Women Earning More College Degrees – Still Underrepresented in Career Levels

A new study about women in the work place has just been released. The study has a lot of interesting statistics and tips or suggestions. We will be presenting some of the information in a series of blog posts.

The first sentence of the report is striking, “Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting.”

Why is this still an issue, with record number of company’s committed to gender diversity?

An interesting direct quote from the report may have one answer, “Men think women are doing better than they really are.”  As leaders in our field, we need to educate others around us about the issues that we may be facing.

How do you educate others?
  • First educate yourself by reading the recent articles and data.
  • Have a clear objective for these conversations:
    • For example, I want to improve the career training for young professionals. I suggest to management that we could have monthly brown bag lunches about career topics.
  • Be prepared for tough questions on how this will help the company.
    • Empowering and developing your employees can pay off in the long run.
    • Studies have shown more diverse group come up with more efficient and effective solutions.
  • Keep doing it. Get out there and educate others about the opportunities that can be improved.
Links:
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Newsletter – 20 September 2016

Hello Grad Community!

As We16 continue to approach, I am reminded of the importance of recognizing outstanding SWE Grad members. Do you know someone (or yourself) or a Grad Group who deserves recognition? Submit their name here: http://goo.gl/51Oh1H

If you ever have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact myself and the rest of the SWE Grad Community Leadership team by emailing grad-coordinator@swe.org.

Please be sure to forward this to other graduate students, or those who are supportive of women getting advanced STEM degrees!

In this newsletter:
1. WeLocal: Pittsburgh & San Jose (Now OPEN)
2. MS Students needed for Engineering Education Study
3. GradSWE Mentoring Program – Seeking Professionals
4. We16: Rapid Fire Sessions (Now OPEN!)
5. We16: Member Survey
6. Grad Community Spotlights
7. Follow us on Social Media!

(1) WeLocal

Do you love the SWE Annual Conference? Coming soon to an area near you — WE Local! In February 2017, there will be two WE Local Conferences, one in Pittsburgh and one in San Jose. These conferences will be local versions of the Annual Conference with many of the same session tracks and events. Check out http://welocal.swe.org/ for more information. Interested in participating? The call for presentations is now open!

The link for Pittsburgh: http://precis2.preciscentral.com/Link.aspx?ID=525FD259DFA24729

The link for San Jose: http://precis2.preciscentral.com/Link.aspx?ID=95490371A92DD717

(2) MS Students needed for Engineering Education Study

Researchers from Kettering University are looking for a diverse group of master’s students to participate in an engineering education study. They are particularly interested in those who worked for a period of time before pursuing their graduate degree. See masters-engineering-students-research-project for full details. Contact Diane Peters (dpeters@kettering.edu) or her postdoc, Dr. Elizabeth Gross (egross@kettering.edu) with any questions .

(3) Professionals needed for GradSWE Mentoring Program

GMC-elect, Genevieve Kane, is now working on setting up the first round pairs for the GradSWE Mentoring Program. Are you a professional member? We are in need of more professional members to serve as mentors. If interested, please fill out the survey below or contact Genevieve at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org.

Learn More: https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/new-gradswe-student-mentoring-program/

Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/C1yZQXIAfrtfVPGn1


(4) Rapid Fire Sessions

Year after year, Rapid Fire presentation prove to be a very beneficial way for SWE grads to practice presenting their research in front of their peers and a panel of judges. The call for applications is officially open and due on Monday, September 26th at 11:59 pm EST. Please fill out the application here. <LINK>

Master’s and PhD students are highly encouraged to apply.

(5) GradSWE Member Survey

Does your university have a GradSWE committee? If so, we would love to have your input! Each GradSWE committee arranges their funding and committee structures in a slightly different way. We are planning to devote time to discussing this at WE16. Ultimately, these efforts will create a reference of “best practices” as GradSWE committees become more prevalent across the country. We greatly appreciate your input! Please fill our the survey here <LINK>

(6) Grad Community Spotlights

Did you see the most recent Spotlight?

Bridget Hegarty (5 September 2016):
https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/grad-member-spotlight-bridget-hegarty/

Celine Liong (19 September 2016):
https://swegrad.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/Grad-member-spotlight-Celine-Liong

Do you know someone (or yourself) or a Grad Group who deserves recognition? Submit their name here: http://goo.gl/51Oh1H

(7) Follow us on social media!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWE_grad

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SWEGrad

Blog: https://swegrad.wordpress.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8412361

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at grad-coordinator@swe.org!

