Grad Group Spotlight: Cornell Grad SWE

30 Nov 2015



Gloria (Andrea) Aguirre —

Malika Grayson —





When did your group start?

GradSWE was formed in the Fall of 2010


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)?

Cornell GradSWE has an executive board within its directorship. The executive board consists of two co-directors, a social chair, an outreach chair and a professional development chair. The board plans semester events and creates networking opportunities for all members as well as collaborates with the undergraduate membership for mentorship opportunities. Our budget is supplied by the collegiate membership. Every year we propose a budget for the year’s events GradSWE and the collegiate chapter provides the funding to do so.


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 mixture of social, outreach and professional development events at least once a month. Our attendance ranges from 15 persons to as much as 100 persons depending on the event and collaboration.


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

Last semester we collaborated with two other graduate organizations (Graduate branches of National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) for a graduate networking event. We did a couple of “get to know” you activities. The event was well attended and everyone enjoyed learning more about each other the other graduate organizations.


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

Based on Cornell GradSWE’s experiences, some of the top tips would be to:

  1. Plan ahead – We usually plan for the next semester at the end of the current semester.
  2. Collaborate with other organizations – not only are you supporting other graduate organizations in your community but students can also see the different options available.
  3. Engage your general members – Always ask who is interested in helping. Be explicit that it is not necessarily a commitment to be on the executive board. If they do want to help, delegate work for them, maybe chair an event or help plan an event. This will encourage members to come out and give them a taste of how the organization is run.


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

Interested persons can email Malika Grayson ( and Hilda Mera (



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