

Blog: http://regionh.wordpress.com/

Region i:

Website: http://regioni.swe.org/

Blog: http://regioni.wordpress.com/

Region J:

Website: http://regionj.swe.org/

Blog: http://regionj.wordpress.com/


As always, let us know your thoughts, be they comments, concerns, suggestions, or questions! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment area below, or send one of the Leadership Team a separate email!

Grad Students as Professionals

Grad Students as Professionals

Go find your shoulder pads  and giant cell phones because we are going to talk about professionals.

Go find your shoulder pads and giant cell phones because we are going to talk about professionals.

A lot of the time we, here in the community, talk about graduate students as being part of collegiate sections. We forget that there are many graduate students that are also working full or part-time.  There are also a lot of graduate students who have returned to full-time grad school after working for some time.  Even beyond that, there are graduate student that, for one reason or another, just feel more comfortable being a part of a professional section than a collegiate section.  Good news!  Any graduate student can be a professional member of SWE.  We have a whole page about the types of membership available and some helpful information for you to make your choice.  You can find that here.

I am actually a professional member because I worked for two years before I returned to full-time grad school.  If there were not such a strong community of grad students involved in SWE at my university I would probably be a member of my local professional sections.  Fun story, the very first collegiate section meeting I attended at my university, they thought I was the speaker because I am old.

So why would grad students want to participate in professional sections?

  • They work with other professional members.
  • Their schedule is more like that of a professional (family, other commitments) .
  • They want more industry connections.
  • They aren’t on campus very much.
  • Undergrads keep talking about Harry Potter and Twilight.

What can professional sections do to engage more graduate students?

  • Let them know you want them.
    • Contact the local university to see if there are graduate students involved in SWE.
    • Contact us (grad-coordinator@swe.org) and we can tell you if we know of any grad students in your area or we can post your sections info for grad students to find you.
    • Ask the local collegiate section to send out emails to grad students inviting them to your events.
    • If there is a graduate student group plan an event together.
  • Remember they are graduate students.
    • They may not be on a regular work schedule and they may not get the weekends off.  If they can’t make it to one event keep trying to schedule.
    • They may not be making very much money so unless the section is picking up the tab and the fancy restaurant grad students may not be able to attend.  Plan low or no cost events.  PRO-TIP: Graduate students, much like stray dogs love free food.  Including it in your event will always improve graduate student turn-out.
  •  They really want to a mentor.
    • Even though they are currently in school many of them are always thinking about what will they will do after graduation.  They want to know how you go to where you are.
    • They would love to hear about job openings.



Congratulations to our new RCC and WC!

We are very proud to announce our new  Regional Conference Coordinator and Webinar Coordinator for FY15.

Anne Rocheleau is our new Regional Conference Coordinator.  Anne is a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Her research focuses on mathematical modeling of the inflammatory cascade. She grew up in Shrewsbury, MA and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA in 2010 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. She then received her M.S. in chemical engineering in 2011 from Cornell University. She has been involved in SWE since 2010 and was a founding member and co-director of Cornell’s graduate SWE branch. She has served on the planning committees for WE13 and WE14 and was the Region E graduate conference coordinator for FY14.

Rachel Unruh is our new Webinar Coordinator.  Rachel is a PhD student at Texas A&M University in College Station studying Biomedical Engineering. She has been a SWE member since her Freshman year at Baylor University in 2007. While at Baylor, Rachel served in various SWE leadership roles including Artistic Director, Treasurer, and President during her Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, respectively. Currently at Texas A&M, she is in her third year of service as a Graduate Liaison for the Texas A&M SWE chapter in addition to serving as the Webinar Coordinator on the national level.

We are so happy to have them as part our of leadership team.  I know that they will do great work this year.


Final Reminder: WE14 Rapid Fire Submissions Due Today!

Today is the final chance to submit an abstract to the WE14 Rapid Fire Sessions. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to present your research and gain great feedback on your presentation. This is a unique experience that is often not available at technical conferences.

Click Here to submit an abstract.

We are also looking for Rapid Fire judges at the conference. If interested, please email Elly Sinkala at esinkala@gmail.com.



Welcome to FY15

Hello Grad SWE people!

I am very excited about the new fiscal year.  We are currently reviewing applications for the Webinar and Regional Conference Coordinators.  All of the applicants are outstanding and it will be hard to choose but we will be selecting new coordinators very soon.

Last year we had great response to our kick-off live google hangout meeting so we will try it again.  We always want to hear from the graduate community so please let me know if there is anything I can do to serve you better  by emailing me at grad-coordinator@swe.org.  Even if you didn’t apply to a coordinator position or you can’t attend the national or regional conferences you can still participate.  Do you have an idea for a webinar?  Do you want ideas for starting or expanding a grad SWE group at your school?  Do you have any questions about SWE?  I would love to hear from you!

My personal goal for this next year is to make this the best community possible.  I want every graduate student in SWE  to feel welcome here and I want to improve the graduate school and SWE experience for everyone.

Thank you to all the great folks in the community who have worked so hard in the past and continue to work to promote and improve the graduate SWE community.


Elizabeth Gregory

Graduate Member Coordinator

WE14 Rapid Fire Submissions Due in 2 Weeks!

Submissions for the WE14 Rapid Fire presentations are due in just two weeks, on July 16th!

Here is your chance to present your technical work to a broader audience, learn how to connect your your thesis to broader goals, and get some feedback on your presentation. As a previous participant, I found it to be very useful, both for improving my presentation skills and for really hearing what challenges other SWE graduate students are solving in their research groups.

It also gives you a further opportunity to solicit funding from your advisor to attend the WE14 conference!

Click here to submit an abstract.

Note that your abstract must be constructed around one or more of the NAE (National Academy of Engineering) Grand Challenges. Detailed descriptions of these challenges can be found on their website.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and notifications will be sent out in August. Please keep in mind that all chosen Rapid Fire presenters must confirm that they will attend WE14.