Outreach and SWE

Outreach is important! Many of us would not be where we are without someone else taking the time to teach us a bit about STEM. For me, it was participating in an Engineering summer camp that helped convince me to be an engineer. What was it for you?

Numbers are also important. As graduate students, we understand that data needs to be collected to convince others of the impact of our design or research projects.

Combine outreach and numbers and we get the SWE Outreach Metrics Tool! The OMT is a rather neat way of measuring the impact of SWE members around the world.

The Outreach Metric Tool (OMT) is a simple 10 question survey to complete after your outreach events. These are events that focus on students ages 4-18 and/or their adult advocates such as parents, educators, and group leaders. These events should directly impact K-12 students, parents, and educators, to help them explore and understand engineering disciplines and careers. K-12 outreach events to be entered into the OMT include:

  • Special engineering events planned, executed, and led by SWE member organizations OR led by a partner organization, such as an engineering society or industrial firm, where, for example, a SWE collegiate, professional, or MAL chapter, formally participated
  • Individual K-12 outreach efforts of SWE members

This means that you can catalog EVERY outreach activity you engage in to further SWE’s mission.

  • Volunteer at your local Science Olympiad? Enter it.
  • Give high schoolers a tour of your lab or company? Enter it.
  • Visit an elementary school for career day? Enter it.
  • Collaborate with Tau Beta Pi for one of their programs? Enter it.

The more data we collect, the more we can advocate for the SWE mission!

Okay, now you are thinking, “Liz, this is great! But, I don’t do much outreach…” Fear not dear SWE member, there are lots of resources to help you. I’ve listed a few interesting ones below.

Outreach Resources 

  • Constance and Nano – SWE’s new comic book: http://constanceandnano.swe.org/
  • Simple Science “Snacks” from San Francisco’s Exploratorium: https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks
  • SWE’s Outreach Home Page: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/k-12-outreach
  • SWE Member Resources: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swe-members
  • Instructions on how to plan an event: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/page/4768-Outreach-Toolkit

My current favorite is the new SWE poster! What is your favorite outreach tool?



Resolve to spread the word about the SWE Grad Community!

Happy 2016, Grad Community! I hope everyone has been having a relaxing (and productive?) winter break! As we begin this new year perhaps you are making resolutions or goals, so I wanted to throw the Grad Community hat into the mix. You can help us continue to increase visibility of our Grad Community! How? Well, I’m glad you asked…here are 10 ways you can spread the word about the Grad Community!

  1. Share the social media (Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) pages with your friends and/or Grad SWE groups. These are our main ways of connecting with the Community on a regular basis, and we’re always looking to expand our base.
  2. Forward the bi-weekly emails to your friends and/or Grad SWE groups. While this form of communication is less frequent, it contains important information and is delivered straight to your email inbox! Help spread the Grad Community news by forwarding these emails to other people who may not have received the email themselves.
  3. Work with your Professional and Collegiate sections to set up activities relevant to grad students. Does your collegiate section NOT have a grad group? See the Resources page of the Blog for tips on starting a grad group. Helping to plan events of interest to graduate students helps to boost grad student participation in collegiate and professional sections alike.
  4. Talk to your Region Graduate Representative about getting involved at the Region level. Your Region Grad Rep can work with you to figure out how your talents can be best used to spread the news about Grad SWE throughout your region. Find your Region Grad Rep here.
  5. Watch for the announcement to participate in planning Grad sessions and events at WE16. We will soon be requesting participation in developing and submitting abstracts for WE16 sessions relevant to graduate students – so start thinking of ideas now, and watch social media for how to participate with the Grad Community! Helping to plan WE16 sessions is a great way to spread your enthusiasm for Grad SWE!
  6. Keep your eyes peeled for the call for FY17 Graduate Coordinators. Along with the call for other committee chairs, we will be releasing a call for Graduate Coordinators soon. Applications are typically due in April, so stay tuned to social media for details! Being a Graduate Coordinator is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in graduate student lives and influence the next generation of leaders.
  7. Help develop our database of ways to contact graduate students. The FY16 Graduate Member Coordinator Elect, Liz Dreyer, is figuring out methods to better reach graduate students who are not already aware of SWE and its membership benefits. Contact Liz at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org if you have ideas!
  8. Mentor and engage with other graduate students. Encourage them to attend Grad SWE events, become members, attend conferences, and follow us on social media! Mentoring other graduate students is a fantastic method to share your enthusiasm for Grad SWE!
  9. Attend your Region Conference, and bring a friend (or two)! You can find out when and where the region conferences are, along with links to the conference website on our calendar. The first conference is in February.
  10. Contact me if you have ANY ideas for the Grad Community! Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas, questions, concerns, etc. You can email me (Katharine) at grad-coordinator@swe.org.

