Grad Member Spotlight: Malika Grayson

30 May 2016

Malika headshot IMG_5662

Malika Grayson

PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2016

Cornell University

 

 

Malika has been the Co-Director and Director of GradSWE from 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively. In this position, Malika worked with fellow board members on planning professional, social, and outreach events including participation in Relay for Life. Cornell GradSWE also managed to increase attendance to more than 100 persons for some events.

Malika has been recognized for her hard work with the Rudd Mayer Fellowship in 2015 from the Women of Wind Energy. She has also received the Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award (2015), the National Society of Black Engineers Mike Shin Distinguished Member of the Year (2015), Cornell Engineering Hometown Hero (2015), Diversity Programs in Engineering Graduate Student of the Year (2013-2014), Diversity Programs in Engineering Robert Mozia Award for Outstanding Service (2013).

Congratulations, Malika, on all your hard work and on your successful defense and graduation with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

 

What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

I am currently a PhD Candidate and I expected to graduate in May 2016. I defended in January.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research.

My research focuses on changing the geometry of a building to increase the potential energy yield above the rooftop of buildings. By changing a building’s structure, the flow can be accelerated, increasing the wind speed which results in an increase in extractable wind power. Research experiments have shown that simple facade changes can increase the power that can be extracted by as much as 500% above the roof.

 

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

I hope with my degree to be a trailblazer for other females in engineering. Being the only black female PhD candidate in my program and only the second one to graduate with a PhD in Mechanical engineering, it is important I use my degree as an example that it is achievable. One of my main goals is to encourage high school females to stay involved with STEM.

After graduating I will be working at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

 

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I volunteer at the local high school as well as with local groups in Ithaca. I love painting and outdoor activities such as hiking. I enjoy traveling and I look forward to stamping my passport a lot more after graduation:-)

 

What’s a fun fact about you?

I changed my first flat tire at age of 15.

Tips for Summer Motivation

Phd comic

The temperature may be increasing outside, but that also means for many of us so do the demands of research. As the semester comes to a close, we may not have classes to take or tests to grade as TAs, but those responsibilities are often replaced with more research demands, whether on our own projects or mentoring undergraduate interns.

A common mantra proclaimed by some academics is “summer is the best time to do research” hailing from the notion that outside responsibilities diminish at the end of the semester. While there is truth in that statement, it is also easy to  get too caught up in the demands of research, leading to diminishing productivity returns. If you’re like me and approaching your last semester before your final defense, it’s especially easy to fall into the impostor syndrome mentality during the upcoming months.

On Naturejobs, Emily Porter has listed several ways to keep our lives in check throughout the summer and reminds us that it’s okay to take a break every once in a while. In fact, it shows our confidence as researchers to keep our life in check by having outlets and hobbies as investments in our overall productivity.

Here’s to a productive, refreshing summer!

 

 

SWE Grad Newsletter – 17 May 2016

Hello Grad Community!

In this newsletter:

  1. Leadership Coaching Committee looking for members
  2. Upcoming webinar: Writing Recommendation Letters
  3. New funding opportunity on the blog
  4. Looking to form virtual team of female engineers and scientists to solve NASA problems
  5. Grad Community Spotlights
  6. Book your WE16 room now!
  7. Follow us on Social Media!

(1) Leadership Coaching Community looking for members

The Leadership Coaching Committee provides proactive leadership coaching to SWE organizational units, including sections, regions, and MALs.  Trained Leadership Coaches provide Society leadership with the coaching and support essential to maintaining healthy, vital, and growing section, region, and MAL organizations.  Training modules on various aspects of SWE operations, and/or necessary leadership and management skills for SWE success, are delivered to sections via local venues, delivered to sections and regions through the Region Conferences, and are delivered to all members of SWE at the Society Annual Conference.

Leadership Coaches have prior SWE leadership experience which is essential in having the perspective needed to tackle section and region roadblocks and hurdles. Leadership Coaches can have either a professional or collegiate section focus.

There is especially a need for coaches in Regions F and G, as well as professional focused coaches in Region H.

If you are interested in being part of the Leadership Coaching Committee please contact your region lead LCC_Region_X@swe.org or the FY16 LCC Chair Faith Chu at faith.swe@gmail.com

(2) Upcoming Webinar: Writing Recommendation Letters

Wed, May 25, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

This webinar will present how to write recommendation letters for various applications, such as jobs, scholarships, fellowships, research positions and awards. Multiple aspects will be discussed, including strategies to gather student information, FERPA policy, ePortfolios, as well as pitfalls to avoid. The audience will be able to have sample recommendation letters by the end of this webinar.

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4694427941495709443

(3) New funding opportunity on Blog

NASA has released a new fellowship — read more on the blog! https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/new-nasa-fellowship-opportunity/

Don’t forget to check out the other fellowship, funding, and employment opportunities!

