Recap: SWE Annual Conference-WE18

Another annual conference is in the books for the Society of Women Engineers where more than 14,000 women engineers gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center last month.

Our graduate community participates in the conference in a variety of ways including hosting professional development sessions, competing in research presentations, exploring the career fair, and networking at the Graduate Member Meeting and Graduate Student Reception.

Graduate Poster & Rapid Fire Competition:

Twenty graduate students were selected from those that submitted abstracts for the Graduate Poster & Rapid Fire Competition. Ten students competed in each category (poster or rapid fire) where they were evaluated on their research and presentation skills. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Graduate Poster Competition Results
(1st) Samantha Zellner
Corrosion Measurement of Silicon Carbide
University of North Texas

(2nd) Sarah Robb
Is faster FDA review time for cardiovascular devices correlated with adverse health outcomes, as evidenced by increased recalls?
Carnegie Mellon University

(3rd) Rachel Tenney
Production of Nitrogen- and Phosphorus-Rich Crystals from Municipal Wastewater for Sustainable Nutrient Recovery
University of Minnesota

Graduate Rapid Fire Competition Results
(1st) Jennifer DiStefano
Utilizing 2D Materials in Core-shell Nanocomposites
Northwestern University

(2nd) Caymen Novak
Compressive Stimulus Enhances Ovarian Cancer Proliferation, Invasion, and Mechanotransduction in a Novel 3D Compression Bioreactor
University of Michigan

(3rd) Kritika Iyer
Non-Invasive Diagnostics of Coronary Artery Disease Using Machine Learning and Computational Fluid Dynamics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Graduate Member Meeting:

Our member meeting is open to all graduates and serves to update our members on current GradSWE initiatives and what they can do to increase graduate student involvement in SWE at their university. The meeting slides contain pertinent links and tips for developing a GradSWE group.

Graduate Student Reception (Sponsored by Praxair and Autodesk):

With over 60 attendees, the Graduate Student Reception continues to grow and is an opportunity for networking and idea sharing among peers and the sponsors. We would like to once again thank Autodesk and Praxair for their support of the SWE graduate community! 20181019_172539

Join our team as Graduate Programming Coordinator-Elect (GPC-E):

Do you want to get involved in GradSWE at the Society level? The application is now open for the Graduate Programming Coordinator-Elect (GPC-Elect) position.

This position carries a two-year term (one year as coordinator-elect and one year as coordinator) filled by a SWE graduate student or recent Ph.D./M.S. graduate. The time commitment is usually 2-3 hours/week and is closer to 7-10 hours/week in the weeks before the annual conference. All meetings are through conference calls, except for the required annual conference attendance for both WE19 and WE20.

Deadline for applications is Monday, December 31, 2018 11:59 pm CDT (Midnight).
All applications will then be reviewed and applicants will be contacted in January.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at gradsweprogramming@gmail.com.

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Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part One, What’s the Gender Binary?

By Andrea Haverkamp & Rachel Tenney

If you are interested in contributing in any way to GradSWE’s Diversity & Inclusion team (such as assisting in blog posts, brainstorming ideas, sharing ways we can become more inclusive, or developing outreach initiatives) please contact Diversity & Inclusion Liason Andrea Haverkamp at gradswe.dil@gmail.com We look forward to working with you!

 

Gender in engineering is an important and much-discussed topic. This might be why you are reading this blog. Organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) exist specifically due to the underrepresentation and marginalization of women in engineering. However, gender is much more broad than just a simple two-category dichotomy of men and women. We would like to be sure that in our efforts to increase gender inclusion and gender diversity in engineering that we are paying attention to those different from us – women with complicated relationships to gender and nonbinary (third-gender category or otherwise not men/women identified) engineers.This is why SWE is welcoming not only to those who identify as a woman, but to everyone on the gender spectrum – including male allies. This is why we find this to be an important topic to our inclusivity in GradSWE.

The trouble with centering a gender binary

“Hi ladies!” “Hey girls.” “What a wonderful woman.” “An accomplished woman.” “She’s not only a mom, she’s an engineer.” “As women, how do we do engineering?” “Women in engineering bring unique skills.” “We need to hire more women.”

Did you know that many individuals in the LGBTQ+ community identify as a third gender option, or even construct their identity outside of the gender system all together? Nonbinary is defined by the National Center for Transgender Equality  in an article titled Understanding Non-Binary People: How to Be Respectful and Supportive:

Most people – including most transgender people – are either male or female. But some people don’t neatly fit into the categories of “man” or “woman,” or “male” or “female.” For example, some people have a gender that blends elements of being a man or a woman, or a gender that is different than either male or female. Some people don’t identify with any gender. Some people’s gender changes over time.

