Grad Member Spotlight: Tara Eicher

TaraTara Eicher
PhD, Computer Science
The Ohio State University
Tara has been a member of SWE since 2012.  She is currently the first graduate representative for the Ohio State University section. As the graduate rep, she has designed and hosted new events for graduate students and networked with existing graduate student organizations to increase awareness of the group.
Tara is an active young researcher. She has an upcoming publication in this year’s International Joint Conference on Neural Networks conference proceedings.  Her campus research is funded by a university fellowship. She is also a member of the electrical engineering honor society, Eta Kappa Nu. Congratulations, Tara, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

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

I am a first-year PhD student in the computer science department. I expect to graduate in 2021.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
My research applies computational methods to genomics data analysis. My current project involves designing an algorithm for detecting open chromatin, or regions of DNA that are accessible for protein binding. Having an accurate algorithm for this analysis could enable computational biologists to more accurately characterize the influence of binding patterns on genetic expression.

What do you want to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I hope to obtain a position in academia at a major research institution. I am planning to do a post-doc after graduating.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love nature, cooking, and listening to music. In my free time I usually go for walks, meet up with friends, or watch T.V.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I grew up in a military family, so I have lived in many places around the U.S. I did my undergrad at Wichita State University, Home of the Shockers.

April Webinar: Engineering Consulting 101

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Date: April 19th

Time: 7 pm EST

Engineering Consulting combines engineering, business, and client management skills, making it a dynamic and exciting career path. The skills required for Engineering Consulting evolve over one’s career, and include a balance between technical, business development, financial management, client management, project management, team work, and communication. We will discuss how to shape your cover letter, resume, and considerations for your interview. We will identify the skills you need to develop and how to navigate a career in Engineering Consulting to be successful. We will also review the principles of business management associated with Engineering Consulting.

Objectives:

• Shape your cover letter, resume, and be successful during the interview

• Identify and develop skills you need to navigate a career and be successful

• Understand the principles of business management associated with engineering consulting

Click here to register for the webinar!

Grad Member Spotlight: Jodi Boutté

jodiJodi Boutté
PhD, Industrial Engineering
Louisiana State University A&M 

Jodi has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2008. She currently serves as Graduate Program Coordinator-Elect (GPC-E) on the Graduate Leadership Team. At LSU, she created and presented a talk for the SWE Chat with Freshman program in 2015. She also developed a workshop entitled Yes, SWE Can! Lessons Learned on her Path to the Ph.D. In addition, she has contributed to several events involving SWE over the years, such as: volunteer for the Sally Ride community event held by the LSU College of Engineering, volunteer and participant for the Women Impacting Style in Engineering (WISE) Style Show and Networking Event, and student volunteer at the SWE Annual Conference talks.
Jodi has received numerous scholarships/fellowships including the Marathon Engineering Diversity Fellowship, the Cummins Scholarship, and the LaSpace Fellowship. For her research, she also placed 2nd in the National Society of Black Engineers’ 2014 Technical Research Exhibition (TRE). Congratulations, Jodi, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

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

I’m in the Ph.D. Engineering Science program in the College of Engineering at Louisiana State University A&M; my major is Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors and Ergonomics. My expected graduation date is December 2017.

Give a brief explanation of your research experience.
Very little is known about fatigue behaviors and/or characteristics in the medical domain. Much of what we know about fatigue in healthcare has been transposed or adopted from other work environments. My current research focuses on human factors in healthcare; specifically, I am interested in the assessment of fatigue in medical workers by mental and physical work factors in various work environments. The results from this research will be transformational as it will be critical to making healthcare safer and reducing the vulnerability of patients during the care process. Thus, this research is integral in the improvement of healthcare processes and patient safety practices.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I would like to continue in research studying human factors in healthcare or healthcare systems engineering. My dream jobs would be to work for Nike in Research and Development and at some point start my own consulting company

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I truly enjoy traveling; I hope to do more of it once I complete my degree program. I also enjoy baking, gardening, DIY projects, exercising, and shopping.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I can make a really funny baby voice that would be perfect for a kid’s cartoon. My sisters have always gotten a kick out of it.

Outreach and SWE

Outreach is important! Many of us would not be where we are without someone else taking the time to teach us a bit about STEM. For me, it was participating in an Engineering summer camp that helped convince me to be an engineer. What was it for you?

