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…

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!


Congratulations to Region F Award recipients at WE17!

Spark Award
Marie Cole, Mid-Hudson
For demonstrating with limitless energy the lasting value of mentors in the lives and careers of women engineers; and for global influence on women in the electronics industry.

Outstanding Collegiate Member Award
Genevieve Kane, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
For strength as a dedicated graduate researcher and passionate SWE leader, increasing collaboration and connections among women in STEM, improving the graduate student experience, and creating leading-edge technology.

SWE Mission Awards
Gold: Yale University, Clarkson University, University of Rhode Island
Silver: Tufts University, University of Maine, Northeastern University
Bronze: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Best Practice – Mentoring: Yale University
Best Practice – SWE Resource Promotion: Yale University

Rapid Fire – Graduate Competition
First Place: Lisa Volpatti, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Collegiate Outreach Award – Sponsored by Exxon Mobil Corporation
First Place: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

GradSWE at Yale taking the year strong!

Rita Matta – Publicity Chair of Yale GradSWE section, is insanely proud to share with our region all the hard work their group has been putting into recruitment events this year.

Yale GradSWE Executive Board enjoying a retreat at the lake, here in East Lyme, CT

As the start of the school year brings in many curious graduate students looking for ways to be involved, GradSWE at Yale started months in advance to prepare fun, exciting, and informative events for the new students. In July, the executive board attended a SWEboard retreat, where the group leaders spelled out the group’s goals, missions, and anticipated events for the year, while having some fun down-time on the lake! Here, the members were able to plan a grand total of five events for the beginning of the school year, to anticipate the hype and excitement of the school year opening, and to reach to as many interested students as possible.

First, the members hosted a table at the Grad Activities Fair, handing out fliers, answering any questions, and handing out 3-D printed custom made SWE keychains to all those interested. Next, GradSWE hosted an Orientation Panel, gathering a panel of engineering students across many disciplines to answer any questions ranging from research, work-life balance, and life in New Haven. The group also co-hosted a Women’s Welcome, handing out information and speaking to an interdisciplinary group of graduate students interested in joining any women-focused groups here on campus. In addition, GradSWE co-hosted a STEM Outreach Barbeque, as outreach at both Yale and the local community is one of the group’s strongest missions. Lastly, the group ended with a GradSWE Welcome event, gathering many familiar faces from previous events as well as acquainted members, where attendees enjoyed some of New Haven’s best ice cream and were informed of the events in the near future.

3-D printed SWE keychains designed and produced by the executive board

The hard work and planning for these events certainly paid off, as the group increased their member board, as well as interest in some major events all across the board, including outreach and professional development series. The energy from the executive board was not to be missed, as the group was seen in their custom purple shirts, cheerfully advertising and well represented at each event. The fervor, time commitment, and meticulous planning of the GradSWE executive board remains heightened throughout the year with new additional members, where the mission and goal of GradSWE here at Yale remains strong and clear.

Welcome Region F FY18 Leaders!

Congratulations to our FY18 officers, committees and members! To start off a new Fiscal Year, we would like to announce SWE Region F leadership team:


Lieutenant Governor




Professional Senator

Collegiate Senator – RCS

Region Collegiate Rep – RCR

Region Collegiate Community Editor – RCCE

SWE Future Leader – SWEFL

  • Allison Greaney (Yale University)
  • Molly Baker (Yale University)
  • Sarah Pawlowski (Clarkson University)
  • Ryanne Ramadan (University of Connecticut)

Region F Committees

Financial Audit Committee

New Projects Funding Committee

Conference Support Committee

  • Laura Curioso – Chair (SNH)
  • Region F Officers

Region Nominating Committee

Leadership Coaching Committee (

Funding Committee

Society Committee Reps

Nominating Committee

Outreach Committee

Graduate Member Coordinator

Membership Committee Chair:

Society Directors

Society President

Society Director of Professional Excellence

Section Spotlight! “Mystery Lane Discovery Challenge” at Springfield Technical Community College

Since February, the SWE affiliate at Springfield Technical Community College, the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, and the Through My Window engineering curriculum have partnered to host a group of local girls for a “Mystery Lane Discovery Challenge” program about engineering

IMG_9907Co-facilitators include STCC SWE affiliate members Darya Bandarchuk, Clair Gu, and Amanda Alkam; Isabel Huff, a K-12 educator member of SWE and outreach coordinator for Through My Window; Crystal Ford, the Through My Window videographer; and Alyssa Delude, a local student and member of Girl Scouts.

