Grad Member Spotlight: Genevieve Kane

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to our new Graduate Leadership Team.  We’ll start with our new GMC, Genevieve!
Kane_GenevieveGenevieve Kane
Graduate Student in Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Genevieve Kane has been a member of SWE since 2007. She is very happy to serve as Graduate Member Coordinator of the society in her 10th year of SWE membership.  Genevieve became a member while an undergraduate at SUNY New Paltz,  and brought SWE programming to her undergraduate campus.  Upon entering graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Genevieve became the Region Graduate Representative, aiding in GradSWE group start-up and in Region Conference Planning for graduate sessions.  She continues to be involved in her region and locally, acting as the Region Collegiate Senator for FY18, as well as continuing her outreach efforts and being part of the Local Host Committee for WELocal Providence.  Genevieve is also a member of the Women in Academia committee, and the Bylaws committee.

 

What degrees do you hold, and what are you currently studying?

I took a very unique path through school – I completed three bachelor’s degrees in five years, where I studied Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Music (Performance, Violin) at two separate institutions that were 2 hours away from each other (SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany)!  After that, I received a Master’s degree from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (SUNY Polytechnic) in Nanoscale Engineering.  I’m now a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and am studying Materials Science and Engineering.  It seems like I’ve been studying a lot of different things, but one thing that I have always believed is that many aspects of science and technology are related.  I try to remind students of that whenever I do outreach!

Give a brief explanation of your research experience

Previously, my research focused on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (for my MS) and solving problems that photoresist manufacturers face with out-of-band wavelength lights.  Now, my research focuses on creating novel microscopy techniques to help understand, predict, and actively control grain growth in metals.  

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

That’s a great question and one that I think many people struggle with.  I spend some time teaching at a community college prior to starting my studies at RPI and I loved it, so I would definitely be interested in a professorship.  At the same time, I am also really enthusiastic and love my research, so I would love to explore the options that government labs and industry have available to me as well, because I think that my research experience could really be beneficial in that setting.  As my time in grad school closes, I think that I’m narrowing my options down, and looking for something that offers me the freedom of controlling my research interests, while still allowing me to be an educator!  We shall see.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

When I’m not in lab, you can usually find me at the gym for Zumba, or hiking and wandering the wilderness!  These are things that I really love and I hadn’t been prioritizing much in the beginning of grad school – so I’m happy to have more time to do them now.   I also love to sing and play music and do so through concerts, musical theater, etc. I am also a language enthusiast, and love to travel.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I received a black belt in karate when I was 10 years old!  On occasion, I teach self defense classes to women, because I believe that it is important to be able to defend yourself if the need arises.

Do you have any advice for our GradSWE members?

If there are three things I can share with  you in my experiences from grad school, they would be:

  1. Do something that you are passionate about, and surround yourself with the right people to help you achieve what you hope to.
    I personally had a lot of trouble in the beginning of grad school because of my choices in research and advisor.   I am now a very fortunate graduate student with an advisor that I work well with, and research that I am passionate about.
  2. Take time to enjoy grad school, and have a healthy work/life balance!
    This is something I will undoubtedly emphasize over the course of the year in blog posts – taking a break and going home for the day to sleep, do the things you enjoy, etc, is as important as your research.  Grad school has a physical, and emotional impact on all – it is a stressful time in your life and many students need that rest and relaxation to avoid burnout.  I didn’t realize this for a long time – but I find I am much more productive now because I do take breaks.
  3. Utilizes all of the resources you are given in grad school and that you have available through SWE.
    A lot of students come out of school and say things like “I wish I had gone to more professional development seminars.”   I can’t personally say that – because I take the time to go to as many seminars about research and professional development that I can!  I also utilize my career center if I have questions about my resume, and my SWE contacts as well.  Your school, company, and professional organizations have a ton of resources available to you to help you grow as a professional, and to obtain jobs.   Use them!
Advertisements
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.

cvuqs3jwiaaihtu

Grad Member Spotlight: Maria Choi, PhD

13 June 2016

IMG_8403

Maria Choi, PhD

Recent PhD Grad, Aerospace Engineering, graduated May 2016

University of Michigan

 

While at the University of Michigan (UM), Maria was involved in the Graduate Committee of the Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE), where she served as Co-Director in 2015-2016 academic year. In this position, Maria attended lots of workshops and meetings on behalf of GradSWE to seek collaboration with other societies at UM, such as Movement of Under-represented Sisters in Engineering and Science (MUSES) for hosting faculty panels, the Willie Hobbs Moore Luncheon, and Fall Welcome Dinner—where they had more than 80 students.

Maria also served as Networking Chair of GradSWE for three prior years. As Networking Chair, she hosted numerous activities to facilitate connections among female students and faculty members. One of her biggest impacts on campus is connecting the University’s female undergraduate and graduate engineering students to other female faculty members and highly successful professionals in Ann Arbor/Detroit area. Now, the Female Faculty-Student Mixer became a tri-annual event and one of GradSWE’s biggest events. Each Semester, they invite about 100 female faculty members and post-doctorates from 10+ departments of the CoE.

