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!

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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.

Grad Member Spotlight: Sandra Kopecky

skprofSandra Kopecky

PhD student, Computer Science

Pace University

Sandra has been involved in SWE as  both a professional and a collegiate since 2009. As a professional, she served on the Long Island, NY SWE section board. Currently, as an adjunct faculty member, Sandra is involved with the SWE section at New York Institute of Technology.

Sandra has received a SWE scholarship from her local SWE section for the past two years as a graduate student. She is also a lifetime Girl Scout. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is highly praised by her students. One student said, “Sandra was a fantastic professor with a deep understanding of the material gained from her experience in the field.” Another said, “She took time out of her way to help her students when they were falling behind.”  Congratulations, Sandra, 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 on my PhD in Computer Science at Pace University. I am trying to be able to defend a dissertation in December 2016.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
I am doing qualitative research on the usability of cyber security methodologies from a user’s perspective.
What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I am planning on becoming a full-time professor at New York Institute of Technology
What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I enjoying baking and cooking as well as various crafts.  I recently took a weekend break from things and made some soaps shaped as guitars.
Free time, ha! Looking forward to completing my degree and enjoying some free time.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I am currently a college student (PhD) as well as both of my children (son is a sophomore at University of Missouri and daughter, also a SWE member, is a senior+ at University of Alabama-Huntsville).

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