Grad Member Spotlight: Genevieve Kane

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to our new Graduate Leadership Team.  We’ll start with our new GMC, Genevieve!
Kane_GenevieveGenevieve Kane
Graduate Student in Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Genevieve Kane has been a member of SWE since 2007. She is very happy to serve as Graduate Member Coordinator of the society in her 10th year of SWE membership.  Genevieve became a member while an undergraduate at SUNY New Paltz,  and brought SWE programming to her undergraduate campus.  Upon entering graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Genevieve became the Region Graduate Representative, aiding in GradSWE group start-up and in Region Conference Planning for graduate sessions.  She continues to be involved in her region and locally, acting as the Region Collegiate Senator for FY18, as well as continuing her outreach efforts and being part of the Local Host Committee for WELocal Providence.  Genevieve is also a member of the Women in Academia committee, and the Bylaws committee.

 

What degrees do you hold, and what are you currently studying?

I took a very unique path through school – I completed three bachelor’s degrees in five years, where I studied Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Music (Performance, Violin) at two separate institutions that were 2 hours away from each other (SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany)!  After that, I received a Master’s degree from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (SUNY Polytechnic) in Nanoscale Engineering.  I’m now a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and am studying Materials Science and Engineering.  It seems like I’ve been studying a lot of different things, but one thing that I have always believed is that many aspects of science and technology are related.  I try to remind students of that whenever I do outreach!

Give a brief explanation of your research experience

Previously, my research focused on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (for my MS) and solving problems that photoresist manufacturers face with out-of-band wavelength lights.  Now, my research focuses on creating novel microscopy techniques to help understand, predict, and actively control grain growth in metals.  

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

That’s a great question and one that I think many people struggle with.  I spend some time teaching at a community college prior to starting my studies at RPI and I loved it, so I would definitely be interested in a professorship.  At the same time, I am also really enthusiastic and love my research, so I would love to explore the options that government labs and industry have available to me as well, because I think that my research experience could really be beneficial in that setting.  As my time in grad school closes, I think that I’m narrowing my options down, and looking for something that offers me the freedom of controlling my research interests, while still allowing me to be an educator!  We shall see.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

When I’m not in lab, you can usually find me at the gym for Zumba, or hiking and wandering the wilderness!  These are things that I really love and I hadn’t been prioritizing much in the beginning of grad school – so I’m happy to have more time to do them now.   I also love to sing and play music and do so through concerts, musical theater, etc. I am also a language enthusiast, and love to travel.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I received a black belt in karate when I was 10 years old!  On occasion, I teach self defense classes to women, because I believe that it is important to be able to defend yourself if the need arises.

Do you have any advice for our GradSWE members?

If there are three things I can share with  you in my experiences from grad school, they would be:

  1. Do something that you are passionate about, and surround yourself with the right people to help you achieve what you hope to.
    I personally had a lot of trouble in the beginning of grad school because of my choices in research and advisor.   I am now a very fortunate graduate student with an advisor that I work well with, and research that I am passionate about.
  2. Take time to enjoy grad school, and have a healthy work/life balance!
    This is something I will undoubtedly emphasize over the course of the year in blog posts – taking a break and going home for the day to sleep, do the things you enjoy, etc, is as important as your research.  Grad school has a physical, and emotional impact on all – it is a stressful time in your life and many students need that rest and relaxation to avoid burnout.  I didn’t realize this for a long time – but I find I am much more productive now because I do take breaks.
  3. Utilizes all of the resources you are given in grad school and that you have available through SWE.
    A lot of students come out of school and say things like “I wish I had gone to more professional development seminars.”   I can’t personally say that – because I take the time to go to as many seminars about research and professional development that I can!  I also utilize my career center if I have questions about my resume, and my SWE contacts as well.  Your school, company, and professional organizations have a ton of resources available to you to help you grow as a professional, and to obtain jobs.   Use them!

Farewell FY17

My dear SWE members,

This is my last official post to you as Graduate Member Coordinator. Fiscal Year 2017 has come to an end and I leave you in the very capable hands of Genevieve Kane. This upcoming year promises to be one filled with exciting new initiatives which Genevieve and the rest of the team will champion.

