Region A Blog

Society of Women Engineers, Golden West Region

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The Goldenwest Region

Hi everyone,

Welcome and thank you for checking out the Region A blog! Our region includes sections in Northern California, Hawaii, and Nevada. My name is Eileen Reyes and I am the Region A Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for fiscal year 2014 (FY14). As an RCCE, my role is to inform and share news, events, and best practices as well as provide connections to our resources. If you have any suggestions to help improve the blog or would like an article posted, please email me at  There is also the Region A Facebook group! Please subscribe and hope you enjoy reading about the great happenings of Region A!


Above: SWEstar, the mascot of Region A

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Spotlight on a Section: University of Nevada at Reno

What do you think makes your section stand out from other sections? Any socials or events that your section is known for or that is unique?

UNR Event

The University of Nevada, Reno section of the Society of Women Engineers believes that professional development and networking are fundamental for students in college. This philosophy is what inspired the theme “Reach for the Stars” for UNR SWE’s Twentieth Annual Evening with Industry engineering networking dinner. Evening under the Stars, provided a casual atmosphere for students to interact with business representatives and learn about career and internship opportunities. The theme was to emphasize the importance for students to get out there, get noticed, and work to build the connections in their network. The theme was also to inspire young students to dream big and “Reach for the Stars” while building their careers and tackling problems in today’s expanding world.

Evening with Industry 2013 was unique and different than most at the University of Nevada. As the Twentieth Annual, SWE members aspired to make the engineering celebration better than ever by increasing attendance and finding a memorable keynote speaker. This year, the dinner was hosted the day after the College of Engineering Career and Internship fair on September 27, 2013 in the campus ballrooms. Pairing the two events allowed students the opportunity to gain familiarity with companies and introduce themselves at the fair, and then network more extensively at the dinner. It also helped improved attendance with 13 companies and 230 total attendees. As the main fundraiser for SWE, they were able to raise enough money to send seven members to WE13, the National SWE Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The UNR SWE members also reached their second goal by having an outstanding guest speaker. Stephanie Luongo, a UNR alumnus and SWE section president in 2004-2005, was asked to be the keynote for the evening. Stephanie graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and is now working as a Systems Engineer at Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems in Louisville, Colorado. For the past two years, she has led the Avionics subsystem test and integration effort for the first full-scale engineering test article of the Dream Chaser vehicle. Stephanie could not have been a more perfect speaker for the “Reach for the Stars” Evening with Industry.

The UNR Society of Women Engineers hopes to continue hosting Evening with Industry throughout the years, encouraging students to meet professionals, build a strong network in the industry, and strive for those big goals because, as engineers, the sky is never the limit.

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Spotlight on a Section: Humboldt State University

HSU Section

From left to right: Noah Coor, Chandler Ichikawa, Gavin Zirkel, Heidi Otten, Leabeth
Peterson, Desiree Edgar, Brian Wallace, Tatiana Lewis, Faith Neff, Jonathan Roldan

Humboldt State University (HSU) differs from many college campuses in Region A because it is a small campus with only one engineering discipline, Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE). Our section is also unique in the fact that Humboldt County doesn’t have a professional section, which makes events and socials more of a challenge. Due to the small section and rural location, HSU faces obstacles and challenges in traveling, fundraising, and networking.

