Welcome to FY20!

Hi, my name is Ceci Klauber and I am the new FY20 Graduate Member Coordinator (GMC)! In this role, I work with the rest of the Grad Leadership Team to foster a strong community and network for graduate students in SWE by supporting new and continuing programming, facilitating communication between graduate students in SWE and SWE graduate student groups, and representing the interests of graduate students to the Society. 

In serving as Graduate Member Coordinator Elect last year I truly enjoyed working with the amazing grad students and young professionals who choose to use their precious free time to embody the mission and values of SWE, both at the society and section level. Y’all are amazing! 


Carolyn Chlebek (FY19 GMC) and I receiving a SWE Mission Award – Silver on behalf of the SWE Graduate Community at WE18 in Minneapolis.

Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from the last year and look forward to what FY20 has in store!

Highlights from FY19

-The Mentoring Program expanded to include graduate student mentoring of undergraduate students! Many of you volunteered to share your grad experiences and the new program was a success – enrolling over 100 undergraduates!

-We rolled out a new format for sharing our learning content – YouTube videos! If you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out How to Create a Personal Website for Self-Promotion and Social Media for Self-Promotion today! We even shared tips on how to plan an event for your grad group around the videos- check out our Event Protocol Database for more details.

-We increased our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts with informative blog posts about inclusion in engineering education and gender expansive engineering and a reading group. Our FY19 D&I Liaison also had the opportunity to speak at a SWE Hawaiian Islands event on underrepresented genders. You can read more about the experience on the blog!

What to Look Forward to in FY20

-WE19 planning is in full force! Keep an eye out for details on the Graduate Member Meeting, Networking Reception and Social – we’d love to meet you in person in Anaheim, CA. We will also be promoting sessions presented by graduate students, on topics such as mentoring and resiliency, and an ASEE SafeZone diversity training workshop. Consider applying for the Collegiate Leadership Institute or ALWE also!

-Have you seen the fresh new look of our newsletter? The new platform allows us to use multimedia within our emails and provides us with neat analytics that will inform future improvements to how we communicate with the GradSWE community.

-We are excited to continue well-received programming such as professional and personal development through webinars, YouTube videos, and the Mentoring Program. We are also excited to continue growing our D&I, globalization, and professional student outreach efforts.  We’ve got a great team this year!

What were your highlights of FY19? What do you hope to see from the GradSWE Leadership Team in the upcoming year? Let us know in the comments!


Cecilia Klauber is a PhD student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and the FY20 SWE Graduate Member Coordinator.


What’s a SWE Resume?

If you’ve taken a look at the SWE Grad Leadership application, you may have noticed that among the optional supporting documents is the SWE resume. What’s a SWE resume, you may be asking. How does it differ from the traditional professional resume and when might I need one?

Much like a professional resume, a SWE resume is a document that outlines your qualifications and experience. But instead of highlighting your achievements in the pursuit of a job, a SWE resume draws attention to your SWE involvement for the purpose of strengthening your case in pursuit of a leadership position or award within SWE. These documents are often only about 2 pages and should list relevant SWE involvement.

There are two major approaches you can take when preparing a SWE resume: position based and competency based.

Position Based

You’re probably already familiar with this framework! In this resume format, you would list your experiences and relevant details. This is a great way to show off the diversity of your efforts and because of the straightforward organization, it is easy to add new entries as you progress through the organization.

Competency Based

Maybe you have many experiences but want to tie them together into a cohesive narrative. A competency based resume model may be for you! In this format, you would focus on specific areas of competency (such as Communication/People, Research, Technical, Teaching, Financial, Organization, etc.) and highlight the positions and activities that support your competency in that area. After reading your resume, not only will people know about your SWE involvement, but they will know how your experiences have shaped your abilities in certain areas. The official SWE Leadership Competency Model prioritizes four main areas: Leadership Abilities, Communication, Business Knowledge & Management, and Self Management. There is an assortment of resources and tools at that link to help you reflect upon your proficiency in these areas.

If you are nominated for a SWE award or are applying for a SWE leadership position, you may be asked to attach a SWE resume- so go ahead and try drafting a SWE resume today so you can ask mentors or peers to take a look and offer recommendations!

Applications for the SWE Grad Leadership Team close on April 1! Check out our previous blog post for more information.