People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common. Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender, and more. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing – but all speak to an experience of gender that is not simply male or female.

Developing an inclusive culture around gender in engineering means we may need to move beyond just advocating for women. As women, we understand what it is like to be underrepresented and undervalued. Nonbinary individuals in engineering perhaps experience a sharper brunt of gender discrimination. As women, we are aware of sexism in society that often permeates its way into the workplace and classroom. Anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans sentiments can also exist alongside sexism – and a specific form of sexism, known as cis-hetero-sexism, combines all three together into what can become a chilly climate for transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming engineers.

Studies show that engineering may be the chilliest climate out of the STEM disciplines for LGBTQ+ engineers, and LGBTQ+ engineering professionals report greater discrimination than other occupations in our federal government.1,2 In particular, we wish to draw attention to “gender binary discourse” that can exist within higher education and engineering.3 Put simply, gender binary discourse is discussion and activism that only recognizes two simple gender options. “Men and Women” or “Ladies and Gentlemen.” Think of the last time you filled out gender in a survey – were there two options? Three? Four? When presented with just two options certain individuals such as nonbinary or gender nonconforming people feel left out and excluded. In our gender activism perhaps it is time to adopt approaches that welcome other gender minorities such as nonbinary or genderfluid engineers alongside other LGBTQ+ or gender nonconforming women.

Want to learn more about what we can do as a community to open up our culture for a broader gender spectrum? Click Here for Part 2 of this post which has ideas on how to incorporate these concepts into your organization or daily life.

If you are interested in contributing in any way to GradSWE’s Diversity & Inclusion team (such as assisting in blog posts, brainstorming ideas, sharing ways we can become more inclusive, or developing outreach initiatives) please contact Diversity & Inclusion Liason Andrea Haverkamp at gradswe.dil@gmail.com We look forward to working with you!

  1. Z. Nicolazzo, Trans* in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2017.
  2. J. Yoder, A. Mattheis, “Queer in STEM: Workplace Experiences Reported in a National Survey of LGBTQA Individuals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers. Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 63, no. 1, 2016.
  3. E. Cech, LGBT Professionals’ Workplace Experiences in STEM-related Federal Agencies. 122ndASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, 2015
  4. M. Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman.” Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. Ed. Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim. New York: Routledge. 246-250, 2013.

WE18 is almost here!

It is officially October which means that WE18 is right around the corner! Now is the time to start preparing for the conference so that you can get the most from the experience.

UPLOAD YOUR RESUME: On the job market? Upload your resume ahead of time to make sure companies know you are available.

CHECK OUT THE WE18 EXHIBITORS: There will be more than 300 exhibitors at the WE18 career fair! Take some time to pick out the specific exhibitors you are interested in meeting.

Career Fair Hours

Thursday, Oct 18:
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Professional and Collegiate members only)
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (all registrants, including Career Fair only)

Friday, October 19:
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. professionals only (members and non-members)
10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Professional and Collegiate members only)
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (all registrants, including Career Fair only)

USE THE MOBILE APP: WE18 is a HUGE conference with more sessions than you could possibly attend. Make the most of your time by using the mobile app to build your schedule and stay organized!

TIPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS: Check out the podcast by FY19 SWE President Penny Wirsing and FY17 SWE President Jessica Rannow about tips and advice for First-Timers at WE18.

Finally, don’t forget to come to our GradSWE specific sessions:

Thursday, October 18th

  • 12:45-1:45 PM | Big Step for Me, Giant Leap for SWE-Kind: Staying Involved in SWE After College
  • 2:00-3:00 PM | Life after Grad School: Transitioning from Graduate Student to Professional
  • 4:30-5:30 PM | Preparing Powerful Application Essays

Friday, October 19th

  • 9:30 AM-6PM | Collegiate Poster Competition
  • 10:15-11:45 AM | Rapid Fire 1: Graduate Students
  • 4:30-5:30 PM | A Tale of Two PhDs and The Value of Diversity (may be rescheduled)
  • 3:00-5:00 PM | Graduate Member Meeting
  • 5:00-6:30 PM | Graduate Student Reception (Sponsors: Autodesk and Praxair)

Saturday, October 20th

  • 12:45-1:45 PM | Embracing Failures in Academia to Break Personal Boundaries
  • 1:30-1:50 PM | Utilizing Online Platforms for Self-Promotion: Personal Websites and Social Media

We highly encourage participation in these sessions led by your fellow peers and academics. It can be an impactful learning experience, and high attendance numbers demonstrate that the graduate population in SWE continues to grow!

