Region A Blog

Society of Women Engineers, Golden West Region

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Welcome to FY15

Hello SWEsters,

I welcome you to the FY15 Region A blog! As you may already know, our region is comprised of SWE sections from Northern California, Hawaii, and Nevada. My name is Maribel Locsin and I am your Region A Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for fiscal year 2015. Just a brief background about myself, I am pursuing a BS in Chemical Engineering at San Jose State University graduating in December 2014 and I currently work at Genentech as a Co-Op. I was previously the FY14 Region A Collegiate Senator (RCS) and I am also an active member of AIChE and ASCE. If you have any questions or would like to join my network, you are welcome to check out my LinkedIn profile and connect with me.

My role is to inform the region and all its subscribers about any news or upcoming events that arise throughout the year as well as share best practices and maintain connections between the collegiate and professional sections. I am open to requests for articles such as coverage of significant events, resume blasts, networking tips, etc. so please feel free to email me at There is also a Region A Facebook group to connect with other SWE collegiate and professional members and keep in tune with what is happening on the region level.

Please subscribe and hope you enjoy reading about the great happenings of Region A!

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SJSU Boeing Team Tech Sponsorship Opportunity

Attention Professional Members of Region A!

There is a wonderful sponsorship opportunity for the San Jose State University SWE section. The SJSU section is excited to announce their formation of a Boeing Team Tech group, which is an inter-disciplinary design competition meant to strengthen team building and engineering skills. Please click on the link below for the funding proposal by Samantha Sprau, Team Lead of SJSU Team Tech. Samantha’s contact information is provided on the linked proposal and if you have any questions regarding the sponsorship opportunity please refer them to her. The help of you and your company will be greatly appreciated and please assist SJSU’s Team Tech in spreading the word!

SJSU Boeing Team Tech Funding Request FY15

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SWEstar Photo Contest Winners

Here are the winners for the first annual SWEstar photo contest! :D

Third place goes to the San Joajuin Valley Section with their SWEstar attending Spamalot: P1080485Second place goes to the University of California, Berkeley Section with their SWEstar enjoying the sun: IMG_2202First place goes to Humboldt State University Section with their SWEstar, Sequoia: SequoiaCongratulations to the winners and thank you so much to all the sections who have participated in this competition! I hope everyone enjoyed being creative with their SWEstar and photos. The Region Collegiate Team has planned to continue having this contest each year so make sure you bring your SWEstar wherever your section goes because you never know, you might find the right place to take the perfect photo! :)


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SWE Region A Collegiate Officer Training September 20, 2014

Golden West RegionRegistration is now open for the Region A Collegiate Officer Training! The training will be hosted at San Jose State University on September 20, 2014, 9:30am-2pm. Collegiate officers, section committee chairs/members, and other collegiate leaders may register here.

September 20, 2014
Registration closes on September 15, 2014

San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192

Free, but you must register online no later than September 15, 2014, as space is limited.

9:30-10:00 AM – Welcome Activity
10:00-11:00 AM – CLCC: SWE Officer Training
11:00-11:30 AM – Collegiate Section Best Practices Sharing
11:30-12:00 PM – Lunch (Provided)
12:00-12:15 PM – Quick Overview of SWE Leadership Tools
12:15-1:45 PM – CLCC: Strategic and Tactical Planning. Sections will break out to start to create their strategic and tactical plans
1:45-2:00 PM – Closing words by RCT, CLCC & SJSU and Certificates of Completion

San Jose State University is approximately 4 miles from San Jose Municipal Airport (SJC) and is located near several freeways. Street parking is free on weekends, paid city and university parking structures are also available. There are several hotels in the area such as but not limited to Four Points by Sheraton San Jose, The Fairmont San Jose, and Ramada San Jose Downtown. There is no SWE rate at these hotels, but please check travel discount sites such as and for the best price.

