It’s hard to believe that FY16 is coming to a close! It has been such an honor serving the Graduate Community as the SWE Graduate Community Graduate Member Coordinator over the past year, as the GMC-Elect during FY15, and as the Regional Conference Coordinator during FY14. SWE has been such a big part of my life ever since starting college nearly 10 years ago. My involvement in and the benefits I have received from SWE have evolved as I progressed through my undergrad and graduate careers and now as I move into my professional career. WE16’s theme definitely encapsulates how I view SWE – Life’s Variable: SWE’s Your Constant. I hope all of you have also seen many of the benefits that SWE offers you regardless of what life stage you find yourself in. Moreover, I hope you have found the Graduate Community to be a helpful resource.
My goal as Graduate Member Coordinator was to increase our grad student participation in SWE through an increased social media presence, increased annual and regional conference participation, and to reach out to those not already aware of the Graduate Community. To accomplish this increase in online participation, we first established the Social Media Coordinator role. We then created a Twitter and LinkedIn platform, and transitioned from a Facebook group to a page, so that Grad Community members could access information through whatever platform they prefer. We started the Grad Member/Group Spotlight to highlight the amazing things Grad Members and Grad SWE groups are accomplishing throughout the world. The Grad Community Newsletter is a recent establishment as well and provides Grad Community updates straight to your email inbox on a bi-weekly basis. Both the Spotlight and Newsletter pages are new to the Blog to keep records of all these great things. Also new to the blog are the Funding/Employment, FAQ, and Resource pages.
We had great participation at the annual conference in Nashville, TN this year and made many new friends at WE15 thanks to our Grad Community sign and constant posting on Facebook and Twitter. Many people found us for the keynotes, Celebrate SWE!, and other fun activities. Regional conferences were successful as well with many poster competitions being regular events and grad student friendly sessions being offered.
We’ve reached out to grad students who are not aware that they can be involved in SWE as graduate students through our Grad Region Points of Contact, as well as creating and promoting the Membership Toolkit items to collegiate and professional sections. Many of our graduate leadership team and Grad Region POCs spoke to their regions at Region Conferences this year to further get the message out about the Grad Community. At WE15, I spoke with Region Governors as well as the Counselors and Faculty Advisors to further spread the Grad Community message.
Well, those are lots of words. We’re engineers and scientists, how about some numbers to illustrate the impact we’ve had this year? Keep in mind: (1) we started with zero Twitter and LinkedIn followers, since we created both this year; and (2) we moved to a Facebook page, so all the likes are new. These numbers are as of 19 June 2016.
- Twitter followers: 114
- Twitter likes: 10
- Tweets: 251
- LinkedIn members: 88
- Facebook: 329 likes
- Facebook highest reach: 1408 (April 4, 2016)
- Blog views so far in 2016: 5204
- Blog visitors so far in 2016: 3028
- 2016 Blog traffic set to surpass 2015 traffic (7853 views, 4232 visitors) and 2014 traffic as well (6284 views, 3285 visitors)
- Email subscribers at the end of FY16: over 3000! An incredible increase from about 200 subscribers going backwards from FY15.
Wow! What a story those numbers tell! Thank you all for a fantastic year! Thank you to the FY16 fantastic Graduate Community Leadership Team – Liz Dreyer, GMC-Elect; Richelle Thomas, WE15 GPC; Rachel Unruh, WE16 GPC; Emily Hoffman, WE17 GPC; Allie Anderson, Social Media Coordinator; Judy Amanor-Boadu, Webinar Coordinator; Meisha Berg, Regional Conference Coordinator. They all did a fantastic job this year!
I leave you in the tremendously capable hands of Liz Dreyer. I have no doubt that she will continue this fantastic trend of increasing graduate student participation and expand on it even more during FY17!
Yours in SWE,
Katharine Gamble, FY16 SWE Graduate Member Coordinator