If you cannot attend WE18, watch for graduate programming at 2019 WE Locals or at WE19.

Any questions about programming at WE18 can be emailed to gradsweprogramming@gmail.com

Will we see you at WE18? Check out these sessions for graduate students!

The SWE Annual Conference, WE18, is fast approaching, and we are pleased to share some of the sessions BY graduate students FOR graduate students:

(FULL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE)

Thursday, October 18th

  • 12:45-1:45 PM | Big Step for Me, Giant Leap for SWE-Kind: Staying Involved in SWE After College
  • 2:00-3:00 PM | Life after Grad School: Transitioning from Graduate Student to Professional
  • 4:30-5:30 PM | Preparing Powerful Application Essays

Friday, October 19th

  • 10:15-11:30 AM | Rapid Fire 1: Graduate Students
  • 3:30-5:00 PM | Graduate Member Meeting
  • 5:00-6:30 PM | Graduate Student Reception (Sponsors: Autodesk, Lockeed Martin, and Praxair)

Saturday, October 20th

  • 1:30-1:50 PM | Utilizing Online Platforms for Self-Promotion: Personal Websites and Social Media
  • 2:00-3:00 PM | Embracing Failures in Academia to Break Personal Boundaries
  • 3:15-4:15 PM | A Tale of Two PhDs and the Value of Diversity

We highly encourage participation in these sessions led by your fellow peers and academics. It can be an impactful learning experience, and high attendance numbers demonstrate that the graduate population in SWE continues to grow!

Are you still looking to coordinate travel/accommodations for WE18? Fill out this form, and we will try to get you connected to other graduate students traveling to the conference.

If you cannot attend WE18, watch for graduate programming at 2019 WE Locals or at WE19. Want to get more involved in the programming that is offered at WE Locals? The deadline to submit an abstract for 2019 WE Locals has been extended to Monday, August 20th.

Any questions about programming at WE18 can be emailed to gradsweprogramming@gmail.com

Will we see you at WE18?

GradSWE has put together a form to fill out if you are looking for a roommate or travel companion or just want to connect with others at the conference.

Important WE18 programs and funding opportunities:

Poster and Rapid Fire Research Competitions Deadline: June 15, 2018  
For more details on the application process: Submission Information 
These competitions are open to all SWE collegiate undergraduate and graduate members. Top 10 finalists in each category (Undergraduate Poster, Graduate Poster, Undergraduate Rapid Fire, Graduate Rapid Fire) will present at WE18, October 18-20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Subject matter is to be related to original research or work with an application in engineering. Winners for each category will receive cash prizes (1st place $300; 2nd place $200; 3rd place $100). Questions can be sent to emilyhoffman18 [at] gmail [dot] com.
 
We18 Registration Grants
Thanks to many generous donations, SWE will be offering registration grants for SWE members who need financial assistance to attend WE18.  Deadline to apply is June 30, 2018.

Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering – Applications Open!
The purpose of ALWE is to provide female academics in engineering with tangible skills to pursue, acquire and maintain institutional leadership positions at a university. SWE also hopes this program will provide women with skills that will help them personally grow as a leader. With the support of the ASSIST grant, SWE will be able to fund up to 40 engineering early faculty, post-doctoral professionals, and graduate students to attend ALWE. Participants in the program will experience interactive sessions that provide best practices to advance in academia while creating opportunities and mechanisms to network across institutions. Applications are due July 31, 2018.

Collegiate Leadership Institute Applications Open!
This program provides collegiate-specific sessions on career and leadership skills at SWE’s Annual Conference, WE18. Participants learn from career and leadership experts, gain new skills, and network with current and future SWE professionals. Applications are due June 30, 2018.

If you’re not a SWE member, colliegates can join for $50! The C2C membership lasts through your first year after graduating. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year SWE Grad Community!

2016 was a great year for SWE. This infographic from SWE’s Year in Review article shows how busy the Society has been. 2016 has also been great for the SWE Grad Community. From seeing our own social media presence grow to having record numbers at the We16 Grad Student Reception, our progress is due to all of you. Stay awesome in 2017 everyone!

16-swe-general-year-in-review-infographic