 

WE16: Opportunities for Involvement!

We are only TWO months (plus a few days) away from the WE16 national conference in Philadelphia, PA! Participating in a conference session is a great way to justify attending the conference and network with fellow SWE grads. Here are TWO ways to become involved in WE16 as a grad student! These opportunities include:

  1. Rapid Fire sessions – call for applications
  2. GradSWE member survey/option to participate in a panel at the GradSWE Meet & Greet

Rapid Fire Sessions: Year after year, Rapid Fire presentation prove to be a very beneficial way for SWE grads to practice presenting their research in front of their peers and a panel of judges. The call for applications is officially open and due on Monday, September 26th at 11:59 pm EST. Please fill out the application here. Master’s and PhD students are highly encouraged to apply.

GradSWE Member Survey: Does your university have a GradSWE committee? If so, we would love to have your input! Each GradSWE committee arranges their funding and committee structures in a slightly different way. We are planning to devote time to discussing this at WE16. Ultimately, these efforts will create a reference of “best practices” as GradSWE committees become more prevalent across the country. We greatly appreciate your input! Please fill our the survey here.

For questions about either of these opportunities, Please email Rachel at grad-programs-coordinator@swe.org with any questions.

Grad Member Spotlight: Astha Khanna

25 July 2016

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Astha Khanna

PhD Student, Bioengineering, expected graduation May 2017

Clemson University

 

Astha has served as the professional Outreach chair of the Society of Women Engineers for the academic year 2015-16. During her tenure, she was very actively involved in raising around $600 to sponsor registration fee and travel of Clemson SWE members to attend the WE15. Astha was involved in organizing info-sessions conducted by representatives from GE Healthcare and Deloitte consulting on tailoring resumes and preparing for co-ops, internships and full-time positions. Astha has served as the Vice-President of the Clemson Bioengineering Society as well mentoring Bioengineering undergraduates in designing biomedical devices.

Astha has served also as the President of the International Student Association at Clemson University for the academic year 2015-16 for which she conducted dialogue sessions to address the academic and professional needs and concerns of graduate population at Clemson. As President, she organized the sponsorship of 10 female graduate students at Clemson to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference. held at Clemson in Feb 2015.

Astha was a finalist of the Three minute thesis contest held at Clemson University in Mar 2015. She was nominated for the Outstanding Women Graduate Student Award in Clemson University in Feb 2016 for outstanding academic accomplishments and multiple leadership roles. Astha was awarded a professional enrichment grant (PEG) by Clemson University Graduate School in April 2015 to present my research at the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) conference held in Charlotte, NC in April 2015. She was appreciated as the Best Moderator in the Clemson University Bioengineering departmental seminar sessions in spring 2015.

Astha has been featured in the the Clemson newspaper, awarded the Community Impact Medal at Clemson University, and featured as a research presenter at the Society for Biomaterials annual meeting held in Charlotte, NC in April 2015. She was an invited presenter at the Southeastern Medical Device Association annual meeting held in March 2015, where her research was highlighted as a top 20 technologies from young companies and university labs. Congratulations, Astha, on all your accomplishments! Keep up the great work!

 

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

I’m currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Bioengineering at Clemson University. I expect to graduate in May 2017.

Having earned 96 credit hours at Clemson University with a GPA of 3.72, I have published my doctoral research in several conference proceedings, have completed 2 certifications on 1. Technology Entrepreneurship from Clemson University where I specialized in areas of medical device commercialization, advanced leadership and project management and 2. Bio-compatibility of Medical Devices from NAMSA (by virtue of which I’m a biological safety specialist trained on ASTM and ISO protocols to assess biocompatibility of medical devices. I’m currently enrolled in a certificate in Engineering and Science and Education issued by Clemson University which completely aligns with my passion for teaching after getting a doctorate. I have demonstrated attainment of knowledge from diverse areas and thus evolving into a well-rounded individual with a record of academic achievements and leadership roles.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research.

My doctoral dissertation is on designing biocompatible coatings for vascular devices. I’m currently working on designing a coating of human serum albumin, a natural blood protein for its potential to shield adsorption of adhesive proteins and platelets in the blood making it promising in preventing the incidence of thrombosis (blood clot formation within the blood vessels). Human albumin coating fabricated using our technology has been also shown to mitigate the hyperplasia of smooth muscle cells which is a major complication post a stent implantation and bypass graft surgery.

