SEE WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO
We are very excited for the academic year 2016-2017 with our new JMU SWE leaders!
This photo was taken at our End of Year Brunch where we celebrated the successful SWE year! In the photo (from left to right): President Maddie Baldwin, Secretary Casey O'Brien, Treasurer Jessica Roberts, Social Media and Fundraising Chair Seemran Patel, Professional Development and Outreach Chair Winifred Opoku! Vice President Sydney Mace was unable to make the End of Year Brunch, but we are very excited for our new leaders!
JMU SWE’s second annual High School Engineering Outreach Day took place on November 7, 2015. The high school juniors and seniors began to trickle in around 8:30am that Saturday to check in and enjoy some delicious Strite's donuts. After everyone had arrived, Dr. McLeod, one of the engineering professors at JMU, gave an engaging and interactive presentation on her field of research: concrete. She inspired everyone with her love of civil engineering and structural materials.
The schedule for the day was structured similarly to the previous outreach event, with some fun icebreakers and a design challenge following breakfast. The girls were divided into groups and assigned work spaces in the design lab to complete the challenge. Their goal was to design and implement a structure that would prevent an egg from breaking when a softball was dropped directly onto it. For each round, they were provided with a separate set of materials with which to do so, ranging from pipe cleaners to tin foil to plastic spoons. Next on the agenda was a tour of some of the various labs available to undergraduate engineering students. In the circuits lab, the girls were guided through a circuits activity in which they used a breadboard to craft their own working circuits.
Around 12:30 everyone broke for lunch so that professors, SWE members, and attendees could relax, mingle, and talk about interests in engineering. After everyone had shared a few laughs and gotten to know each other better, we continued on with the day to explore some of the other labs JMU has to offer. Once all of the students had gotten to explore the lab facilities, even watching one of the 3D printers in action, everyone regrouped for the student panel, in which the high school girls were encouraged to ask questions of the collegiate SWE members.
The day closed with a few final remarks, and the girls were given an opportunity to provide feedback about their experience. From what we’ve heard, everyone had a blast, and we hope that this event will continue to grow each year! Participants were sent home with goodie bags filled with t-shirts, stickers, safety goggles, and notepads. Many thanks to our Northrop Grumman, Leidos, and Strite's Donuts for supporting JMU SWE. Also, we have much appreciation to our professors & SWE members who made this possible!
Please feel to leave any comments or feedback you may have below.
On October 22nd-24th, five JMU SWE members headed out for the Women in Engineering Conference (WE'15) in Nashville, Tennessee! After traveling 9 hours to Nashville, we arrived at the Music City Conference Center with over 8,000 female engineers. On Thursday night, we attended a large career fair with over 300 companies looking for potential employees. We had prepared for this career fair by packing professional outfits, researching companies, and printing out multiple copies of resumes. Not only could we land an internship or full-time position, we also received many nifty gizmos and gadgets. After the career fair, we attended networking sessions that were hosted by various companies, which allowed us to network, enjoy free appetizers, and possibly win prizes!
On Friday, we attended many speaker sessions that allowed us to learn about transitioning from college to career, the process of being a NASA engineer, balancing life of motherhood and career, etc. As speaker sessions were rolling, the infamous career fair was in play all throughout the day, which allowed us to visit companies we were not able to visit from Thursday night. One member was even offered an interview with the Ford Company! By the end of the day, we all experienced Downtown Nashville by eating dinner at a restaurant called Acme Feed & Seed.
On Saturday, we attended more speaker sessions that we weren't able to attend. After lunch, we headed back to Harrisonburg, VA to endure our long trip back home and to work on homework before classes started back up on Monday. This trip allowed us to grow in our professional and collegiate careers as we practiced networking skills and learned from professional development sessions. Not only did we benefit in those ways, but we also received the Outstanding New Collegiate Section Award for 2015, which we are so honored! Attending WE'15 was a great experience for JMU SWE and we are excited to attend more National SWE Conferences in the future!