Special Opportunities Available to Graduate Students attending WE14

Announcing 2 unique events that will be occuring at WE14 (http://we14.swe.org/) with limited spots open for graduate students. These events do not require any additional cost but you will be responsible for your own cost for travel and conference registration.  

The first event is the Collegiate Leadership Institute at WE14 (Thurs – Saturday Oct 23-25th). It is 3 half day sessions spread over three days. The complete Collegiate Leadership Institute Agenda with speaker bios: CLI_agenda_7_28_14. Only 10 spots are available for graduate students.

The second opportunity is a luncheon with Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd. It will be on Friday Oct 24th from 11:45-12:45 pm at the J.W Marriott. We have room for 40 graduate students to attend the luncheon. This luncheon is part of the Academic Women Workshop.  

If you would like to have a spot reserved for you to participate in either or both of these events please complete this form before Sept. 15, 2014. If you have questions you can contact Marcella Vaicik at (marcella.vaicik(at)swe.org)




Ways to get Involved in SWE as a Graduate Student

Congratulations to all the Spring 2013 Graduates!  As graduation marks a new chapter in many lives (motivating current grad students that it is possible to someday graduate), now seems to be a great time to have you think about what you want to include in your next chapter.  SWE has many activites to increase your leadership skills, develop your network in meaningful way, and to support other women in engineering.  There are many ways you can get more involved in SWE both as a graduate student and as recent graduate below I have listed a few ways to get more involved than just a general member.

There are several options currently recruiting and available for graduate students and recently graduated MS & PhDs to get more involved. There are varying levels of commitment and different ways to be involved.  I encourage you to connect into SWE.

Short Commitment Options:

  • Rapid Fire Research Presenter at WE13 more information is available in the Rapid Fire Callout Post. Abstracts DUE June 15, 2013.
  • Volunteer to judge the Freshman Scholarship Applications.  More information about how to volunteer to judgeThe judging is May 30 – June19, 2013. 
  • WE13 or WE14 Session Panelist – Need Graduate Student Panelist for “Graduate Student Involvement in SWE Sections” also can volunteer to be a panel session moderator if interested please contact Marcella Vaicik, Graduate Programming Coordinator WE13 at Marcella.Vaicik@swe.org.
  • Join the Graduate Student Community on Facebook by clicking here. Graduate students are welcome and encouraged to share opportunities for jobs, fellowships, and other items of interest to the Grad Student Community on Facebook.  We look forward to creating additional project leadership roles from within the Grad Student Community in the upcoming SWE fiscal year.  Those will be announced via the SWE Grad blog depending on project needs. 

Annual Commitment Options:

  • Join a Society Committee.  This is a great way to learn more about the inner workings of SWE.  Committees are also a wonderful way to meet and interact with other professional members and make an impact on SWE. Click here to learn more about the different Society level committees.Graduate SWE members have served on several different committees for example Collegiate Leadership Coach/Coaching Committee, Program Development Grants Committee, Women in Academia Committee, Collegiate Leadership Forum please read through the committee descriptions and sign up to be a committee member. To apply click here to be on a specific Society Level Committee, applications are DUE MAY 30, 2013:
  • WE14 Session Leader (can be session leader even if not able to attend conference) if interested contact Elly Sinkala at grad-programs-coordinator@swe.org. These roles start immediately after WE13 watch the SWE grad blog in October for the callout for these roles.
  • Take on a leadership role at your local collegiate section as Graduate Student Activities Liason contact your local section leadership to volunteer for this position.

 2 Year Commitment Options:

  • Society Level Graduate Programming Coordinator, successful applicants usually have served as session leaders at past WE conferences.  This role is a 2 year commitment with the first year serving as the Graduate Programming Coordinator Elect.  Applications will be available after WE13 watch the SWE grad blog this fall for this position.
  • Society Level Graduate Member Coordinator, successful applicants usually have held leadership roles in their local collegiate section, involvement in the Graduate Student Community as well as society level roles on committees.  This role is a 2 year commitment with the first year serving as the Graduate Member Coordinator Elect. Applications are available in early April with all society level leadership positions callout. 

Marcella Vaicik