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. 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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Welcome to FY16 , Region A!

Hello fellow SWEsters,

My name is Amanda Lagasca, and as the new Region A Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for Northern California, Hawaii, and Nevada, I want to welcome you all to the FY16 Region A blog. Through this blog, I hope to inform, encourage, and connect all Region A collegiate and professional sections.  I am also open to any questions, concerns, or requests; I can be contacted at So please subscribe today to stay tuned for upcoming events within the society and for information about other sections within the region. Also, remember to follow Region A’s group on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you and have a SWEet day!

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New Region A Leadership Coaches

We had many qualified applicants this year, and are proud to have selected the women below to join the Region A Leadership Coaching Committee. They will be a valuable resource for their sections and the Region for years to come!

Courtney ThomasCourtney Thomas

Courtney graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and will be working in the Water Division of Black & Veatch as a Civil Engineer in Sacramento, CA. Her previous SWE involvement includes serving as Section President of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Collegiate Section for FY15, the Vice President of Member Relations at Cal Poly for FY14, the Tour Coordinator for FY13, and being part of the planning committee for the 2015 Region B Conference in San Luis Obispo, CA. In her free time she enjoys hiking, wakeboarding, wine tasting, and just about everything involving summer. Courtney is excited to be coaching the Sacramento State and UN Reno SWE Sections.

Heidi Otten

Heidi OttenHeidi is an undergraduate student at Humboldt State University. She will be graduating in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resources Engineering. She also works at the Natural Resources Conservation Service as an Engineering Trainee, helping agricultural business’ conserve their natural resources. Heidi became an active member of the Humboldt State University Section in the fall of 2013. She was the FY15 Humboldt State University Section President and one of two FY15 Region A SWE Future Leaders. Her hobbies include kayaking, backpacking, and reading. Heidi is thrilled to be the Leadership Coach for Humboldt State University and Chico State University SWE Sections.

Ishita Mandhan

Ishita MandhanIshita graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering in 2015. She was involved with the Society of Women Engineers throughout her undergraduate career, serving as the Section President, Internal Vice-President, Secretary, Socials Co-Chair, and Historian of the Texas A&M University SWE Section. After graduation, she moved to California to work at IBM as a Software Developer and will be serving as a SWE LCC Coach in Silicon Valley. She hopes to assist SWE sections to develop essential leadership and management skills through consistent personal involvement with the officer teams. She is of Indian heritage but grew up in the Middle East, and moved to the U.S. for college. She understands the need for a supportive environment in a new place, which for her was SWE at Texas A&M. Ishita aims to assist women engineers in a largely male-dominated field so they can grow as leaders during the course of their journey through college and beyond. Ishita is delighted to be coaching the San Jose State University and Stanford University SWE Sections.

Be sure to introduce yourself to our new coaches if you get the chance to spot them at any SWE events! Also, we would like to thank our Team Lead, Cassi Janakos for her fantastic leadership these past 6 years. She will no longer be our Team Lead since she will be serving as the Leadership Coaching Committee Chair-Elect for FY16.

Lindsay Kammeier, Region A Leadership Coach

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SWEstar Results!

Thank for all the sections who had submitted a photo for the 2015 SWEstar Contest! The RCT had the privilege to vote on the beautiful SWEstar photos that were fun, creative, and captured the essence of SWE. This year was a close race in which the RCT had to take a second vote to break a three-way tie! Announcing the 2015 SWEstar placing:

1st Place
Humboldt State University

Humboldt Stat SWE Star
2nd Place

CSU Chico

3rd Place

San Francisco State University

Honorable Mention

CSU Fresno

CSU Fresno

CSU Fresno receives a “Honorable Mention” since they were one vote away from placing! All the photos we received were beautifully taken and put up a strong fight with our polls. Here are the remaining 2015 SWEstar Contest submissions:

University of Nevada, Reno

Golden Gate Section

SWE GGS 40th Anniversary _46 (1)
UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz
Santa Clara Valley Section


Thank you to all those who participated in this year’s SWEstar Contest! We had a great turn out and enjoyed the creative photos. Please help us in congratulating our top three selections!