Looking back, this year has been a great year for SWE and the Graduate Community. We saw our influence within the Society grow to record levels. By the numbers:

  • 70+ graduate students at the We16 GradSWE reception
  • 6 webinars hosted
  • 21 Grad Member and Group spotlights
  • Blog: 6405 visitors, 10314 views (19% and 9% increases from FY16 July-May)
  • Facebook: 465 likes (40% increase since start of FY17)
  • Twitter: 190 followers
  • LinkedIn: 130 members
  • Instagram: 88 followers

Now, I wish all of you success in your future endeavors. Good luck with your classes, jobs, and research. I believe in each and every one of you and your power as a Woman and as an Engineer. Thank you all for allowing me to the honor of serving you this past year.

Sincerely yours,
Liz Dreyer

PS – Feel free to connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn if you want to stay in touch!

Call for FY18 Coordinators

Call for FY18 Coordinators

Get more involved with SWE as a graduate student!

The Graduate Leadership Team (consisting of the Graduate Member Coordinator, the Graduate Programming Coordinator, and their coordinator-elects) is looking for new coordinators for FY18, starting in July 2017!  This is a great opportunity for grad students to get involved in the SWE Grad Community. The four positions are:

Graduate Member Coordinator-Elect (GMC-Elect): Supports the Graduate Member Coordinator in working to foster a strong community and network for graduate students in SWE by facilitating communication between graduate students in SWE and SWE graduate student groups, and by representing the interests of graduate students to the Society. The GMC-Elect assists the GMC, in preparation for assuming the GMC role the following year.

Social Media Coordinator (SMC): Ensures that all the Graduate Community social media and online outlets have current and regular content in order to allow graduate students to stay up to date on relevant information.

Webinars Coordinator (WC): Assist in coordinating the webinars hosted by the Graduate SWE community, by selecting topics, inviting speakers, and coordinating logistics with SWE headquarters to ensure webinars are advertised and routinely presented

Mentorship Coordinator (MC): .The mentorship coordinator will assist in the development and implementation of GradSWE’s new mentorship program.  Tasks include soliciting for mentors, keeping track of mentor/mentee applications, and making mentorship pairings.  

The applications are due by April 01 2017 11:59 pm CDT (Midnight).

Note that the GMC-Elect position requires the SWE HQ Committee Chair application. The SMC, WC and MC application includes an area where you indicate whether or not you submitted the GMC-Elect application and allows you to rank your preferences. Both applications require similar information and responses, but please make sure to follow the directions!

Applicants will be notified within the week after the deadline if there any additional questions and to schedule a phone interview. If you have any questions, please contact Genevieve at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org.

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Call for applications: GPC-Elect!

Application link: https://goo.gl/forms/I94FgKeEtFeOgTnl2

Are you excited about the growing number of opportunities for graduate students in SWE on the national level? Did you attend WE16 and gain lots of inspiration and ideas to better serve the graduate community? Do you in any shape or form want to play a role in continuing to grow graduate student programs on the national level? If you said yes to any of these, you should apply to be the Graduate Programming Coordinator-Elect (GPC-elect)!

Each year the GPC-elect works alongside the GPC to construct and formulate the agenda of events for graduate students at the national conference. Through the GPC-elect role, you get to work with a wonderful team of ladies to help shape sessions impacting the SWE graduate community nationwide (and beyond)! Additionally, there are numerous networking opportunities accompanying this role where you will create long-lasting connections as you serve as GPC-elect for WE17 and GPC for WE18.

Applications are due by Sunday, January 8 at 11:59 PST. Follow the link above to apply!

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 (http://we16.swe.org/conference-agenda/). 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 (http://careers.swe.org/). 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 (http://we16.swe.org/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: https://registration.experientevent.com/ShowWEC161/

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?

 

SWE Grad International: Liberia Edition

Greetings from Liberia!

Today’s blog post is about the international efforts of SWE and SWE members. Did you know that SWE has sixteen international affiliates? SWE’s international presence is growing every day. Here is a snapshot of where it stands.

SWE international by the numbers:
– 16 SWE international affiliates representing 10 countries
– 2 sister societies (in Japan and Korea)
– 2 annual international conferences (WeEurope and WeIndia)
– 8 SWE international champions

– 33% or 66% membership discounts based on country

– Free “Friend of SWE” membership for students outside of the United States.

