Graduate Community Events at WE16!

Mark your calendars for these events hosted by the SWE Graduate Community! We have grad student sessions each day. Also monitor our social media pages for real-time updates about the sessions and other social events! See the image below for links to our various social media pages, and talk up these sessions at the conference!



How to Benefit from Annual Conference without Attending

How to Benefit from Annual Conference without Attending

As the larger SWE community gets ready to descend on Philadelphia, PA for We16, SWE’s annual conference, many grad students are stuck in class, at the office, or in their research labs. Fret not, dear grad students! There are still ways to benefit from SWE’s annual conference without actually attending. Check out my tips below and comment if you have any tips that I missed.

1. Explore the Career Fair Exhibitors

Are you looking for a job, but will miss out on the SWE Career Fair? Check out the exhibitor list on the We16’s webpage ( These companies are looking for SWEsters. Consider applying for the jobs online and reaching out to the recruiters on social media. Many recruiters will be tweeting that they will be at #We16.

Alternatively, browse SWE’s career center any time of the year ( Many companies also have postings directed towards WE16.

Another option is to find a Career Fair advocate. Convince a friend/colleague who knows you well to approach companies and drop off your resume in person. Make sure to still apply online to those companies, but recruiters will be impressed that you are a SWEet enough job candidate that your friend/colleague was willing to take the time and talk about you to recruiters.

2. Browse Session Titles for Future Collaborators and Event Ideas

Are you an outreach nut? Have you always wanted to work in government but never knew how to start? Or are you looking for your next visiting speaker? Check out the conference agenda ( and browse the session titles. If something looks very interesting to you, reach out to the session speakers via LinkedIn or the SWE membership directory.

Do you want to know who from a specific school or company is presenting? Search keywords such as “University of Michigan” or “Central Intelligence Agency” or “Caterpillar Inc.”.

3. Register to Attend Virtually

If the distance and not the time is the only thing preventing you from engaging in We16, consider registering as a virtual attendee. You’ll gain access to special online content and see many of the sessions.

Register here:

4. Join in the Social Media Conversation

Find other SWE friends by seeing who is tweeting or posting or instagramming about the SWE conference. People are always giving or looking for advice. Join in the conversation!

Use #SWEGrad and #We16 on twitter and instagram


So, did I miss anything? What are your tips for those who won’t be able to attend We16 but still want to be involved?


Grad Member Spotlight: Siobahn Day

siobahnd-0144-crop-2Siobahn Day

PhD student, Computer Science

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Siobahn has been a member of SWE since 2009. She joined SWE while working on her masters of science in Information Science at North Carolina Central University. Since starting her PhD, she has been an active outreach volunteer, participating in events such as Engineer Like a Girl and Black Girls Code. She maintains a website with more of her involvement:

Siobahn has been awarded one of the Google Travel grants to attend We16 in Philadeplia. She was also awarded outstanding graduate researcher by her department at NC A&T State University. Siobahn currently serve as a NASA Datanaut and is a recent 40 under 40 honoree by North Carolina Central University. Congratulations, Siobahn, 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 second year PhD student in Computer Science. My expected graduation date is May 2018.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I have developed the concept of Adversarial Authorship as a means of preserving author anonymity. I’m currently developing and evaluating an Interactive Evolutionary Computation for Adversarial Authorship which allows users to conceal their writing style. In Adversarial Authorship, authors are provided an AuthorWeb which allows them to see graphically how their writing style compares with others in the AuthorWeb.
What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I hope to be able to continue my research upon graduation and possibly become an influencer in the domain of public policy. I’d like to see laws advance in regards to technology. My career goal is to become a faculty member where I hope to be an educator and encourager for those seeking the roads less traveled.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy exercising, reading, and spending time with my family.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I love cooking and learning new recipes.

Mentoring Program Updates

Hello Everyone!

Today’s blog is an update on the progress so far from our mentoring program!

Our initial survey was a hit – we had many graduate students indicate they were interested in having a mentor, and we were able to gauge what types of mentors people wanted.  We took this information/some feedback from our graduates and mentors that signed up initially, and we were able to narrow down some of the important aspects of mentor pairs from a graduate perspective.  As a result, we created two new surveys (these MUST be filled out in order to be assigned a mentor!):


For Mentors:


For Graduate Mentees:


At this time, we are still low on mentors (especially in academia and government), so we are currently waiting for more mentors to sign up in order to pair students interested in these areas with a match!  If you know anyone who may be a good candidate to mentor for this program – please spread the word!  One of the things that impresses me the most about SWE is the ability to access such a huge network of dedicated people who are always willing to help build up our STEM community.  I have been able to access some great committees/ regions/ sections that have been very helpful in promoting this initiative to our membership!

The process of developing a mentoring program takes time to implement, since we are building this for the first time.  There will be another round of mentor pairings sent out within the week for mentor/mentee approval, but for some students with specific requests/ specialized fields, this process is taking a bit of time to find the right match.  I sincerely thank those that have signed up for their continued patience!

Some people have expressed interest in meeting and discussing this program/ meeting other people who have signed up at WE 16!  Though some mentors have set up lunch/ a meeting with their mentees already, another option for this is to join us at our GradSWE meeting on Thursday, October 27th from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM and meet other students who are involved in mentoring!  We will also be setting up an online group in the near future for mentoring – so anyone who fills out this new survey will be sent the link to access the group if they so choose.  Remember, if you have not filled out the new survey above, you will not be assigned a mentor, or gain access to the mentoring group.

I want to thank you all for your positive feedback and kind words supporting this initiative.  I have received so many wonderful emails and personal stories about how mentoring has impacted people, and how excited people are about the opportunity to try mentoring/ being mentored through GradSWE!  I am so happy that as a result of this program, I am also able to get to know some of you on a personal level as well.   I  hope to get to meet many of you at WE 16!





For questions or comments regarding the mentoring program, please email or

Call for Applications: Owens Corning Scholarship and Paid Internship

As we approach the last month leading up to WE16, the graduate community is excited to announce a new scholarship/internship opportunity sponsored by Owens Corning!

Owens Corning will select one SWE graduate student attending WE16 to receive a $1000 scholarship and the opportunity to participate in a paid internship. The recipient will be announced at the WE16 Grad Meet & Greet networking session on Thursday, October 27.

The application can be found here. All application materials are due on October 7, 2016.

Please email with any questions.


WE16 Webinars

WE16 is around the corner and there are webinars coming up to help you prepare. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced attendee, the following webinars offer great tips on how to navigate the conference.

WE16 Orientation Sept 14, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-20 min)

  • Describe all the communication tools that WE16 is using to advertise conference programming and events.
  • List the special events happening at WE16 (keynotes, career fair, banquets, etc.) and the highlights for both collegiate and professional members.
  • Identify what to do before, during, and after the conference to make the most of their conference experience.

What Not to Wear – SWE Conference Edition Sept 21, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-30 min)

  • Describe the appropriate dress code for events at WE16 and other professional events.
  • Name specific “Do’s and Don’ts” for professional attire.
  • Identify how to exude confidence in a professional setting.

Networking for Newbies Sept 28, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-30 min)

  • Name the benefits/importance of networking.
  • Identify gaps in their network to focus on building.

Career Fair Savvy Oct 3, 2016 @ 11AM CT (30 min)

  • Improve your chances of having a successful career fair.
  • Create a plan to make the best use of your time.
  • Understand the opportunities that the career fair can offer.