Grad Group Spotlight: University of Michigan Grad SWE

21 September 2015

Munch Lunch



Co-Directors: Liz Dreyer and Maria Choi

Email: and



University of Michigan Grad SWE has made some amazing contributions to the Graduate Community and SWE as a whole most notably this past summer in Liberia. Learn more by reading on!


When did your group start?


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)?

Although technically a committee under the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Michigan, we are registered on campus as a separate student organization. We plan all of our own events, but have a SWE/GradSWE liason who makes sure that we do important things as one group. Within GradSWE, we currently have 16 officers: 2 Co-Directors, 1 Secretary, 1 Treasurer, 1 Membership Chair, 1 Networking Chair, 1 GradSWE/SWE Liason, 1 UM Career Fair Liason, 2 Professional Development Co-chairs, 3 Outreach Co-Chairs, 2 Activities Co-Chairs. and 1 Webmaster. We get our funding primarily through the College of Engineering via the Office of Graduate Education. We also apply for funding annually through the various student governments.


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

We host a wide variety of events. Each chair is responsible for a certain number of events each semester. Overall, we aim to host 1 social and 1 professional development activity per month, 2 networking events per semester, and outreach events every week. Excluding outreach, we hosted over 20 events last year with over 200 unique attendees. Our overall attendance varies on the type of event – We get ~10 people every week for a brown-bag lunch but had 100 at our Welcome dinner. Our Female Faculty/Student Mixers average at 40 people.


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

We are proud of our outreach efforts – both our weekly programs with local elementary and high schools and our international outreach efforts to undergraduate female engineers in Liberia. This summer, 5 GradSWE members went to Liberia and, along with 5 undergrad SWE members from UM, hosted a 2-week leadership camp. See for more information.
What tips do you have for a newly-started grad group?

  1. Involve as many people as you can, keep your expectations low this is different from SWE undergrad!
  2. Don’t give up!
  3. Get as many people involved in the planning process as possible. It lightens everyone’s load and really diversifies the type of events and projects you can do.
  4. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
  5. Ask individual departments as well as the college for support.


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

Visit our website and sign up for our email list:!gradswe-2015-2016-officers/cuay or email our webmaster Meghan Richey <>


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