As grad students, we have a unique perspective on SWE as a global society. Many of us regularly interact with peers who are from many different countries. As academics, we may go to conferences all around the world and collaborate with diverse people on research projects. As professionals, we may work on engineering teams with global remote employees. In either case, SWE is there for you.

As for me, SWE has broadened my view of the world. By being involved in SWE, I have been able to travel to Liberia in West Africa three times. In fact, I am here now!

I am in Liberia working with Africa’s future first SWE student affiliate – L-SWE. L-SWE started in 2013 the help of two graduate SWE members from the University of Michigan. The SWE at UM members introduced the idea of a global network of women engineers to the Liberian students and encouraged them to start their own student group. Three years later, L-SWE has over 40 members from three Liberian universities.

Last year, with the support of the SWE Professional Development Grant, 9 members of SWE at UM facilitated a two-week residential leadership camp for 30 female Liberian engineering students in Kakata, Liberia. The camp, L-SWE SUCCESS, covered academic, professional, and leadership development activities as well as engineering projects and student organization skills. It was a smashing SUCCESS!

Now, I am back in Liberia with a new team ready to facilitate a second camp. It started yesterday, Monday, 15 August 2016. You can learn more about last year’s activities and this year’s camp by following our social media.

Blog: GradSWEatUM.wordpress.com

Twitter: @GradSWEatUM
Instagram: @GradSWEatUM

Now, this is just my personal experience. SWE graduate student members are engaging with the global engineering community in many different ways.

How have you interacted with SWE globally? Please share in the comments below or email me at grad-member-coordinator@swe.org to be featured in a future blog post.

Until next time,
Elizabeth Dreyer
Grad Member Coordinator FY17

Welcome to FY17: GradSWE Edition

Welcome to FY17: GradSWE Edition

Welcome to a new fiscal year of SWE! Last year brought about many changes to the Society and the SWE Grad Community. I am confident that this year will bring about even more.

As we begin a new year for the SWE Grad Community, I’d like to introduce the rest of the Grad Community Leadership team. Our team for FY17 is:

  • Graduate Member Coordinator (GMC): Liz Dreyer – University of Michigan
  • GMC-Elect: Genevieve Kane – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Graduate Programming Coordinator (GPC): Rachel Unruh – Texas A&M
  • GPC-Elect: Emily Hoffman – Northwestern University
  • Social Media Coordinator (SMC): Allie Anderson – Colorado School of Mines
  • Webinar Coordinator (WC): Celine Liong – Stanford University

You can read a short bio about each person here: https://swegrad.wordpress.com/grad-leadership/.

Goals for FY17

This year, I have many goals for our community. I’d also love to hear from all of you on what you’d like to see the grad community do as well. Feel free to email me at grad-coordinator@swe.org (or comment below or on any of our social media) with any and all ideas on how the grad community can better serve your needs.

Some of the plans include:

  • Continued use of social media to reach out and connect SWE grad student members.
  • Increase awareness of graduate student members within Professional sections or with Professional grade memberships. Did you know? Approximately half of SWE grad members are within Professional sections.
  • Improve resources and knowledge sharing for grad students and SWE grad groups.

How to get involved

This upcoming year is full of ways to increase your involvement with the SWE Grad Community. Below are a few examples.

  1. Become a Region Grad Rep. Some Regions still need RGRs for FY17. Contact your RGR to see if the position will is available.
  2. Participate in your local SWE Grad Group or start one within your SWE section. Current SWE Grad Groups are listed here.
  3. Attend We16 in Philadelphia, PA: http://we16.swe.org/. Members of the SWE Grad Community will be attending and active again this year!
  4. Write a guest blog post for the SWE blog. Contact Liz at grad-coordinator@swe.org.
  5. Ask the SWE Grad Community a question and start up a conversation about important issues. Submit them here.
  6. Engage with us on social media:
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWE_grad
    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SWEGrad
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8412361

Again, I look forward to serving you this year and seeing the SWE Grad Community continue to grow.

Sincerely,
Liz Dreyer