The RCT, CLCC, and San Jose State SWE looks forward to seeing you at the training! If you have any questions please send an email to

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SWEstar Photo Contest Entries

Thank you to the sections who sent their photos! The Region Collegiate Team will decide on the first, second, and third place winners and will announce the winning sections on the blog.

SWE-SCV 2014 - 2

Santa Clara Valley Section’s SWEstar on the left


San Joaquin Valley’s SWEstar attending Spamalot

CSU, Chico SWE Star Photo 2

CSU Chico Section with a Girl Scouts group from Northern California that participated in the Small Satellites for Secondary Students (S4) outreach program


UC Berkeley’s SWEstar


Humboldt State University’s SWEstar named Sequoia


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SWEstar Photo Contest Submissions Now Open!


Photo submissions are now open until Sunday, June 1st, 2014! This contest is open to both professional and collegiate sections of Region A. Please submit your photo to Remember only one photo submission per section and also include your SWEstar’s name. It is optional to add a title to your photo. Can’t wait to see all the cute SWEstars of our region! :)

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Spotlight on a Section: San Joaquin Valley

San Joaquin Valley 1

Above: group photo in front of the Livingston facility.  Below left: All dressed up in safety gear before entering the bottling facilities.  Below right: Lunch at Gallo in Modesto between the two factory tours.

San Joaquin Valley 2

Over the last year the San Joaquin Valley Section has hosted a three-part series, “Engineering in Wine.”  This series included technical tours of Gallo Winery facilities, showcasing grape processing, packaging and bottling.  In the first tour, students and professionals visited one of the largest grape processing facilities in the world at E. & J. Gallo Winery in Livingston, CA.  The 18 participants watched the delivery of a truckload of grapes, and then followed the grapes through a journey of pipes and (very cool) machinery while learning about the fermentation process.

Students really enjoyed hearing about the type of work that the many engineers at this ever-growing facility participate in.  The tour was followed by a picnic lunch at a nearby park where students from University of the Pacific, UC Merced and professionals from the San Joaquin Valley could get to know each other.

The second event in the series was a tour of the Scholle packaging plant in Merced where ‘bag in a box’ packaging is produced.  This type of sterile packaging is used for a wide variety of food products beyond boxed wine, such as giant storage bags for salsa that can keep for months in a warehouse (who knew?).

Scholle routinely hires interns, and before the tour started students from CSU Fresno, UC Merced and University of the Pacific heard some excellent advice from the female plant manager on what it takes to earn an internship, what to expect during an internship and what it’s like to be a woman in manufacturing.

Following the tour, everyone was invited to Dena Traina’s home, one of the San Joaquin Valley officers, for a late lunch and an intimate talk by Cara Strom, Senior Vice President at Hatch Mott MacDonald.  Cara spoke about California’s exciting high speed train project, on which she has been working for several years–and of course gave excellent advice to some of the younger members on how to succeed in engineering.

The final event in the Engineering in Wine series was a tour of E. & J. Gallo’s Modesto Headquarters where all of the wine is bottled.  (This event was so popular that a second tour was set up, following the lunch, to accommodate everyone who was interested in attending).  The event started with a history of Gallo by Megan Kayland, a San Joaquin Valley officer who works at Gallo and who set up the series of events.  Megan talked about the wide range of engineering majors that Gallo recruits, and some of the many jobs they work on.

At the factory tour we marveled at the massive lines that process millions of bottles of wine a year—sterilizing the bottles, filling them with wine, labeling them, and boxing the bottles for shipment.  The machinery was amazing!  This event was attended by San Joaquin Valley professional members and students from UC Merced, University of the Pacific, and UC Davis.  UC Merced also invited fellow NSBE members who were able to join the tour.

One of the primary goals of these events was to form a stronger relationship between the San Joaquin Valley section and all of the student sections within our area.  Hopefully this will help with retention after students graduate.  Having the three-part series seemed to increase participation with the cohesion of several events over the year.  This event was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about career options available to them, and to meet successful women working in these jobs.  For the professionals, it was fun to catch up with each other in person and to see new sectors of engineering that they typically don’t work in.


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