A very successful professional development event that we held during the Fall 2015 semester was the Engineering Student Internship Panel. Five prior intern engineering students were chosen to speak about their experience and how they found the internship as well as offer professional development and self-promotion tips. Each intern was prompted with a few general questions before the attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and gain personal insight on each individual’s internship experience. The feedback from the attendees, which included the head of the engineering department, Dr. Kurt Paterson, was overwhelmingly positive. A few students even stayed after the event to ask the interns more questions. SWE will definitely be hosting this event next fall!
On April 7th JMU SWE hosted an event called Dinner with Industry – Fireside Chat with Kathy Warden. 40 JMU Engineering students, 7 Northrop Grumman executives and recruiters, and JMU Engineering faculty and staff gathered to network with each other, eat dinner, and listen to a live interview with JMU alumna Kathy Warden, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Information Systems! We were honored to have Kathy at the event, along with other JMU Alumni that now work at Northrop Grumman.
The night started off with networking, which led to internships for some of the students that attended. Then we ate dinner where a Northrop Grumman employee was sitting at each table so that the students could network while they ate. The live interview started after dinner was finished. The live interview gave the students the chance to hear stories from Kathy Warden’s personal experiences and how she went from a JMU Student to a Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. The interview was extremely valuable for young engineers since they will soon be entering the work force.
The night was very fun and beneficial! This event led to some JMU Engineering students getting internship offers and one student said it was one of the best events he has attended. JMU SWE looks forward to our continued relationship with Northrop Grumman!
View more of the photos from the event here!
Read the JMU Article about the event here.
JMU SWE hosted our first-of-its-kind High School Engineering Outreach toady. We had a great time with all the girls that came out, some from as far as an hour and a half away. The event went from 9:00am check-in to 3:30pm sign-out, and was packed full of interesting activities.
We began the morning with some breakfast snacks and an interesting presentation by a JMU professor and professional SWE member, about her experiences and development in engineering. The students then broke into small groups for an ice breaker and a couple design challenges. These included creating a structure to protect an egg from a falling softball, and designing a foot-long bridge for different sized balls to pass over, one table to another. Designs were made from materials such as pipe cleaners, straws, newspaper, pencils, spoons, popsicle sticks, and stickers. We repeated each activity, changing up groups and materials to generate different results. Congratulations to those who managed to protect their egg and roll the balls across their bridge!
Lunch came next, with collegiate SWE members and a couple engineering professors mixing with high school students, talking about anything from engineering to college to random interests. Engaging discussions started all around the room and continued for about an hour. We then hit several engineering labs in a row, taking a tour around the building. In the Circuits Lab students used a breadboard to make a light blink and a noise beep. The Advanced Thermofluids Lab displayed a fascinating heart simulator used in student research. The Mechanics Lab demonstrated how their machines could exert and measure force on an object, snapping several pieces of glass and bending a bar of steel for our enjoyment.
The last part of our day consisted of snacks and a student panel of engineers from each year of the university answering questions from high school students. Lots of questions were asked, and the answers were very helpful and informative. After a final word of closing, students packed up their gift bag of safety glasses, notebook and pen, and information brochures, and went home. Feedback revealed that everyone enjoyed the day and learned about engineering; several students remarked on an interest in engineering as a result of the event. Thanks to the JMU and SWE students and professors who came out to help!
Feel free to post any comments or suggestions for this or future events!
Last Sunday, May 4, 2014, was the second annual SWE End of the Year Brunch. The brunch's purpose is to take a nice break from finals, enjoy a nice meal with fellow members, and commemorate notable members of the organization. The event gives the members a recap of the year and a reminder of all the hard work and great accomplishments made.
The event was beautifully planned by the 2013-2014 executive members and was held in the notorious Montpelier Room at James Madison University. Present were National SWE members Colleen Layman (who generously helped sponsored the event) and Mary Perkinson. Members of all different graduating classes were there, five who are graduating this coming Saturday.
The event included a slideshow displaying photos from all the events held this year. Photos included group pictures taken at the Region E Conference at Virginia Tech, to engaging action shots during the EYH Conference in Memorial Hall. The food served was deliciously cooked breakfast food: fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, biscuits, and herb potatoes. The room was filled with chatter and laughter.