Numbers are also important. As graduate students, we understand that data needs to be collected to convince others of the impact of our design or research projects.

Combine outreach and numbers and we get the SWE Outreach Metrics Tool! The OMT is a rather neat way of measuring the impact of SWE members around the world.

The Outreach Metric Tool (OMT) is a simple 10 question survey to complete after your outreach events. These are events that focus on students ages 4-18 and/or their adult advocates such as parents, educators, and group leaders. These events should directly impact K-12 students, parents, and educators, to help them explore and understand engineering disciplines and careers. K-12 outreach events to be entered into the OMT include:

  • Special engineering events planned, executed, and led by SWE member organizations OR led by a partner organization, such as an engineering society or industrial firm, where, for example, a SWE collegiate, professional, or MAL chapter, formally participated
  • Individual K-12 outreach efforts of SWE members

This means that you can catalog EVERY outreach activity you engage in to further SWE’s mission.

  • Volunteer at your local Science Olympiad? Enter it.
  • Give high schoolers a tour of your lab or company? Enter it.
  • Visit an elementary school for career day? Enter it.
  • Collaborate with Tau Beta Pi for one of their programs? Enter it.

The more data we collect, the more we can advocate for the SWE mission!

Okay, now you are thinking, “Liz, this is great! But, I don’t do much outreach…” Fear not dear SWE member, there are lots of resources to help you. I’ve listed a few interesting ones below.

Outreach Resources 

  • Constance and Nano – SWE’s new comic book: http://constanceandnano.swe.org/
  • Simple Science “Snacks” from San Francisco’s Exploratorium: https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks
  • SWE’s Outreach Home Page: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/k-12-outreach
  • SWE Member Resources: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swe-members
  • Instructions on how to plan an event: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/page/4768-Outreach-Toolkit

My current favorite is the new SWE poster! What is your favorite outreach tool?

SWEposterOutreach

Grad Member Spotlight: Sarah Watzman

Grad Member Spotlight: Sarah Watzman

Watzman_HeadshotSarah Watzman

PhD student,  Mechanical Engineering

The Ohio State University

Sarah has been actively involved in SWE since her freshman year of undergrad. Since then, she has been involved in SWE at all levels of the society. At Ohio State, she has served as both outreach coordinator and section president. For Region G, she has been the Region Collegiate Representative (RCR), a member of the conference planning committee, and a leadership coach.  Currently, she is serving as Collegiate Director on the Board of Directors.

Sarah is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a University Fellow through Ohio State’s Graduate School, and a FAST (Future Academic Scholar Training) Fellow through her department. She received the Rob Wolf Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State as well as the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award in 2013. Congratulations, Sarah, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

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

I am a 4th-year PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, hoping to graduate in the spring of 2018 (although anytime I write this on anything, my advisor “corrects” the date to 2118).

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I work on materials that convert heat to electricity, and I specifically look at how magnetism can increase this transport.  Typically, these materials are semiconductors, but I’m exploring metals and semimetals for my dissertation.  Applications for these materials are in waste-heat recovery, where these materials would utilize heat released from other energy generation processes to produce their own power output.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I hope to become a professor!  I really love research, and I also love working with students (I’m co-instructing my advisor’s undergraduate thermodynamics course this semester).  I think a professor position would well combine these two passions.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to cook and hike!  I have also gotten into TRX (body resistance strength training on something that looks like monkey bars) this year.  And of course, I spend lots of my free time on SWE!

What’s a fun fact about you?
I’m moving to Germany in the middle of April to work in my collaborator’s lab for the summer!

Watzman_In Lab

Sarah Watman working in her lab at Ohio State

Webinar next week: Challenges for women talking in meetings

meetings10things

Webinar date and time: March 14th at 9 PM EST

This experience may be familiar to many women: After witnessing men speaking their minds all day, you offer one firm opinion and it immediately gets perceived as angry, rude, or hostile. As a result, women have often learned to preface their ideas with “I’m sorry, but..” and “Don’t you also think…” The language of women speaking in meetings is a delicate balance: being direct without being offensive, being accommodating yet strong, being passionate while not seeming emotional.  In this session, we will all share experiences and address the biases that have created this language and ways to overcome them.

Click here to sign up for the webinar!