Maria has been recognized for her scholastic and leadership aptitude by receiving the Epeians – Leadership Honor Society of the College of Engineering(April 2016), the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF, 2011-2015) , U-M College of Engineering Distinguished Leadership Award (2014), Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering Fellowship (2013), National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (April 2011), U-M Rackham Merit Fellowship (2011).

Congratulations, Maria, on all your hard work. Good luck in your new post-grad adventure!

 

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

I earned a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in May 2016.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research.

My work involves modeling of fundamental plasma processes occurring in the plume of an electric propulsion device called a Hall thruster. Accurately modeling the physical processes in the plume of a Hall thruster helps us to predict and reduce any harmful interactions between the plume and the spacecraft surface. Moreover, with detailed understanding of the physical processes in a Hall thruster plume, we can improve a lifetime and performance of thrusters for more distant space exploration missions. The goal of my research is to develop an accurate physics-based model to simulate the plume of a Hall thruster. The mechanisms of plasma transport in the plume of a Hall thruster through two approaches: (1) a kinetic approach, in this case, using the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method and the particle-in-cell (PIC) method, and (2) a fluid approach, specifically, solving electron conservation equations using the finite element method (FEM).

 

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

I actually just began working at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH on 5/31 as a Research Electrical Engineer. The work I do here at NASA is similar to what I did at UM as a Ph.D. student. I hope to continue improving Hall thruster models and applying my knowledge in understanding of plasmas in Hall thrusters to develop more efficient next generation Hall thrusters.

 

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time? 

I love playing a piano! I have been playing piano since I was four years old and still enjoy it. I also like to learn a new language. I am currently learning Spanish and Russian in my free time.

 

What’s a fun fact about you?

A fun fact about me is that I am a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and 3rd degree in Hap Ki Do.

How to Successfully Transition Your Grad Group

How to Successfully Transition Your Grad Group

146726

One of the most important jobs you have as a leader is to pass what you have learned onto the next generation of leaders in an effective way. This can take many different forms depending on the size of your group and the structure of your leadership. In general, the larger the group, the more structure and planning you will need. Here are some of my tips for running effective transitions.

1. Start Early

If your semester ends in April, start thinking in February who will lead your organization the next year. Some positions, like President/Director/etc. may require you to talk to your current officer team and plant that seed early. Give yourself plenty of time to advertise your officer positions and answer questions.

2. Ask for Help

If you have an entire team, ask for help in recruiting new officers. Advertise your open positions broadly, but make sure to talk to people in person. If you had a person who showed up to every single social event, email them and ask if they would be interested in becoming your Social Chair. Have everyone use their network to find excited and talented officers for your grad group or other organization.

3. Document throughout the Year

Try to keep a running list of events throughout the year. How many people came? Did it go as expected? These notes are invaluable for the next group of officers. Below is an example event summary. At the end of the year, we copy these into each officer’s transition report.

Date Event Officer RSVP Yes RSVP Maybe Attendance Cost Food Room/ Location Time Day of Week Comments
6/27/2015 BBQ Potluck on Huron River Amy & Bridget 18 14 $62.00 Enchiladas Amy’s House 12 PM – 2:30 PM Saturday We had to move the BBQ indoors to Bridget’s house because of rain. Great turnout considering the change of location. We played a Taboo like word game, it was a crowd pleaser!

4. Formal Reports Rock!

A good transition report cannot be replaced. Many people think this is a pain to do, but it is so very nice to receive. Outgoing and incoming officers should meet together if possible. A report will not replace that face-to-face time. However, reports are great to look back on later in the year.

Here is the outline I use for reports:

I. Letter to Successor
– What do you want to tell your future replacement? Free style here.
II. Position Duties
– Summarize in bullet points what your position does.
III. Timeline
– Break apart your yearly tasks by month. What should you do at the start of the semester? What should you do near the end?
IV. Event Summaries
– Complete the following table for each of the events that you put on this semester. For rating the success of an event, 5 should be taken as the best ranking, and 1 should be considered the worst.

Event Name:  
Event Date Location Event Length # of Volunteers # of Attendees % of Budget How successful was the event? (Scale 1-5*)
Actual Ideal Actual Ideal Actual Ideal
               
Event Description
 
How could this event be improved?  What would you do differently?
What would you keep the same in the future?
Additional Comments

V. Contacts
– Include a list of the different people you needed to contact for your position this semester.

Name Company/ University Department Title Event Association Role with the Event Phone Number E-mail Address

VI. Resources
– Orders Placed For Events
— Please provide information on any orders placed for events you hosted this semester.
– Other Resources Used
— Please provide information on any other resources (such as websites) in the process of planning your events.
VII. Publicity
– Include copies of any flyers or handouts that were given to you or that you generated yourself.   Event planning can be made much easier if you do not need to reinvent the wheel each time you plan an event.  (Please also include the file information in the attachments section.)
VIII. Semester Reflection
– What can be improved upon for your position in the upcoming semester?
– What went well for you, and your position, this semester?
– How did your work in this position support the mission of SWE?
– Additional thoughts or comments.
IX. Attachments
– Include filenames and descriptions if any.

