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!

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.

Grad Member Spotlight: Sarah Watzman

Grad Member Spotlight: Sarah Watzman

Watzman_HeadshotSarah Watzman

PhD student,  Mechanical Engineering

The Ohio State University

Sarah has been actively involved in SWE since her freshman year of undergrad. Since then, she has been involved in SWE at all levels of the society. At Ohio State, she has served as both outreach coordinator and section president. For Region G, she has been the Region Collegiate Representative (RCR), a member of the conference planning committee, and a leadership coach.  Currently, she is serving as Collegiate Director on the Board of Directors.

Sarah is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a University Fellow through Ohio State’s Graduate School, and a FAST (Future Academic Scholar Training) Fellow through her department. She received the Rob Wolf Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State as well as the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award in 2013. Congratulations, Sarah, 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 4th-year PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, hoping to graduate in the spring of 2018 (although anytime I write this on anything, my advisor “corrects” the date to 2118).

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I work on materials that convert heat to electricity, and I specifically look at how magnetism can increase this transport.  Typically, these materials are semiconductors, but I’m exploring metals and semimetals for my dissertation.  Applications for these materials are in waste-heat recovery, where these materials would utilize heat released from other energy generation processes to produce their own power output.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I hope to become a professor!  I really love research, and I also love working with students (I’m co-instructing my advisor’s undergraduate thermodynamics course this semester).  I think a professor position would well combine these two passions.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to cook and hike!  I have also gotten into TRX (body resistance strength training on something that looks like monkey bars) this year.  And of course, I spend lots of my free time on SWE!

What’s a fun fact about you?
I’m moving to Germany in the middle of April to work in my collaborator’s lab for the summer!

Watzman_In Lab

Sarah Watman working in her lab at Ohio State

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: Lisa Cervia

lisa_cervia

Lisa Cervia

PhD student, Biomedical Engineering

Duke University

Lisa first joined SWE as a freshman biomedical engineering major at Boston University. She is now a biomedical engineering PhD candidate at Duke University. Throughout the past 8 years, she has participated in many SWE outreach events and mentoring programs. She is now taking on more leadership roles in SWE and is working to help with the graduate mentoring program and graduate SWE planning for WE 17.

Lisa has received many awards for her research in biomedical engineering. As a graduate student, she received the BMES Innovation and Career Development award as well as Duke University’s Pharmacological Sciences Training Program award. She has also received numerous scholarships and research awards as an undergraduate student. Congratulations, Lisa, 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 in the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. I expect to graduate within the next year and will be looking for postdoc positions.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
Currently, I design solutions to improve methods of gene delivery. Gene therapy has great potential to transform the treatment of many diseases, but there is a great need for more efficient and safe methods of gene delivery. I work at both uncovering the mechanisms by which non-viral methods of gene delivery introduce DNA to the cell and utilizing these mechanisms to develop strategies that improve efficiency, such that these methods of delivery can be more widely implemented for clinical applications.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I aspire to contribute to the growing field of Biomedical Engineering as a professor at a major research university. My ultimate goal is not only to become a tenured professor, but to help to nurture and mold this field into one that is inclusive and reaches out to other disciplines for collaboration. I want to serve as a role model, educating young students about what biomedical engineering entails, showing them that they have the potential to contribute to such a field, and to set aside many of the stereotypes surrounding engineering.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I have danced ballet for 23 years.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I am the founder and president of the Biomedical Engineering Society Graduate Section at Duke University. This year, we hosted the first annual on-campus Duke BMES conference. The conference included a total of fourteen talks by esteemed BME Professors, a lunchtime poster session that included presentations by postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students as well as a plenary session and reception with invited speaker. See picture of event below.
cervia_bmes

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year SWE Grad Community!

2016 was a great year for SWE. This infographic from SWE’s Year in Review article shows how busy the Society has been. 2016 has also been great for the SWE Grad Community. From seeing our own social media presence grow to having record numbers at the We16 Grad Student Reception, our progress is due to all of you. Stay awesome in 2017 everyone!

16-swe-general-year-in-review-infographic

Grad Member Spotlight: Xueying Wang

gradmemberspotlight_xueyingwangXueying Wang

PhD student, Computer Science and Engineering Department

University of Notre Dame

Xueying has been involved in SWE since starting her Master’s program in 2014 at the University of the Pacific (UOP). Now, as a PhD student at Notre Dame, she is continuing to be involved in SWE. While at UOP, she participated in the Team Tech competition and spent 10 months working with Jose Hernandez, a previous NASA astronaut, to design a CubeSAT along with UPAEP, a university in Puebla Mexico. She also is a passionate outreach volunteer and has participated in numerous programs such as ones for the Girl Scouts and the Expand your Horizons program at UOP.

Xueying has been awarded the certificate of recognition by the UOP SWE Section. Also, she came in second place at the 2015 SWE annual conference Team Tech competition. Congratulations, Xueying, 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 pursuing my PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. I anticipate graduating in 2020. I also have a masters degree in Computer Science from the University of the Pacific (May 2016).

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I am currently in computer vision research lab of University of Notre Dame. The field I focus on is biometric recognition, which includes fingerprint recognition, iris recognition, face recognition etc.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
Computer science is a tool. All computer scientists are using their knowledge to change this world, to make it better and better. This is what I want to do as well. I would like to become a professor because teaching makes me feel needed. When you teach, you are not only the person who transfers technology, you can also be an important influencer in students’ lives by encouraging and supporting them. I am very grateful to the teachers who have supported me. Therefore, I want to pass their kindness onto the next generation.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?Travel and Photograph are my top 2 hobbies. And, lucky me, they always come at the same time. The scenery of cities is beautiful and full of the wisdom of humanity. Meanwhile, nature is powerful and full of wonder. By taking photos, I can memorize amazing moments and find the beauty of life.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I have a nickname from my close friends: 386. The reason is, sometimes I can be too focused on my work to notice that people are talking to me, just like a i386 processor, which can only process one request at a time.