On May 9th, 2015, Saturday, SWE UCLA held our annual year-end banquet, themed Breakfast with Tiffany’s, to celebrate our success over the past year. Our sponsors joined us in a night of fun with 3-course meals and conversation as we looked back on the many great events that we had put on this year. We also awarded $8000 in scholarships to 16 of our outstanding members who had contributed greatly to our school and the engineering community, and recognized our graduating seniors with graduation cords in SWE colors. The newly elected board was also announced and both old and new board members received gifts as a show of appreciation for their hard work. It was a great end to the year in reflection and a fresh start for our new board members as they get excited for another spectacular year ahead.
At the Region B Conference, I attended the “Managing Effective Meetings” Workshop which was led by CLCC coaches. I really liked to workshop and wanted to invite CLCC coaches to come to UCLA to provide training for our officers. Mid-may seemed like the perfect time to hold the training session because we recently elected our 2015-2016 board a few weeks ago. To plan this event, I reached out to the CLCC coaches to schedule a date and select which modules we would like to do. I also reserved a room on campus and reserved parking for the CLCC coach. Susie Kirkland, one of the CLCC coaches came up to UCLA for the afternoon and led the Effective Personal Communications and Building Teams modules. Through the Effective Personal Communications module, we learned how to successfully communicate through email, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations. I particularly liked learning how to give a handshake and the proper etiquette for conference calls. In the Building Teams module, we learned the different stages a team goes through and how to form a successful team. The CLCC workshops were really helpful and a great way to give the new board leadership skills. We hope to bring CLCC back to UCLA in the fall!
On April 18, 2015, the UCLA chapter of SWE hosted its inaugural Engineers for Professional Equality Conference. This event was designed to empower women to stay in engineering as well as to foster cooperation between male and female engineers. The first half of the event featured two panelists who shared their experiences as women in engineering and hosted workshops discussing implicit biases and how to transition from academia into industry. The second panel comprised of male and female engineers including a UCLA professor, a U.S. Navy chief engineman, a Phillips 66 engineer, and a Northrop Grumman software engineer discussed the interaction between male and female engineers in industry and how these interactions can be improved. Afterwards, three workshops were held discussing generational gaps in the workplace, conflict resolution strategies, and brainstorming techniques.
At the end of February, we had a great weekend in San Luis Obispo at this year’s Region B Conference! Region conferences are an exciting time for everyone and are packed full of energy. You can meet collegiate and professionals from Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Southern Nevada. There’s a career fair, sessions and amazing speakers. Cal Poly SWE was honored to co-host this amazing event alongside the Central Coast Professional Section. Our section President, Courtney Thomas, was recognized as an Emerging Leader and our Building an Engineer Day was deemed best Outreach Program in the region. It was definitely one for the books!
Every year, the Cal Poly SWE chapter hosts the annual VEX Robotics Competition for middle and high school students from all around California. We work with the REC Education Foundation and SLO High School to organize this event for 53 robotics teams. On the Saturday of the competition, there are approximately 260 students (about 100 of which were girls) come to compete with each other to earn a spot in the State Championships. Our SWE chapter organizes the rooms, equipment, and the 59 volunteers in order to make this event the best possible for all of the kids. During the event our volunteers will work to run the matches, judging, and support roles. Not only will the students interact with the college students as they wait for a match or at the practice fields, but in judging. We have student, educator, and professional engineers judge the student teams for various awards. As the students are presenting their robot and team to the judges, they get the opportunity to learn what are best practices in the field and enhance their communication skills. Overall, this is a fun event to inspire young engineers to pursue a passion in STEM education and careers!
The 39th annual Evening with Industry was a success. This year, EWI was held at Avila Beach Golf Course. EWI’s theme, Windows of Opportunity, symbolized the vast opportunities that engineers have to make a difference in this world. The keynote speaker, Audrey van Belleghem, Senior Director of Partner Programs at the Anita Borg Institute, spoke about the importance of women in engineering and their numerous opportunities in the industry. Fourteen different companies gave generous scholarships to deserving SWE members (totaling over $33,000), including Boeing, Chevron, Kiewit, Raytheon, and more. SWE awarded John Lawson from the Architectural Engineering Department as the Most Supportive Professor this year. This year’s EWI was a great event!
On the 13th of April, the Society of Women Engineers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, Prescott, AZ held their last meeting of the year. Alas, many graduating seniors have said their farewells and have given their brief future plans as Engineers! The members got to enjoy the ice-cream party and got to listen to wonderful music during the meeting. In all, I wish to say “good luck seniors!”