Graduate Member Spotlight: Isabella Sanders

Isabella Sanders
Industrial Engineering
Georgia Tech

Isabella was recently selected as the new Graduate Programming Coordinator Elect for the GradSWE Leadership Team, where she will work on facilitating graduate programming at WE19 and WE20. For the past two years she has served as the Graduate SWE Leader in the Georgia Tech SWE Section. She led the effort in rebuilding a strong Grad SWE leadership team at Georgia Tech. They hosted 10 industry, academic and social events in the last semester alone. She attended WE17 and was selected to attend the ALWE program at WE18. She really enjoyed those experiences and is looking forward to contributing to the conference experience in her new role! She recently won 1st place at the 2019 WE Local St. Louis Graduate Research Competition. The same weekend, Georgia Tech selected her as the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Student at the Women of Distinction Awards. Congratulations Isabella!

Research Topic: Fresh Supply Chains

Isabella’s research on fresh supply chains focuses on hyper connectivity and physical internet applications. She is currently working on projects concerning Fresh-Cut Flower Supply Chains and Market Deployment models for farm-to-table platforms.

She will be presenting her research at the IISE (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers) annual conference in May, EURO (European Operations Research) Annual Conference in Dublin in June where she is an invited speaker, and IPIC (International Physical Internet Conference) in London in July. She is also on the planning committee for the Doctoral Colloquium for IPIC.

In her free time, Isabella enjoys swimming, running, baking and exploring Atlanta. Her favorite spots include the Georgia Aquarium and the beltline!

Fun Fact: Isabella was a D1 rower in college!


Isabella at the Georgia Aquarium!

WE Local season is in full swing!

WE Local season kicked off last week in Baltimore, Maryland!

Our very own Angelica Payne from the GradSWE Mentoring Team presented a session that was well received! Titled “A Case Study on Mentoring Millennials,” her presentation used experience from our mentoring program to share about how to identify mentoring topics of interest to proteges and participants left with resources and tactics for facilitating mentoring relationships.

WE Local in Tampa, Florida kicks off today and our WE Local Liaison, Kazi, is on site, assisting the local planning committee and participating in the collegiate competitions. If you’re attending, keep an eye out for her! Check out the hashtag #WELocal on Twitter and Instagram to follow the excitement for Tampa or any of the local conference.

If you are planning to go to Tampa or one of the other conferences, comment or share to facilitate grad student meet-ups! Our Graduate Programming Coordinator and Coordinator Elect, Mujan and Isabella, will be attending WE Local St Louis and I will be attending WE Local Bellevue – we’d love to meet you!

Want to be a part of the excitement? It’s still not too late to register!

St Louis (March 1-2, 2019, Registration Closes February 15!)
Denver (March 15-16, 2019)
Bellevue (April 5-6, 2019, Early Registration Ends March 8! Save $25!)
International Options (Bengaluru and Berlin)

Why I Study Inclusion in Engineering Education

As the year closes, I am reflecting on my journey into being a graduate student and how I found a topic of research that I am passionate about. My name is Andrea Haverkamp, and I am currently a PhD candidate in environmental engineering at Oregon State University, and also minoring in Queer Studies. These academic fields have blended together in an exciting way as I now study inclusivity and equity in the engineering classroom. 

I have been in engineering for almost 12 years now, between two degrees and several jobs and internships in engineering. Before coming to college, I really wanted to be a high school science teacher. At the urging of my family and teachers I ended up majoring in chemical engineering. I discovered once starting my undergraduate degree that the culture of engineering towards women was often diminishing and the classrooms were not as diverse or welcoming as in other spaces. I am a gay woman as well, creating what some would consider a “multiply marginalized” identity. After hearing a number of gay jokes during class and already being shy, I began to not openly discuss my dating or outside life to my classmates. LGBTQ+ people and women face unconscious bias and stereotypes wherever we go and they can both blend together in uniquely uncomfortable ways for gay women. I also remained hidden during my environmental engineering internships out of fear and lack of diversity initiatives in engineering. When I graduated and started my first job as a process engineer I began to experience the common hurdles that women and LGBTQ+ people in the workplace overcome every day. I was talked over, had projects taken from me and given to men on our team when the projects proved promising or expanded, and had co-workers make comments about me and another woman’s appearances. The attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people were often unfriendly too – I heard coworkers during lunch make “gay jokes” and say discriminatory statements towards a machine operator who was transgender. I continued to not discuss my identity or social life at the workplace, as I feared these statements would make my life as a woman in engineering even more difficult. I once heard a senior engineering manager make highly discriminatory statements towards immigrants as well. The lack of inclusivity made me uncomfortable. I felt very alone in caring about these topics and became very detached from my work.

