Grad Member Spotlight: Becky LaCroix

SWE spotlight pic_BeckyBecky LaCroix
PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering
Yale University

Becky is a founding member of the Yale SWE section. She has served in many key roles including section outreach chair (2014-15), section vice president (2016-present) and co-director (2015-17) of Yale’s GradSWE Committee. In every role, Becky has led the Yale SWE section to grow sustainably through establishing lasting programs and leadership structure. Example programs include outreach programs with New Haven K-12 students several times per year, large annual Grad-oriented events such as a Gender Bias in STEM workshop, and collaborative events with other student groups such as Women in Science at Yale, STEMentors, and League of Black Scientists. Becky has a bright future in SWE.

During her time as vice president of Yale SWE, Becky led her team to apply for and receive several awards including the Outstanding New Section (silver level) and outreach awards at WE16 and the outstanding communications award at the 2017 Region F conference. For her research, Becky was recognized with an honorable mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Congratulations, Becky, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

I am working towards my PhD in biomedical engineering and expect to graduate by the spring of 2019.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I study signaling pathways involved in cancer cell migration. Our lab has developed tools to tap into these pathways at specific locations in order to untangle potential feedback loops between different proteins. We hope that doing so will help us to better understand how cells make the decision to migrate in response to extracellular cues.

What do you want to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I really enjoy working with undergraduate students, so I’m considering a career in either teaching or academic administration.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy cooking, hiking, and playing video games (the games in the Civilization series are my favorite). I’m also a member of the Yale Taekwondo Club!

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have a pet freshwater snail that I keep on my desk at work. He cheers me up when my experiments aren’t working.

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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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Grad Member Spotlight: Siobahn Day

siobahnd-0144-crop-2Siobahn Day

PhD student, Computer Science

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Siobahn has been a member of SWE since 2009. She joined SWE while working on her masters of science in Information Science at North Carolina Central University. Since starting her PhD, she has been an active outreach volunteer, participating in events such as Engineer Like a Girl and Black Girls Code. She maintains a website with more of her involvement: http://www.siobahncday.com/

Siobahn has been awarded one of the Google Travel grants to attend We16 in Philadeplia. She was also awarded outstanding graduate researcher by her department at NC A&T State University. Siobahn currently serve as a NASA Datanaut and is a recent 40 under 40 honoree by North Carolina Central University. Congratulations, Siobahn, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

I am a second year PhD student in Computer Science. My expected graduation date is May 2018.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I have developed the concept of Adversarial Authorship as a means of preserving author anonymity. I’m currently developing and evaluating an Interactive Evolutionary Computation for Adversarial Authorship which allows users to conceal their writing style. In Adversarial Authorship, authors are provided an AuthorWeb which allows them to see graphically how their writing style compares with others in the AuthorWeb.
What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I hope to be able to continue my research upon graduation and possibly become an influencer in the domain of public policy. I’d like to see laws advance in regards to technology. My career goal is to become a faculty member where I hope to be an educator and encourager for those seeking the roads less traveled.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy exercising, reading, and spending time with my family.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I love cooking and learning new recipes.

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