Grad Leadership Team

Roles and Reporting Structure

The Graduate Member Coordinator (GMC) works 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 the following year.

The Graduate Programming Coordinator (GPC) works with a dedicated team of graduate students and professional SWE members to create a diverse track of sessions for current graduate students, and for those who are considering going to graduate school, for the annual SWE conference. The GPC-Elect assists the GPC, in preparation for the following annual conference.

The Webinars Coordinator (WC) works with the GPC-Elect to host webinars for the graduate SWE community throughout the year, to ensure webinars are advertised and routinely presented.

The 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.

The Graduate Transition Lead (GTL) leads the Region Grad Rep team, and assists the GMC with strategic planning for GradSWE throughout the governance transitions, aiding Regions in solidifying their section graduate contacts.

The Mentoring Coordinators (MC) facilitate the GradSWE Mentoring Program through program development and periodic benchmark assessments.

The International Graduate Team Leader (IGTL) creates resources for international graduate students, and aid in the efforts of GradSWE globalization.

The Professional Graduate Team Leaders (PGTL) assess of the needs of professional graduate students, and make recommendations and resources based on those assessments.

The Diversity and Inclusion Liaison (DIL) facilitates relationships between affiliate groups and graduate student members to further promote the support of minority groups in STEM fields, and throughout STEM education.

All positions report to the GMC, who reports to the Director of Membership Initiatives.

FY18 Graduate Member Coordinator


Genevieve Kane,

Genevieve Kane is a graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  She holds B.S. degrees in Physics and Music from SUNY Albany, a B.S. degree from SUNY New Paltz in Electrical Engineering, and a M.S. in Nanoscale Engineering from SUNY Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Her research focuses on developing a novel, in-situ heating technique with electron microscopy in order to study and control microstructural evolution in polycrystalline materials. Genevieve has acted as the Region Grad Rep.  for Region F, as well as promoting outreach in the region as the Outreach Committee Liaison, and aiding in region conference planning for graduate students.   She is currently the FY18 Region Collegiate Senator for Region F, and is a member of the Women in Academia committee, and the Bylaws Committee. Genevieve enjoys spreading the joys of science through SWENext, and other outreach activities across the Northeast.  In her spare time, she also enjoys Zumba, martial arts, hiking, and traveling,

FY18 Graduate Member Coordinator-Elect


Carolyn Chlebek,

Carolyn Chlebek is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. She received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research explores the effects of mechanical and biological factors that contribute to the progression of osteoarthritis. Carolyn has previously served as Collegiate Senator for Region F as well as several SWE roles within the RPI section, including President. In addition to SWE, she was very active in engineering outreach through Engineering Ambassadors at RPI and the Biomedical Engineering Society at Cornell. Outside of lab, she enjoys running, playing soccer, and baking.

WE17 Graduate Programming Coordinator


Emily Hoffman,

Emily currently works as a Consulting Associate in the Life Science Practice at Charles River Associates in New York City. She recently earned a PhD  in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, and holds a BS in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. Her PhD thesis focused on using electron microscopy to understand the nanoscale wear and corrosion of biomedical materials. Emily has attended WE13 in Baltimore, WE14 in Los Angeles,  WE15 in Nashville, and WE16 in Philadelphia, delivering talks at WE14, WE15, and WE16 about opportunities for engineers in policy. Outside of SWE, she is an active Delta Gamma alumnae and loves listening to podcasts. Emily served as Graduate Programming Coordinator – Elect for WE16.

WE17 Graduate Programming Coordinator – Elect


Jodi Boutté,

Jodi Boutté is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Science at Louisiana State University A&M in Baton Rouge, LA; she also holds a M.S. in Engineering Science concentrating in Human Factors and Ergonomics and a B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus in Human Movement. Her current research focuses on human factors in healthcare; specifically, she is interested in the assessment of fatigue by mental and physical work factors in various work environments. This research is integral in the improvement of healthcare processes and patient safety practices. She has been very involved in SWE programs and has most recently participated in the 2015 and 2016 Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering program. In her current position as Graduate Program Coordinator-Elect, she is very interested in helping to develop programs to continue aiding the progress of diverse graduate populations. Outside of her studies, she enjoys having fun with her 3-year-old daughter, Jordyn; exercising; and traveling.