Challenges associated with HSU SWE being a small section, do not keep us from having productive years. Our section is not only outreach-based but also participates in a series of projects and events. SWE members are currently participating in an outreach program with overall goals of educating local schools and younger students in STEM subjects about 3D printing and renewable energies, and encouraging SWE membership and participation throughout the engineering department. On March 9th, 2014 we hosted our annual Girl Scout Day where we taught Girl Scouts about engineering concepts by providing them hands on projects to work on and students to work with. On March 14th, 2014 the section will be doing a PI day fundraiser to raise money to send ten participating SWE members to the Region A conference, one of the largest turn outs ever from our section. Finally, one of our largest events that we hold annually is the SWE Social. The SWE Social this year will be held on April 16th and provides an opportunity for all ERE students and SWE members to network with professionals in fields related to engineering. The SWE Social is held on campus at HSU and invites all HSU engineering graduates and other women professionals that work in the area to share their knowledge. Our SWE section provides food, sponsored by local engineering firms, and has a panel of speakers that help address students questions regarding the transition from academia life to professional life, graduate school and other challenges associated with professional engineering. The speakers are selected by SWE members based off of their current level of education and professional position in the community. We try to incorporate an array of jobs so students are aware of the different employment options when they complete their degree. This year, SWE members have chosen to ask a hydrologist, a project manager that worked with the Humboldt Waste Management Authority, and an employee of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. All of the potential speakers for this year are graduates of the HSU ERE program.

The events and activities provided by HSU SWE help to get more students involved and keep them excited about being a SWE member. Although HSU SWE faces challenges that perhaps some other larger universities don’t face we try to stay focused in our goals of outreach and networking. We pride ourselves in being productive for our section size and hope to increase our numbers, events and involvement in approaching years.

Leabeth Peterson
Senior Environmental Resources Engineering Student

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FY14 Region A Conference

Advance your career, build professional networks and learn about the latest in technology at the Society of Women Engineers 2014 Region A Conference! This event will take place from Friday, April 25 to Sunday, April 27, 2014 at UC Davis, where we will have workshops, career fair and keynote speeches. All students and professionals are welcomed!

Order tickets on Eventbrite. Early registration is from February 17, 2014 to March 9, 2014.

For more information, please visit our website or contact us.

Thank you!

Kimberly Jenks
Treasurer and Conference Chair
UC Davis Society of Women Engineers

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Final Nominations for RCCE

Have you thought about running on the region level? This is your last chance because the Region Nominating Committee is now accepting final nominations for RCCE!

The Region Collegiate Communications Editor is responsible for maintaining the blog by sharing news, events, best practices, and resources plus utilize other social medias such as Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook. You get to work with collegiate and professional members, and you will have the opportunity of traveling for Societal and Regional Conference.

If you are interested in running for this position, please contact Ashley Pietz at or Sunshine Smith at by Friday, February 28th, 2014. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at, Maribel Locsin at, or Hannah Dahlgren at

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February Hot Topic: Regional Conference

Although this Hot Topic is early, it is a good reminder of what is coming up in SWE. This year’s Regional Conference is co-hosted by University of California, Davis and California State University, Sacramento from April 25-27th, 2014 with the theme Coming Together: A Time to Build Connections and Celebrate Diversity. The Regional Conference is special because you get the chance to meet collegiate and professional members from our region. It would be great for everyone to attend, especially for current or potential officers so they get a little taste of what Societal Conference would be like. Here are some reminders of what to expect:

If you are interested in finding an internship or a job, there will be a Career Fair at conference! Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and print at least 10 copies if you are new to the Career Fair. Do you have an elevator pitch? Try to practice your introduction before talking to a recruiter. For tips, you can check out the article, Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds.

There will be a variety of workshops so choose which ones you are interested in attending. There will be five sessions throughout the day and remember that there is a Collegiate Meeting on Saturday, April 26th from 2:30-3:30pm. This is a good opportunity to learn more about the happenings of our region.

If you arrive early for conference, please check out the fun events! On Friday, April 25th there will be a LCC Leadership Summit from 4:40-5:30pm, followed by the Ice Cream Social from 6:00-8:00pm, and then some Sports Time from 8:00-10:00pm. For more details on the schedule, here is the link.

Always remember to dress appropriately! Keep it simple and classy! Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking and standing throughout the day.

Lastly, enjoy your time at conference! Hope this conference will help you grow in SWE and make many connections with members from our region! For more information about this year’s Regional Conference, you can click here. There is also a link on the right side of the home page under Region A. Registration will open on Monday, February 14th! If you have any questions about Regional Conference, please feel free to send them to Hope to see you there!


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