On April 8th SWE-UCLA hosted its 3rd Annual Engineers for Professional Equality Conference (EPEC) at Kerckhoff Grand Salon. This year the Advocacy committee planned and hosted the event in the same venue hoping to have more attendees than last year still they managed to have about the same number of students as last year.
The event started with a panel of ucla alumni engineers and company representatives interested in supporting diversity in STEM. The committee prepared and asked starting questions for the panel that provided great information about the panelists and how they see change for diversity and equality in engineering. Then the panel was opened up for Q&A from the audience and a handful of students had their own questions asking about conflict in the workplace or finding your own identity as an engineer.
Next was workshop rotations hosted by other Company Reps and some of the previous panelists. There was total of 5 different workshops and 4 periods to attend the topics that appealed to our attendees the most. Halfway between the workshop sessions the all attendees and company representative had lunch outside on the patio. Many students took advantage to mingle with the panelists and workshop leaders during this time.
After all of the workshops the event ended with closing remarks from our very own UCLA professor of Chemical Engineering, Yvonne Chen. Professor Chen was very inspirational and focused on the current steps and strides to increase diversity of UCLA and in the industry.
On April 8-9, SWE-UCLA held its third annual Women in Engineering Stayover Program (WESP). WESP is an event for highschool students who were accepted to UCLA Engineering to help them make a decision to which university they should attend for the upcoming academic year, and just have fun.
To start, on Saturday late afternoon, as soon as the students and hosts checked in at Carnesale Commons on the Hill, we participated in an ice-breaker game of Bingo. It was more of a social game of Bingo, so we had to go around to find people and introduce ourselves. It was fun trying to meet everyone and also try to win a prize. At the end, no one was able to fill out all the boxes because there was no one with a tattoo. Afterwards, all the admits and their respective hosts met up to leave their luggage into their rooms and to get to know each other better. Then everyone gathered at the Northwest Auditorium to listen to UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s Dean Jayathi Murthy’s speech and a student panel, which consisted of Bruins pursuing different engineering majors.
It was really cool to see many admits ask both the Dean and the students questions, such as UCLA’s alumni network and their experiences as female engineers, and they all were answered thoroughly. Furthermore, in case they had more questions, the admits also were able to eat dinner with the professors and faculty of their respective majors. It was great for students who were unsure and full of questions about the major they had chosen and its pursuit. To take a break from gaining a lot of information, we went on a scavenger hunt that was also more social with actual Bruins living on the Hill. Tasks were divided into 1-, 3-, and 5-point categories; the winner with the highest amount of points won prizes. My group wanted to win but easily gave up to have a more chill night among ourselves. We still had a great time learning the famous 8-clap from a stranger and making 5 free-throws with a basketball, which a stranger had graciously lent us. Then we all went out for some dessert at Diddy Riese. The night was really chilly, and the wind was blowing furiously; however, the weather did not stop us from enjoying our free ice cream sandwiches and cookies. Next, just as any sleepover, we had late night games and activities. Some painted succulent plant pots, some just talked with each other, and others played card games. When the admits grew tired or when it was 1:00 am, their hosts went with their admits to their rooms to call it a night. On Sunday morning, bright and early at 7:30 am, we ate breakfast consisting of bagels, pastries, and fruits. WESP ended when we led the students to campus for UCLA’s Engineering Day.
In January, during the third week of the quarter, SWE UCLA partnered with Northrop Grumman to host a speed mentoring event. Northrop Grumman sent around 15 representatives and directors to share their knowledge with the members of SWE UCLA. Students were able to have individual conversations with the Northrop Grumman employees and network over dinner. Afterwards, two directors from Northrop Grumman spoke about their careers and how they got to where they are today. Students very much enjoyed being able to ask questions with the representatives concerning industry relations and seeking opportunities in industry. Finally, the evening concluded with an entertaining presentation prepared by Northrop Grumman about etiquette in the workplace.
On Saturday, January 15th, the SWE officer board spent a lovely afternoon at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood to watch the matinee performance of “The Lion.” The performer, Benjamin Scheuer, shared his life story as he sang through the various trials and tribulations that have made him the person he is today. Filled with powerful emotions and beautiful music, “The Lion” captivated the audience and taught everyone what we can learn from our experiences. Overall, it was a great first-time experience for everyone and a way to make the most of what Westwood has to offer. Plus, we got to meet Benjamin Scheuer himself!
On January 12, SWE-UCLA held our quarterly general meeting with a fun twist – the meeting also included a mug decorating social! As usual, our general meetings are designed to inform SWE members about our upcoming events for the quarter. Winter is an especially busy quarter for us as we host our two flagship events: Evening with Industry and Wow! That’s Engineering day. Publicizing these two events at our GM was a huge success. Through our GM we sold plenty of EWI tickets and were able to recruit a good number of volunteers for Wow!. Following all the event updates, our former Internal Vice President and current SWE-LA member Kritika Iyer shared with us their upcoming scholarship opportunities.
As usual, our meeting also included free food from our favorite pizza joint Enzos. Once the meeting concluded and everyone got their slice of Enzos, the social began. Our Student Relations director Farhana organized this social after realizing that we had way too many SWE mugs in our office. To decorate our mugs, she selected a beautiful array of acrylic paints along with chalkboard paint! The social transformed the Boelter Penthouse from a formal meeting room into an arts and craft center.
By the end of the night, people went home with one or two beautifully decorated mugs. Compared to our former Winter GM’s, this GM had a great turnout which we attribute to also having a social right after. We highly recommend some form decorating social to be used at other SWE chapters. It’s a great way to relax and hang out with other SWEeties and also take care of any unused SWE swag in the office.
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.