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May Hot Topic: Transition to Professional SWE Membership

Transitioning from a C2C to Professional SWE membership is an exhilarating stepping stone to know that you have completed your collegiate years and are about to start your career in the STEM field. Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing your professional network and staying involved in SWE wherever your career may take you.


The map of the professional sections in Region A is shown above and is based on the area where you currently reside and/or work. This is very helpful if you are moving about Region A and are looking for the correct professional section to participate in. Here are the link to these professional section websites:

Sierra Foothills Section
Golden Gate Section
Mt. Diablo Section
Sacramento Valley Section
Santa Clara Valley Section
San Joaquin Valley Section
Hawaiian Island Section
Sierra Nevada Section

It is encouraged to do some research on these sections to look for upcoming events and opportunities for involvement. Reach out to the leadership to find out if there are open positions as the sections are actively looking to find committee chairs, committee members, and volunteers at the start of the fiscal year. To stay in tune with the professional section updates, please subscribe to their mailing list, like them on Facebook, and don’t be shy to reach out to their leadership!

When renewing your SWE membership, double check that you are selecting the correct professional section. Be aware that there are also C2C transition and first year professional dues that will be asked when renewing. The professional membership has a vast range of benefits including professional development, leadership training and experience, networking, outreach, career management, and much more.

There are many opportunities to get involved with the SWE communities and you can leverage these opportunities to assist in your professional career and personal development. Start networking as early as possible, reach out to leadership, and find ways to get involved!

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SWEstar Contest – Deadline Approaching!

This is the last reminder to have your submissions in for the SWEstar Contest! Deadline is quickly approaching on Sunday, May 31, 2015. Sections can submit one photo of their SWEstar from the last year to or The top three submissions will receive cash prizes for the section. First place will earn $75, second place $50, and third place $25. Take a look at last year’s 1st Place Recipient!


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2016 Region ABJ Conference Presentation Pre-Call & Interest List

The 2016 Region ABJ is coming! We’re in the process of developing our session track and abstract submittal process, but we wanted to get the word out ASAP.

If you are interested in receiving a notification when our official call for presentations and technical papers goes live, please fill out the interest survey at the link below:

Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you!

Catherine Thomas & Theresa Krack
Co-Chairs, Programs & Speakers Committee

Alex Sonnabend
Chair, University Committee

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April Hot Topic: Tips to Transition Collegiate Section Leadership

It’s that time of year again when elections have completed and the roster for the incoming leadership is set. In a previous post we’ve announced the FY16 collegiate leader election results and we are proud to have a strong collegiate team to continue the legacy of Region A. To ensure we finish this fiscal year with a united front and transition to the FY16 leadership in a smooth manner, here are a few suggestions to follow.

  1. Update your Roster
    Update your section’s Leadership Roster by filling out the names and emails for next year’s leadership at This is important because the RCR will not have your sections contact info otherwise! This is also known as the Annual Report.
  2. Section Presidents Handbook
    This handbook is a detailed guide of everything you need to know about SWE leadership. From collegiate leadership responsibilities to reporting to societal awards, this handbook has useful information that is necessary to lead your section towards a successful year. Section presidents, please keep an eye out for it in your inboxes as it is an incredibly helpful document to assist the introduction of a new president elect into her position. Contact the RCR at to receive a copy.
  3. CLCC’s Tips for Officer Transitions
    Please refer to one of our CLCC coaches’ post about “Six Tips for Successful SWE Officer Transitions”. The article briefly covers elections, transition meetings, and the strategic planning module to start planning for the next year. For information about the information shared on this post, please contact Lindsay Krammeier at
  4. Modules by CLCC Coaches
    CLCC coaches are available for presentations to help assist this smooth transition among collegiate leadership. One of them includes Strategic and Tactical Planning, which is held over summer to get a head start on your SWE leadership responsibilities. If there is any topics that you would like to see our coaches present or need any further guidance, please let us know so we can get that prepared for the transition. Please contact your CLCC coach for any transition questions you may have.
  5. Leverage your Resources
    There are multiple points of resources that surround Region A. As a collegiate leader, your CLCC coaches, SWE professionals, RCT members, and past section leadership are there to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. These transitional tips and upcoming meetings are here to help guide new leaders into their roles and it is to your advantage to leverage these experienced SWE professionals and past leaders to establish your place as part of SWE leadership. Start networking as soon as possible!

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