 

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

After completing my Ph.D., I hope to work as an assistant professor in bioengineering. My passion for teaching interests me to work in academia and embark on a career in education.  I have been the head teaching assistant/ lab instructor for the course biochemistry laboratory techniques in Clemson university for the past 9 semesters. I have also been a biomedical device design mentor to undergraduates in the dept. of bioengineering for 3 semesters for which I mentor students in identification of clinical need, device design and testing, budget and market analysis and regulatory approval. The teaching experience has been fulfilling and insightful for me. The great evaluations that I receive every semester from my students bolsters my passion for teaching after getting a doctorate.

 

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

  1. Listening to music
  2. Reading articles on spirituality and astrology (I like studying/unravelling the deep mysteries/secrets of the universe that we don’t know about).
  3. Cooking delicious food (I’m a big foodie!)
  4. Having fun conversations with friends

 

What’s a fun fact about you?

Fun Fact: If you ever want to make me happy, just feed me. I’m a big foodie, I can keep eating the whole day and never get tired from eating. People eat to live but I live to eat.

Grad Member Spotlight: Malika Grayson

30 May 2016

Malika headshot IMG_5662

Malika Grayson

PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2016

Cornell University

 

 

Malika has been the Co-Director and Director of GradSWE from 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively. In this position, Malika worked with fellow board members on planning professional, social, and outreach events including participation in Relay for Life. Cornell GradSWE also managed to increase attendance to more than 100 persons for some events.

Malika has been recognized for her hard work with the Rudd Mayer Fellowship in 2015 from the Women of Wind Energy. She has also received the Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award (2015), the National Society of Black Engineers Mike Shin Distinguished Member of the Year (2015), Cornell Engineering Hometown Hero (2015), Diversity Programs in Engineering Graduate Student of the Year (2013-2014), Diversity Programs in Engineering Robert Mozia Award for Outstanding Service (2013).

Congratulations, Malika, on all your hard work and on your successful defense and graduation with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

 

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

I am currently a PhD Candidate and I expected to graduate in May 2016. I defended in January.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research.

My research focuses on changing the geometry of a building to increase the potential energy yield above the rooftop of buildings. By changing a building’s structure, the flow can be accelerated, increasing the wind speed which results in an increase in extractable wind power. Research experiments have shown that simple facade changes can increase the power that can be extracted by as much as 500% above the roof.

 

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

I hope with my degree to be a trailblazer for other females in engineering. Being the only black female PhD candidate in my program and only the second one to graduate with a PhD in Mechanical engineering, it is important I use my degree as an example that it is achievable. One of my main goals is to encourage high school females to stay involved with STEM.

After graduating I will be working at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

 

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

I volunteer at the local high school as well as with local groups in Ithaca. I love painting and outdoor activities such as hiking. I enjoy traveling and I look forward to stamping my passport a lot more after graduation 🙂

 

What’s a fun fact about you?

I changed my first flat tire at age of 15.

Grad Member Spotlight – Stephanie Moffitt

4 April 2016

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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.

 

Grad Member Spotlight: Kelly Connelly

22 Feb 2016

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Kelly Connelly

PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering, expected graduation 2019

UCLA

 

Kelly joined SWE in 2012 as an undergraduate at the University of Washington, and was Evening with Industry director her senior year. She served as outreach chair for GradSWE at UCLA last year and is currently the Vice Director this year. Kelly received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in 2015. Congratulations, Kelly, 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 second year PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department, planning on graduating in 2019.

 

Give a brief explanation of your research

My research project involves studying the fluid properties of the vitreous humour, which is the gel-like fluid that fills the inside of eyes. As we age the vitreous changes at the molecular level, which can affect the development of many age-related diseases that threaten a patient’s vision. My research is mainly experimental, and I use rheology to be able to correlate changes at the molecular level with changes in the fluid properties. Improving the fundamental understanding of vitreous as a complex fluid can help us work with doctors to develop and improve treatments and surgeries for vitreous-related conditions.

 

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

I am very passionate about using my mechanical engineering background to help build and create innovative solutions in healthcare. I am fascinated by the medical device development process and have the goal to work in that field after I graduate.

 

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

I love baking and cake decorating, and running. I am working on training for my first half-marathon in the fall!

 

What’s a fun fact about you?

I worked part-time at a dessert bakery for two years in Seattle and loved it, sometimes I dream about opening and owning my own bakery someday.