(4) Looking to form virtual team of female engineers and scientists to solve NASA problems

Looking for collegiate or professional women with engineering or scientific backgrounds(or studying engineering). Basically NASA is looking for civilians to volunteer in contributing to projects that they are currently trying to solve. These projects involve the earth, mars, the space station, etc. You can work individually or in teams, virtually or at a local event. I was just hoping that with the help of your organization, I can try to organize a virtual team of women engineers or scientists who are interested in volunteering in this program. I also believe that it can be a great way to network as well. The application process is online and totally free and doesn’t take long for approval. Want to get involved? Contact Courtney Sanders – orange8601@hotmail.com

(5) Grad Community Spotlights

Did you see the most recent Spotlight?

Stanford Grad SWE (16 May 2016):

https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/grad-group-spotlight-stanford-grad-swe/

Do you know someone (or yourself) or a Grad Group who deserves recognition? Submit their name here: http://goo.gl/51Oh1H

(6) Book your WE16 room now!

Now is the time to start thinking about your plans for WE16.  You can book your hotel, sign up to be notified when conference registration is live, and more at http://we16.swe.org/.

Sign up to volunteer for WE16! It’s a great way to give back to the conference that gives so much, and you get a discounted registration rate!  More at http://we16.swe.org/.

(7) Follow us on social media!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWE_grad

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SWEGrad

Blog: https://swegrad.wordpress.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8412361

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at grad-coordinator@swe.org!

-Katharine

New NASA Fellowship opportunity

2016 NASA Education Research Announcement (NRA): Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship Activity

 

NASA’s Office of Education is seeking proposals for a NASA Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship. The purpose of the NASA Education AS&ASTAR Fellowship activity is to support the vitality and diversity of theSTEM workforce of NASA and the United States by training and funding graduate students during their STEM academic endeavors and providing access to NASA, its content, unique facilities, and STEM experts.

 

NASA Education AS&ASTAR seeks, independently conceived graduate research proposal that response to the NASA Research Opportunity found in the solicitation.

 

The specific goals of NASA Education AS&ASTAR activity is to support the following NASA Education multi-year performance goal and API:

 

  1. Multi-year Performance Goal:
  • 2.4.1: Assure that students participating in NASA higher education projects are representative of the diversity of the nation.

 

  1. Annual Performance Indicator:
    • ED-16-1: Provide significant, direct student awards in higher education to (1) students across all institutional categories and levels (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education), (2) racially or ethnically underrepresented students, (3) women, and (4) persons with disabilities at percentages that meet or exceed the national enrolled percentages for these populations, as determined by the most recent, publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for a minimum of two of the four categories.

 

The specific objectives for NASA Education AS&ASTAR awards are to:

 

  1. Improve the nation’s future STEM workforce by developing the skills and competencies of graduates pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines, one student at a time;
  2. Provide opportunities for a diverse population to participate and contribute to NASA’s missions and projects;
  3. Use NASA’s unique mission content, workforce, and facilities in order to enhance and increase the capabilities, diversity, and size of the nation’s next generation workforce needed to enable future NASA discoveries;
  4. Improve the rates at which students, who have historically been underrepresented in NASA-related fields, are awarded graduate degrees at their respective universities in the STEM fields.

 

On or about May 16, 2016, this NASA Research Announcement: “NASA Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship”, NNH16ZHA001N will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/. Proposals are due by June 17, 2016, at 11:59pm EST.

 

Pre-proposal teleconference is to take place on Monday, 5/23/16 at 3:00 pm Easter (12:00 pm Pacific). Please cut and past the link:https://ac.arc.nasa.gov/nifs/ and join the teleconference as a guest. The telecom number is 1-844-467-6272 and the passcode is 993012.

 

Questions concerning NASA Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship Activity, may be directed to Elizabeth Cartier, NASA Fellowships and Scholarships Deputy Program Manager, Ames Research Center, Office of Education, Moffett Field, CA 94035; E-mail: elizabeth.a.cartier@nasa.gov.

Grad Group Spotlight: Stanford Grad SWE

16 May 2016

Lunch_with_Dean_Drell

 

Contact: gradswe_coordinators@lists.stanford.edu

 

 

 

 

 

When did your group start?

We started getting graduate participation in SWE in the 2014-2015 academic year. Following this, we recruited to all the departments and became very active with a graduate-focused planning board in the 2015-2016 academic year.

 

How is the group organized? i.e. how many core people are typically involved, do you have officers, how do you fit within the collegiate section, where do you get your budget (if you have one)?

We have two Graduate Coordinators and 21 board members to help with planning. Some board members have specific interests/tasks. We get our budget from the Dean’s Office and Engineering Departments at Stanford. We are currently part of the Collegiate SWE section, but we just received recognition from the university to be our own group starting next year, which will help with funding/accounting. We will remain connected to our collegiate SWE group to remain engaged in undergraduate mentorship and support.

 

What type of events do you host? How often do you host them? How many people tend to come to these events?

We host events aimed at creating a network of female graduate students, supporting our professional development, and mentoring the undergraduates in SWE. Our regularly occurring events include weekly lab tours for undergraduates, weekly brown bag lunches with all the women’s engineering groups across campus, and twice quarterly lunches with female faculty across campus. We host special interest events as board members are interested in hosting them, approximately 5-6 events per quarter, including networking events with a theme of art, wine and cheese, etc, special topic panels on topics like “what to wear to work”, movie nights, and recreational events like hiking.