I had the opportunity through this employer to obtain a Master of Engineering degree as part of a employee development program. It was during this degree program that I took a life changing course – Engineering Education Research. This topic was completely new to me, as all of my courses revolved around mathematics, physics, fluids, and other typical chemical and environmental engineering topics. During this course I was first exposed to the rich research topics that engineering educators and sociologists are studying across the country. Topics range from conceptual learning (how to best learn engineering), engineering philosophy (what is engineering?), and engineering equity and inclusion (the professional climate for underrepresented groups). I had never known that engineers worked on this!

Taking this course, I learned that the negative workplace and classroom experiences of LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color were not something I was imagining. These were very real dynamics that other engineers were studying and researching. This research even has the support from large National Science Foundation initiatives to create a diverse engineering profession. I learned that this research community is growing, with degrees specifically in Engineering Education starting to appear at universities. The professor of this class saw my enthusiasm and we began to meet in office hours frequently. I became very passionate about this topic but sadly, once I graduated, I had to return to the job where these research topics of inclusion and equity felt very real. He told me that I should consider staying for a PhD to join this research field. It felt daunting as someone who had only studied chemical and environmental engineering. I was so fresh to the topic of education that I didn’t believe I could do it.

The turning point in my professional life came during a new position I had as a project engineer. When touring one of our workplaces I came across a cubicle which faced the hallway. On this cubicle wall (belonging to an engineer) were cartoons with highly negative, and what I saw as offensive, cartoons disparaging women, LGBTQ+ people, and the indigenous peoples of North America. I was furious! I made documentation, talked to management, contacted our equal opportunity office, and the cartoons were taken down. I realized that I felt a calling to make sure that this and the other things I had witnessed would never happen again.

Within the year I left that job and was accepted to a PhD program to work on a topic I was passionate about – diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering education. My experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ population informed my research proposal to highlight and document the experiences of undergraduate students and identify the strategies they use to succeed in the classroom. I am excited by the work I do every day. In addition to engineering, I am pursuing a PhD minor in Queer Studies which compliments my research. I finally feel like I found a place in engineering where my real-world experiences can merge with my research to make a better future in engineering. As a high schooler I wanted to teach science, and now I see my true life calling, which is to become an inclusive and welcoming educator in engineering.

Organizations such as SWE, and specifically GradSWE during graduate school, have been instrumental towards my own success and professional development. I cannot change what I saw and experienced the past decade, but I have found a place in my career where I can affect change on many levels through my work. Together we will create an engineering that uplifts all of us!


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!

Consider joining our team as Graduate Programming Coordinator-Elect

Throughout my academic career, I have not lacked strong women role models whether as mentors or as my peers. This is not the case for everyone…

I knew about the Society of Women Engineers during my undergraduate career and attended a few meetings and social events throughout the years, but was substantially more focused on coursework and research than intentionally building a supportive scientific community. I didn’t feel I needed it. My research mentor was a woman who always made me feel valued and capable of being in STEM. I never felt like the minority, like I had something to prove, or like I didn’t belong. This is not the case for everyone…

I went directly from my undergraduate into graduate school. The students in my cohort were very friendly and social. We spent time working on homework and discussing research directions but also talked about non-academic life. My female officemate (or Science Sister as I now refer to her) and I became friends early on. Although we have very different personalities, we have walked alongside each other through not only the ups and downs of graduate school but also of life. I always felt supported-like I had someone in my corner. This is not the case for everyone…

As I continued through grad school, I started hearing (or maybe I hadn’t been listening) more about other peoples experiences as a woman in STEM. I realized that my case was not the case for everyone. Many of my friends and colleagues have experienced feeling isolated or like an imposter. In hopes of giving others a similar sense of belonging and community to what I had experienced, I got involved in establishing and growing a GradSWE group at my university. Though my initial intention was to establish a community for others, I found that magnitude of the community I thought I had paled in comparison to what  I experienced through the GradSWE group.

When approached by someone on the society-level GradSWE team about the Graduate Programming Coordinator (GPC) role, I was excited by the opportunity to stay involved in SWE, knowing that my leadership role at my university was transitioning soon. The main role of the GPC is soliciting, organizing, and promoting the graduate focused content for the annual conference. Throughout the process, I was overwhelmed by the tapestry of experiences that make up the members of SWE and specifically GradSWE. Whether your experiences are similar to mine or the complete opposite, there is still a role for you in growing and building the community of women in STEM. You may not feel like YOU need the support, but I guarantee there is someone that needs YOUR support.

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

The application is now open.

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.

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.