Professional Development – Yale GradSWE Event: LinkedIn Photoshoot and Office Hours

One of the fundamental aspects of the Yale GradSWE group is to support professional and career development of our members. LinkedIn is useful for making strong connections between professionals and colleagues in both industry and academia. Having an up-to-date profile facilitates these connections, building a platform for increasing personal visibility, sharing knowledge, and gathering important insight from others.

In order to encourage the Yale Engineering community to promote themselves professionally on LinkedIn, Yale GradSWE hosted a “LinkedIn Photoshoot and Office Hours” event. A professional photographer took headshots of the attendees in business professional attire, which were shared with attendees to use on this social network platform. Participants came from a variety of engineering and STEM fields, ranging from graduate students at the beginning of their programs all the way up to post-doctoral scholars. Additionally, representatives from the Yale Office of Career Strategy were on-hand to answer questions, provide advice, and walk through many of the attendees profiles. Participants left with professional headshots and hand-outs with LinkedIn tips and tricks. Feedback from the event was extremely positive, and attendees were extremely grateful and pleased to attend an affordable, insightful, and fun event.

With this event, Yale GradSWE holds true to their mission to promote professional development, encouraging students to build a platform to advertise skills and build connections which can leverage future academic and career pursuits. The group is eagerly looking forward to our next professional development events!img_6007.jpgIMG_6006.jpg






Exploring Yale GradSWE’s CT SEED program!

GradSWE at Yale is sharing their story on their first state-wide outreach event that aims to further engage middle school students in STEM. 

On March 24, 2018, Yale GradSWE hosted CT SEED (Connecticut Students Exploring Engineering Day), our first state-wide outreach event. The goal of our event was to expand our reach across Connecticut and bring middle school students from all over the state to Yale campus to learn about the different types of engineering. We had approximately 200 students join us for a day full of hands-on activities and exciting demonstrations! We worked through three different activities, covering a wide range of engineering concepts.

First up, a biomedical engineering activity, where students built a mock endoscopic tool with erector set pieces, and tested their tools with USB cameras to mimic endoscopic surgery.

Then, students learned about color mixing and soldering in an electrical engineering activity, where they soldered LEDs and variable resistors to a printed circuit board. Turning each variable resistor knob changes the brightness of each individual red, green, and blue LED; the red, green, and blue LED signals combine in a fourth LED, to demonstrate color mixing.

Finally, students learned about environmental mimicry in engineering, through an experiment studying the hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of different materials and through a structural design challenge. For more details about these activities and others we have run in the past, check out:

endoscopic activityled activity

Wherever possible, we tried to teach students about the engineering design process, and encouraged them to brainstorm a design, test it out, and figure out how to improve it for an even better next iteration.

In addition, students participated in an Ask-an-Engineer panel, where they had the opportunity to ask 4 engineers (an undergraduate student, a graduate student, and two professional engineers) about their work and their path to engineering. We covered a wide range of topics, from what it’s like to be an engineer, to what it’s like to be a female engineer in a traditionally male-dominated field, to what kind of impact engineers can have on society!

We also held programming for parents and educators throughout the day. Our PEP program consisted of a presentation about strategies to engage middle school students in STEM, a Yale campus tour, a hands-on activity/demonstration session, and a panel discussion with engineers and STEM educators. The goal for our PEP program was to show parents and educators that STEM can be accessible to everyone, and to introduce them to some of our favorite resources for activity ideas and inexpensive activity supplies.


All in all, the event was a great success! We are grateful for all the middle school students and their parents who participated this year and are looking forward to hosting a 2nd annual CT SEED event next spring.

Join us at WELocal Providence, plus Volunteer Opportunities! 

Early Bird registration ends March 23rd

Would you like to save 10% on your WELocal Providence registration? Then don’t wait for Early Bird pricing to pass you by-the time is *now* to register for WE Local Providence. Follow the instructions here :

For more information, visit

The local host committee needs volunteers for the day of the conference and for the Outreach event, Design Lab.  Volunteer and receive a discount on your registration!  We need a lot more volunteers!

We need volunteers for the DesignLab outreach that’s being held at WELocal in Providence at the Convention Center on Friday, April 20th and Saturday, April 21st to make it happen. I know April may seem like a long way off, but we have a lot of planning to do to get ready for this program if we want to have the middle school hands-on program happen. If we don’t get enough volunteers signed up, we can’t hold it, so please think about it – it’s only a half day event! Don’t let 144 girls down! You must be a SWE member to be a volunteer at this event – you’re a role model for them!

Discount for registration is 25%!


In addition to the volunteers needed for the DesignLab outreach programs, we also still need subcommittee coordinators. If you volunteer for one of these positions, registration discounts are also 25%. Again, collegiates are welcome to volunteer! You must be a SWE member. Descriptions of these positions, discounts, and time commitments are below the volunteer click here link.
Click Here to sign up to be a part of this special day!


If you sign up to volunteer for at least 3 hours of the event on Friday or Saturday (registration, assisting speakers, etc) you can receive 10% off registration.

Sign up as a general volunteer or outreach volunteer first, and then you will get a discount code in your email that can be used during registration.

Click the following links and then follow the “sign up today” link.


Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi

Volunteer Coordinator

SWE Branding 101

The importance of brand principles

SWE provides united voice for women in engineering and technology. As members, it is our responsibility to communicate about the Society in unified and consistent ways. SWE brand represents our promises, products, services and differentiates us from other entities. Thus, using the brand the right ways helps us demonstrate who we are as a Society.