5. Have fun

Lastly, have fun and enjoy the end of your term as a SWE Grad Group leader. You worked with a great group of people and planned many awesome events. Take time to reflect on your experiences and share your memories with the next crew of leaders. Remember, keep on striving to Advance, Aspire, Achieve.

Grad Member Spotlight – Stephanie Moffitt

4 April 2016

SteStephanieMoffittphanie Moffitt

 

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering, expected graduation spring 2017

Northwestern University

 

Stephanie has been an active SWE member at Northwestern since 2012. She served on the planning committee for NU SWE’s biggest outreach event, Career Day for Girls, in 2013 and 2014. Starting in the fall of 2014, she began serving on NU SWE’s executive board as the first graduate student liaison (at least in recent memory). At this time, Stephanie also began to lead and further develop GradSWE at Northwestern. This has included obtaining a university grant, increasing membership, and developing programs.  This past fall, Stephanie was excited to attend her first SWE conference, WE15. At the conference she co-presented the talk “Preparing Powerful Application Essays”.

Stephanie currently holds a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In 2014 she was selected to attend the International Center for Materials Research Summer Mini-School and Workshop on Advances in Oxide Materials at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This winter Stephanie was invited as a round table speaker to SWE in the City, NU SWE’s first daylong professional development event in downtown Chicago.

Congratulations, Stephanie, on all that 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 4th year Materials Science and Engineering PhD student. I expect to graduate in spring of 2017.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research.

The unique combination of optical transparency and electrical conductivity is required by many applications. Large-area flexible displays are the current driver of the field of transparent conducting oxides. In my research I study the distinct property changes that evolve in transparent conducting oxides when they are deposited under conditions compatible with flexible plastic. Specifically I am interested in how the arrangement and composition of atoms informs their performance. Oxides compatible with plastic present a significant challenge to study because they lack long-range order. This precludes the use X-ray diffraction and computer simulations that rely on periodic boundary conditions. To overcome this challenge I use element-specific local structure X-ray measurements combined with electrical measurements to gain an understanding of how these materials function on a fundamental level.

 

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

After completing my PhD, I hope continue developing my skills as an independent researcher through a post-doctoral position at a national laboratory. This position will prime me to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a tenured professor at an R1 research institution. I aspire to act as a role model and mentor to women pursuing careers in science and engineering. As a professor I will interact with students at the undergraduate and graduate level; I will have the status to inspire even more students.

 

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I’ve been a dancer all my life. As a graduate student I still find time to take class at Foster Dance, a local studio. Next year I plan to enter the “Dance Your PhD” contest. I also really enjoy playing intramural flag football on my department’s team. This year we won the Corec division!

 

What’s a fun fact about you?   

I grew up flying airplanes. My grandfather help found a recreational airport in California. I spent much of my time growing up at that airport helping my dad fix small airplanes and flying around the western United States.

 

Upcoming Webinar: Graduate Student Involvement in SWE Sections

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (EDT)

About the Webinar:
Do you want to make the most out of your SWE membership? Get involved with your local SWE section. This webinar will discuss many different aspects of graduate student involvement in SWE sections. Topics include development and growth of graduate groups within SWE sections, how to attract and best utilize graduate students’ skills, and how to connect to the greater SWE community. We will also cover the basic logistical information of being a graduate student in SWE. Lastly, there will be time for questions and sharing of best practices.

Presenter: Liz Dreyer

Liz Dreyer is the current Graduate Member Coordinator-Elect for SWE. She is a PhD Student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI studying Electrical Engineering. Her research explores a novel class of optical phenomona called magneto-electric scattering. She seeks to determine and identify trends in magneto-electric scattering response in various materials for potential application in energy-conversion and integrated photonic devices. Liz graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2012. She has been actively involved in SWE since her freshman year in 2008 and most recently serves as the co-director of GradSWE at the University of Michigan. When not involved in academic activities, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband, playing board games, and exploring the State of Michigan.

Register for this Webinar here

Apply to join the SWE Grad Community leadership team

Apply to join the SWE Grad Community leadership team

Have you ever wanted to join the SWE Grad Community leadership team?  Well, wait no longer! The time is now to apply. Below are details on the positions and how to apply. I will be hosting a Google Hangout on Sunday, March 13th at 8 PM EST to answer specific questions. The link to join us is here: https://hangouts.google.com/call/3cuhom35l5fgxexvbo3i2drapea

Current Details

The Graduate Leadership Team (consisting of the Graduate Member Coordinator, the Graduate Programming Coordinator, and their coordinator-elects) is looking for new coordinators for FY17, starting in July 2016!  This is a great opportunity for grad students to get involved in the SWE Grad Community. The three positions are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The applications are due by April 01 2016 11:59 pm CDT (Midnight).

Note that the GMC-Elect position requires the SWE HQ Committee Chair application. The SMC and WC 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 Liz at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

The current Graduate Member Coordinator, Katharine Gamble answered many FAQs in her post from last year. Check it out here.

Other ways to get involved

Is leading the entire grad community not your thing? No problem! Check out this previous post about ways to get involved.

I cannot wait to read your applications!  Again, if you have any questions, please contact Liz at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org.