FY18 Mentoring Coordinators 


Josa Hanzlik, Mentoring Co-Coordinator

Josa Hanzlik is a research and development engineer at a medical device start-up company. She is the newly created GradSWE Developmental Mentoring Coordinator. She is very excited to serve in this role and help build the GradSWE mentoring program. Josa has had limited experience with SWE, but founded a SWE style group for graduate women at Drexel University. Josa was the founding member of Drexel Graduate Women in Science & Engineering in 2010. After serving as president for two years, she developed and executed a mentoring program at Drexel. This group has won numerous awards at Drexel, recognizing their efforts at academic and career focus, as well as outreach to the local community. During her PhD, she spent a year abroad conducting research in the Netherlands. She completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University in 2015, and also have Masters degrees in both Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and baby. She also trains in karate and jiu jit-su.


Angelica (de Rosa) Payne, Mentoring Co-Coordinator

Angelica is a mechanical design engineer who holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Gannon University. Her graduate research focused on the effects of clinical doses of ionizing radiation on pediatric bone. She currently works in product development bringing projects through design and production, often medical devices. She has been a member of SWE since 2007 and served as vice president of her collegiate chapter, and most recently served as a panelist during WE Local ‘17. Outside of work, Angelica enjoys spending time with her husband, backpacking, and volunteering in the local community.

FY18 International Graduate Team Leader


Akshaya Iyer, International Graduate Team Lead

Akshaya Iyer is an associate consultant at Spire Consulting Group LLC in Austin, Texas. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Construction Engineering and Project Management in December 2016 from The University of Texas at Austin, where she was actively involved with the graduate community. During her final year, she was the President of the Graduate Student Organization of her department as well as Co-Director of the International Student Agency at UT Austin. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. Having moved to America from India in August 2015, she has experienced the drastic lifestyle change international students go through and is passionate about making future students’ transition easier by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. Akshaya is also a part-time personal style blogger on her blog, The Iyer Order. She is also a cute-coffee-shop enthusiast and loves exploring the different vegetarian food options that Austin offers!

FY18 Diversity & Inclusion Liaison 


Bridget Hegarty, Diversity & Inclusion Liaison

Bridget Hegarty is a PhD candidate in environmental engineering at Yale University. Still a biological engineer at heart (she earned a BS in biological engineering from Cornell University in 2013), Bridget is studying the gene expression of a strain of cyanobacteria to improve their ability to produce biofuel components and other commodity compounds (like bioplastic). Outside of lab, Bridget is also on Yale’s Club Taekwondo Team, as well as an avid reader and photographer. She has been involved with SWE since her freshman year at Cornell, where she was most involved in outreach. After coming to Yale, Bridget founded Yale’s grad SWE group and helped their section become an official one. This summer, she has transitioned into an advisory role for Yale SWE and is looking forward to getting more involved with SWE at the society level!

FY18 Graduate Transition Lead


Prerna Jain, Graduate Transition Lead

Prerna is a PhD student in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station. Her research aims at development of a novel framework called Process Resilience Analysis Framework (PRAF), which incorporates both technical and social factors critical to risk management through an integrated method. This research would facilitate risk evaluation for design and operations to obtain safer operations for business continuity and sustainability. She has 5 years of industry experience before graduate school with one of the fortune 500 companies. During her PhD program, she has done internships with ExxonMobil and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She aspires to create an impact by applying her skills to make the energy industry safer and more sustainable. She is very active within the Texas A&M SWE section and Region C. She serves as a mentor to undergraduate students and new graduate students. Within Region C, she served on the conference committee for the 2017 Region C conference and was effective in organizing events for the graduate students. Additionally, she served as the FY17 Region C Graduate Representative. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband traveling or cooking and she also practices ‘Odissi’, an Indian classical dance form.