Things you should know about SWE Branding

Brand is not just simply a “logo”, but a entails standards of color systems, and use of imagery and their configurations. SWE branding specifically has master brand, and brand extensions.

SWE does provide a wide variety of choices for their members to adapt the Society logo to represents different aspects of the organization. Individuals, sections, or regions can choose to use different colors within the SWE color pallette, different typography, etc, as long as they conform with the standards.

Therefore, every time you use SWE brand on your website, journal paper, swags or apparels, please check whether the logo you are using is up-to-date, and if it agrees with SWE branding standards!

Guideline: or visit




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Submit an abstract to WE Local Providence Collegiate Competition!

WE Local Providence is now accepting online abstract submissions for the 2018 Collegiate Competition through Friday, January 26, 2018.

The competition is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to present their research to a broad technical audience in three styles: short form abstract submission, visual poster presentation and lightning talk discussion.

What to Expect?

  • All entrants are required to submit an online abstract to be considered
  • All online abstract finalists are required to compete in a Poster Competition and lightning talk onsite of their selected conference

Collegiate Competition Criteria

  • Contestants can submit an abstract to all of the five WE Local conferences, but if chosen, are limited to participating at one conference.
  • WE Local collegiate competition finalists must fall into one of two categories: Undergraduate Collegiate and Graduate Collegiate.

For more information, please visit WE Local Providence site.

Hot Topic: Utilizing Counselors and Faculty Advisors

SWE Counselors and Faculty Advisor play very important roles in collegiate sections. This blog post highlights the key expectation for these two roles, and give suggestions on how you, your counselor and/or faculty advisor can help bring the section forward.

SWE Counselor

A SWE counselor should be a professional member, serving as your collegiate section member. Their role is to provide guidance with respect to Society information. Each collegiate section is required to have a SWE counselor, elected annually by your college section and is a member of local professional section of a Region member-at-large (MAL). Your SWE Counselor is a non-voting member. Sections have to update there roster if the SWE Counselor position changes, by emailing

Faculty Advisor

A faculty advisor’s goal is to provide connection between your school and your SWE collegiate section. Even though this position is not required, it is recommended by SWE. This position is chosen either by your SWE section, or the school administration. It is the faculty advisor responsibility to oversees the section and making sure that the section follows all school rules and abides to obligations. The faculty advisor does not have to be a paid member of SWE. Therefore, to maintain proper information, please email


Further resources

Sarah Koenig, a professional region F SWE member with counseling experience is now sharing with you some information regarding the role:

1.    For what section(s) were you a SWE Counselor for? From your experience, what do you think was the most important aspect of your role?
I am a counselor for the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!).  I think that the most important aspect of the role is to prepare collegiate members for SWE beyond their section, whether that be doing an orientation for the annual conference, future leadership possibilities, or SWE beyond college.

2.    SWE Counselors usually are not a member of the university where the collegiate section is at. What do you think are the best practices to maintain the connections between the counselor and the section?
I think that the counselor should stay in contact throughout the year by whatever method is best for them- email, phone, in-person, etc. I usually try to attend a couple of the meetings throughout the year (especially ones near the beginning of each semester, where there will be lots of new members), and am on their mailing list/facebook group to keep up with what’s going on with them. I also go out and do a Conference Preparation session, so they are not completely overwhelmed (or unprepared) for their first SWE Conference experience!

3.    How can SWE counselor work together with members with sections without stepping on their toes?
I think that the counselor should check in with members and make suggestions based on what they have observed, but ultimately leave it up to the section to decide what is best for them.  Hopefully, the counselor and section have such a relationship that it can be a dialogue and discussion.

4.    If necessary, do you think is it advisable to combine Counselor /  Faculty Advisor Role?
If it is absolutely necessary for a section to be in good standing, the faculty advisor can serve as the SWE Counselor, provided that he or she is a paid SWE member.  Something that many collegiate sections don’t realize is that a faculty advisor is NOT required to be a section in good standing in SWE HQ’s eyes, but is often a university requirement.  A faculty advisor is important to help the section navigate the college/university requirements of being a student organization, and other university-related things, as well as being an on-site point of contact.  A counselor helps connect the student section to industry, and often the larger SWE organization, with information on scholarships, future SWE roles, etc.  Sometimes, a section will get lucky and their faculty advisor is also a SWE member (which I find to be a best practice), so the faculty advisor can also be a source of all of this information!

5.    For Sections that are newly formed, or in the process of being recognized, what are the first steps of finding a SWE counselor in the area?
A section that is trying to form should first contact the local professional section, as each collegiate section is “assigned” to a professional section.  They can assist in polling their professional membership to see if anyone is interested in the area.  A section can also reach out to alumni that were involved in SWE and might be interested.  There are many counselors who are “long distance” counselors, as there is not a requirement that a counselor needs to come from the section that a collegiate section is assigned to.  This is very common in other regions, where the counselor may be several hours from their section (sometimes in a different state). It can be beneficial to have an opportunity for regular, in-person interaction, but is not required!


SWE website contains very helpful information and free webinar that everyone can access for more information and tips. For further questions, you can contact Diane Peters, Society Counselor/Faculty Advisor Coordinator at, or leave a comment on this post!