 

What is the one event or program of which you are most proud?

The lab tours for undergraduates have been very popular and effective. We are passionate about mentoring, and these tours are a fun way to help undergraduates choose majors or learn about graduate school research opportunities and interests. The undergraduates have responded positively and given us good feedback on the tours.

 

What tips do you have for a newly-started grad group?

Recruit to departments by flyering and email to get representation from all the departments. Flyering in the women’s bathrooms was very effective for us. Try to determine what funding you will need and how you will get it as early as possible, so you don’t miss deadlines that are several months ahead of the upcoming school year. If you don’t know the in’s and out’s about how student organizations work in your university, try to seek help from someone who has experience.

 

How can someone contact your group if they’re interested in participating?

Email: gradswe_coordinators@lists.stanford.edu

26 Most Powerful Women Engineers in 2016

We all need inspiration especially as we pursue advanced degrees in STEM fields. Check out these 26 powerful women engineers.

http://www.businessinsider.com/26-most-powerful-women-engineers-in-2016-2016-2

I find the inspiration in what they are doing now and the breadth of experience they have. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration as you – finish the semester, finish your degree, or continue to do awesome things in general!

Newsletter – 3 May 2016

Hello Grad Community!

 

In this newsletter:

  1. Leadership Coaching Committee looking for members

  2. Help Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts

  3. Looking to form virtual team of female engineers and scientists to solve NASA problems

  4. Grad Community Spotlights

  5. Book your WE16 room now!

  6. Follow us on Social Media!

 

(1) Leadership Coaching Community looking for members

The Leadership Coaching Committee provides proactive leadership coaching to SWE organizational units, including sections, regions, and MALs.  Trained Leadership Coaches provide Society leadership with the coaching and support essential to maintaining healthy, vital, and growing section, region, and MAL organizations.  Training modules on various aspects of SWE operations, and/or necessary leadership and anagement skills for SWE success, are delivered to sections via local venues, delivered to sections and regions through the Region Conferences, and are delivered to all members of SWE at the Society Annual Conference. Leadership Coaches have prior SWE leadership experience which is essential in having the perspective needed to tackle section and region roadblocks and hurdles. Leadership Coaches can have either a professional or collegiate section focus.

 

There is especially a need for coaches in Regions F and G, as well as professional focused coaches in Region H.

 

If you are interested in being part of the Leadership Coaching Committee please contact your region lead LCC_Region_X@swe.org or the FY16 LCC Chair Faith Chu at faith.swe@gmail.com

 

(2) Help Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts

We are looking for some help (ushering, carpentry, hanging posters) with the new musical production. If you can’t help, but still want to see the show, by all means, admission is free!

“Mill Girls”

7:30 pm Sat, 2:00 pm Sun

April 30-May 1 + May 7-8

Ford Machine Shop

This is a new musical that is going to be performed under ETOPiA (Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts) at the end of April/ early May for 2 weekends in the Ford Machine Shop, called “Mill Girls”.  The story is about a group of young women in the 1840’s who leave home to work at the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, and end up publishing a nationally famous literary magazine in their free time, and as industrialism takes off, end up creating the worker’s movement and push for equal rights for women.  The essence of the story is about women in industry and the role that they play in changing society to what we now recognize as the modern norm.

This is a workshop production with minimal set / costumes, with actors reading from the script.  The purpose of a workshop is to get audience feedback after each performance and change the show accordingly.  The version performed the 2nd weekend will actually have different songs / script from the first weekend!

If you are interested in getting involved to help, please respond to Prof. Wei at ermin.wei@northwestern.edu and we would be happy to provide more details.

 

(3) Looking to form virtual team of female engineers and scientists to solve NASA problems

Looking for collegiate or professional women with engineering or scientific backgrounds(or studying engineering). Basically NASA is looking for civilians to volunteer in contributing to projects that they are currently trying to solve. These projects involve the earth, mars, the space station, etc. You can work individually or in teams, virtually or at a local event. I was just hoping that with the help of your organization, I can try to organize a virtual team of women engineers or scientists who are interested in volunteering in this program. I also believe that it can be a great way to network as well. The application process is online and totally free and doesn’t take long for approval. Want to get involved? Contact Courtney Sanders – orange8601@hotmail.com

 

(4) Grad Community Spotlights

Did you see the most recent Spotlights?

Hannah Chang (18 April 2016):

https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/3062/

 

Do you know someone (or yourself) or a Grad Group who deserves recognition? Submit their name here: http://goo.gl/51Oh1H

(6) Book your WE16 room now!

Now is the time to start thinking about your plans for WE16.  You can book your hotel, sign up to be notified when conference registration is live, and more at http://we16.swe.org/.

 

(7) Follow us on social media!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWE_grad

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SWEGrad

Blog: https://swegrad.wordpress.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8412361

 

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at grad-coordinator@swe.org!