Every Tuesday from 6-8, the girls meet on the STCC campus. In the early weeks, they read and listened to the audiobook of Talk to Me, a book by local author and former engineer Sonia Ellis. The book is about a 14-year-old girl named Sadina and her friends who use engineering to solve a crime, keep Sadina’s mom from going to jail, and help Sadina’s little sister Maddie talk (she has an anxiety disorder that often makes her too nervous to speak). The girls loved the book, enthusiastically reading at home between meetings (some even finished the book early!). When they listened to chapters as a group, they immediately raised their hands at the end, asking questions, sharingGirl Scouts 2017 STCC image 7 predictions, and humorously judging the characters’ actions.

Much to their delight, author Ellis has visited the girls on multiple occasions, reading chapters, signing books and answering their questions about writing, publishing, and experiences in engineering.

In addition to reading Talk to Me, the girls dove into interactive online adventures that allowed them to more deeply explore the engineering concepts from the book. In Trapped in Time, they helped Talk to Me character Sadina, her “frenemy” Catalina, and Catalina’s little brother Carl travel to the past to help the Apollo astronauts and the Chicago mayor with engineering design–and then return to the present to escape from a flooding cave. In Rio’s Brain, they searched a virtual mansion to see if it would be possible to create an artificial brain for Sadina’s best friend Rio, whose brain was removed by evil researchers who plan to destroy it. The online adventures include interactive games, journaling, videos, and more.

Other activities have included investigating consciousness and machine consciousness (using paper brains andGirl Scouts 2017 STCC image 6 heads!), exploring the fundamentals of coding by drawing pictures and explaining to others how to draw them, and discussing the limits of artificial intelligence–like whether robots will ever replace pets, doctors, teachers, and actors.

With SWENext flyers in hand, we know these girls are the future of SWE and the future of engineering!


For more information or to find out how you can use Through My Window as part of your SWE outreach, visit or email

Through My Window was created by Smith College and Springfield Technical Community College. It is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1223868 and 1223460. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

This Mystery Lane Discovery Challenge program was funded through the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts by the Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of Pioneer Valley.

Girls Fix The World!


On February 26, 2017, thirty middle school-aged girls showed up at 9 AM at Tufts University. The girls were divided up into three groups and rotated through three different activities in the morning: building a Rube Goldberg machine, laser cutting and decorating nametags, and making ice cream through a chemical reaction with ice and salt. In the Rube Goldberg activity, the girls used a variety of supplies, such as PVC pipe, duct tape, string, marbles, dominoes, and cardboard to ultimately turn a light off. Each of the three groups added to the design, and the final product can be seen below.


In the laser cutting activity, the girls used Graphic (an AutodeskTM graphic design program) to write out their names. The designs were then cut with the laser cutter on wood, and the girls then got to decorate their nametags!


The last activity of the morning was ice cream making. In pairs, the girls mixed together cream, milk, vanilla and sugar in a plastic bag, which they then put into a larger plastic bag with ice and salt. They shook the double plastic bag contraption and watched as the ice melted, but the temperature decreased. About fifteen minutes later, they had a delicious snack!


The girls then took a lunch break before reviewing what worked and did not work in the morning before proceeding to the afternoon activities. In the afternoon, the girls were again divided up into three groups; this time, each girl focused and completed one activity for a longer period of time. One group of girls learned how bridges are built, and had fun building bridges out of notecards and a variety of other materials. A second group of girls took part in a humanitarian engineering project where they designed waterproof, easy-to-carry bags that could hold a variety of items if a refugee had to leave their town and home at a moment’s notic.. The last group of girls built prosthetic legs out of PVC pipe, cloth, tennis balls, etc., and then tested them out.



After cleaning up, the girls shared what they had done and then had an open house for the parents as they came to pick them up. Overall, we got really positive feedback from the girls, volunteers, and parents! We hope to do this event again next year!




Call for Leadership Summit Hosts

Every fall Region F hosts the Region Leadership Summit for collegiates and professionals alike. This summit is a great way to network with other SWE members, improve professional development skills, and learn about SWE business!

The Fall 2016 summit was hosted in September at Tufts University. It was a full-day packed with exciting talks and workshops!

The call for host sites for Fall 2017 is open until March 25.

The official information sheet is attached here.

The official application is here.