The executive members started by recapping the year. It was mentioned that this past year was the year that SWE held the most events, which is a great step forward! This past year also consisted of regularly-held meetings. A fun and competitive incentive for members to attend more meetings, the executive held a point system and designated a certain amount of points for each event. Melissa Bernazani and Winifred Opoku had the most amount of points, attending the most and second most amount of meetings and events, respectively. The executive board also announced the new positions for the upcoming 2014-2015 year. Senior Mallory Draeger passes her duties to former Vice President, Genna D'Antonio, who also has been with SWE back in the early roots. Towards the end, the members celebrated the graduating seniors, who will be graduating in the College of Integrated Science and Engineering this Saturday, May 10, 2014.
For photos from this event, visit the gallery link on this website.
Every year in March James Madison University hosts the Expanding Your Horizons Conference, a conference to accelerate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to young girls grades 6 through 10. Multiple campus groups and academic departments lead workshops that the young students can sign up for. This was the third year that the JMU Society of Women Engineers participated, also the third year where three workshops were requested and easily filled up.
The engineering workshop explored the many discipline of engineering one can enter to learn and pursue a career. The workshop then transition into the importance of design and geometry when designing and building a long-lasting structure, such as a bridge. The young girls are then asked to partake in a challenge--to build a candy structure that can withstand large amounts of "candy loads!" Teams of two were given materials such as gumdrops, toothpicks, Twizzlers, etc. The team with the structure that holds the most amount of candy wins the challenge.
It's a great challenge that is really thought-provoking; "what shapes will be the most sturdiest?", "how can I make this bridge self-standing?", "how can I evenly distribute the materials?" The challenge and the hands-on experience seems to make the workshop a lot of fun. One parent at the conference said, "Last year we saw girls carrying around large structures of candy and we knew we HAD to sign up early for the engineering workshop."
Not only do the students have fun, but also the workshop leaders! Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel and the members of the Society of Women Engineers always have fun at this conference every year.
The JMU SWE Section 112 at James Madison University has a lot of accomplishments they should be proud of. They are starting out to be a very motivated and energized organization during the first semester coming back being a charted SWE section. In October, JMU SWE were able to obtain a grant to allow the officers to attend the National SWE Conference WE13 held in Baltimore, Maryland. The officers, senior Mallory Draeger, juniors Genevieve D'Antonio and Bartlett Jones, and sophomore Vivian Diep were also accompanied by their fearless faculty advisor, Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel. The group enjoyed their time at the conference and the surrounding area in the National Harbor. The JMU section were mentioned at the conference a couple times because of their new, instated status. This was the first national conference that JMU SWE participated in.
Section 112 also celebrated their chartering banquet over this weekend, November 9th, 2013. Not only were the current members invited, but professors, regional leaders, alumni, and other close campus SWE sections were invited to the event. The banquet was elegant; beautiful flower arrangements on every table that complimented the university's colors, organized itinerary that was professional yet relaxed, and a fun mix-and-mingle with the students and regional leaders. The itinerary also included recognition of past leaders, the physical chartered being given to president, Mallory Draeger, and a beautiful and motivated keynote speech made by the delightful Mrs. Peggy Layne.
The members have so much to look forward into the future, especially with such a great start. Although the section has been tremendously busy planning the chartering banquet and attending the four-day conference, they had found ways to enjoy themselves and relaxed. Some members went to University Park and engaged in an adventurous ropes course. The 2013 officers and members has so much to provide to the table and there should be a lot to expect this upcoming year.
For photos of all three events, visit the photo gallery.
After almost two years of being a small organization, the James Madison University Society of Women Engineers was officially chartered as a national section in May. The section is now a part of the E-Regional section, which covers the mid-Atlantic area from New York to Virginia.
Not only was it great news to the section to be chartered, but the organization also garnered recognition with the university itself. This recent accomplishment was published in the university's student-run newspaper, The Breeze. The article states,
"JMU’s charter with the Society of Women Engineers has ushered in new opportunities and change for the organization and its members."
Read the full article here.