FY18 Social Media Coordinator 


Renee Oats, Social Media Coordinator

Renee has been a member of SWE throughout her graduate degree pursuit and has been instrumental in assisting in developing the GradSWE committee at Michigan Tech. Renee has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2010. At Michigan Tech, Renee helped to implement and promote the local GradSWE chapter and mentor to her undergraduate SWE chapter. In addition, she has contributed to several SWE events over the years including SWE national and former regional conference. Renee has received numerous scholarships/fellowships including National Science Foundation Bridge to Doctorate, Michigan Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship, and National Society of Black Engineers Graduate Student Professional Conference Scholarship to name a few. She also holds memberships on several other national organizations including American Society of Civil Engineers, Transportation Research Board, National Society of Black Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education. Renee also is an academic coaching mentor to underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan Tech and often advocates for diversity initiatives for women and particularly women of color.  For her research, she recently placed 3rd at the inaugural WE Local Pittsburgh Technical Poster Competition this past Spring 2017.

FY18 Webinars Coordinator 


Elisa Duseing 

Hi! My name is Elisa Duesing and I recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters of Science in Industrial Systems Engineering and an MBA. I completed both graduate degrees as I worked as a project engineer for Electric Motor and Contracting Co., Inc. in Chesapeake, VA. I am currently transitioning into a new role which will focus on process improvement and strategic development. I’m looking forward to working with GradSWE as the Webinar Coordinator for FY18!

FY18 Professional Graduate Team Leaders 


April Keene, Professional Graduate Team Co-Lead

April L. Keene is an enthusiastic technical analyst and team leader where she bridges the gap between details and impact through technical storytelling. Ms. Keene’s interests have been primarily focused on waveform level modeling to include digital signal processing (DSP), antenna receiver capability and limitations, and radar analysis with a priority on increasing aircraft survivability through electronic countermeasures (ECM). Her work directly aids the Air Force by reducing live testing costs.

From college to her current role as the Booz Allen Hamilton Corporate Society of Women Engineers Deputy Program Manager and SWE Professional Graduate Team Lead , Ms. Keene has always made her community and SWE a priority in her life. From Section Representative for her professional section, South Ohio, to Region G Nominating Committee Chair, she has focused her efforts on supporting the organization locally and regionally.

In addition to SWE, Ms. Keene is currently the lead of the Dayton Women’s Forum—a Booz Allen women-focused group where she organized meet and greets with senior leadership, breakfasts with female firm partners, and mentor opportunities. While SWE has always been a priority for April, her SWE support and engagement is included in the overall community and diversity programs she supports and values.

Elizabeth Rasmussen_Formal Picture 

Elizabeth Rasmussen 

Elizabeth has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2012. She currently serves as a Professional Taskforce Leader on the Graduate Leadership Team. She was Michigan Tech’s SWE section webmaster for two years and chaired the Certificate of Merit outreach program that recognized and encouraged over 600 high school girls across 3 states who excelled in math and science classes. She also developed a workshop on campus to teach 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills to students and local community members. In addition, she has contributed to several events involving SWE over the years, such as: Registration Chair for the 2013 Region H conference, volunteer and participant for Michigan Tech’s SWE Evening with Industry Dinner and Networking Event, and student volunteer at the SWE Annual Conference talks.

FY18 SWE Membership Initiatives Director

GMC Reporting Contact on the SWE Board of Directors


Michele O’Shaughnessy,


2 thoughts on “Grad Leadership Team

  1. We would like some help with region conference workshops at our FY14 region conference in region i. Are there presenters that can come do this for us or do you have any PP presentations we could use? Please contact Lili Solorzano with any information you might have at

    • Hello Lili,
      If you’re looking for conference presentations that are relevant for graduate students, Katharine Brumbaugh can help you with that. Last year, we provided a presentation on ‘Funding your Graduate Education’, and helped find speakers to give this panel talk. If you are looking for something similar, please contact Katharine.
      Since your speaker submission deadline is coming up very soon (August 30th), I don’t think we will be able to find speakers to commit in that short amount of time. But if we can submit something short by that deadline that gives some general information about the presentation, then we will have more time to find speakers.
      I hope that helps!

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