“Rosie The Riveter”- Winter RCT Event

The SWE Region A Region Collegiate Team hosted a winter region event on January 13, 2018 at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA.


This national historic park was dedicated in 2000. It honors the heroes of the civilian home front—women who stepped into factory assembly lines left empty after men were called off to the battlefields of WWII.


“Rosie the Riveter” was not a specific historical figure. A popular song of the day used the phrase to praise the prudence and smarts of the girl who served her country by “working for victory”.


Region A’s group was honored to meet a very special lady at the Visitor Center. Betty Reid Soskin, a nonagenarian, shared about her experiences as a young African-American woman in Richmond during WW II. Ms. Soskin is also the oldest active National Park Ranger serving in the USA.


The Rosie the Riveter Memorial is open to the public. Structural elements inside the park are reminiscent of various parts of a ship in the building process.


What a fun day of learning for Region A! Stay on the lookout for upcoming region events!


January 2018 – WeLocal

WeLocal conferences provide great opportunities to learn and network with SWE members without the often-overwhelming size of the society annual conference. This particular aspect limits registration to only a few hundred attendees, so be sure to register early.

The local aspect of these smaller conferences is especially beneficial for collegiate sections: reduced travel costs can be leveraged to send more representatives to the conference.

Check out the WeLocal Phoenix website for details about speakers as they are posted!

Region A Information

The Region A meeting and awards will be held at WeLocal Phoenix.

  • Region A Meeting: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10:45-11:45am
  • Region A Awards: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 7:00pm (WE Achieve Awards Ceremony)


Early bird registration rates end Friday, February 2, 2018. This registration is completed through the SWE Membership portal—this pdf has great step by step instructions.


Conference hotel reservations must be made by Monday, January 29, 2018 to receive the preferred rate.


FY19 Region Call for Nominations

The deadline for submitting nominations is January 14, 2018 by 11:59 pm PT. Download the Nomination Packet to prepare a submission. For an overview of additional dates and deadlines, please the Region A Election Information.


The dissolution of permanent Region boundaries was approved by the SWE Senate on Saturday, October 28 with the adoption of S-1803 “Senate and Regions” Proposal to Amend Bylaws. This action means that each Region will be tasked with hosting their final election during FY18 in accordance with Society and Region Bylaws:

  • Each Region will elect a Senator for a three-year term commencing on July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021
  • Regions A, C, E, G, and I will elect a Representative to the Society Nominating Committee for a two-year term commencing on July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020

The Governance Structure Implementation Plan issued on September 20, 2017 provides additional context.

  • A.6 Action: Provide guidance to the Region and International Nominating Committees regarding the election of their FY19 Senator
  • B.5 Action: Select final Senators and Nominating Committee Representatives for FY19

Nominees should possess the five SWE leadership competencies:

  • Communication
  • Self-Management and Development
  • Business Acumen
  • Coaching, Mentorship and Sponsorship
  • Leadership Abilities

The ideal candidate would have the skills/competencies listed below (in alignment with the SWE Leadership Competency Model):

  • Communication
    • Strong and consistent communication skills (in-person and virtual, presentations and public speaking)
    • Champion for diversity and inclusion internally within the Society as well as externally in the engineering community
  • Self-Management
    • Ability to listen and distill large amounts of information
    • Availability for multi-year commitment
  • Business Acumen
    • Strategic planning experience and/or strategic thinking skills
    • Knowledge of SWE and/or other non-profit organizations
  • Leadership Abilities
    • Leadership and change management experience
    • Working knowledge of SWE’s Core Value on Inclusive Environment and alignment to SWE’s Diversity Principles
  • Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsorship
    • Seeking and/or being a mentor, coach, or sponsor
    • Diverse networks


  • Senators are responsible for:
    • Charting the strategic direction of SWE by developing and adopting long-range goals for the Society.
    • Developing and/or adopting proposed changes to the Society bylaws, policies, and procedures that are in line with the strategic plan.
    • Conducting essential dialogue with Society membership on long-term trends and issues of common interest.
  • Senators must be voting members of the Society (except Special Senators) and will serve for a term of three (3) fiscal years.
  • Senators should anticipate participating in a lot of virtual meetings and communications
  • The role typically requires the following time commitments:
    • Monthly Conference Calls – 1 hour each
    • Participation in 1 Sub-Team
      • Annual Strategic Planning (2 mandatory face-to-face meetings, calls 1-5 hours per month)
      • Strategic Initiatives (Variable)
      • Committees Strategic Planning (Variable)
      • Communications (Variable)
    • Face-to-Face Senate Meetings – At least 2 per fiscal year
      • Annual Conference (Fall; 3 days – Mandatory)
      • Winter Senate Meeting (Winter; 1 day – Mandatory)
      • WE Local (Spring; 1 day – Currently not required, but highly recommended)
    • Offline discussions on bylaws amendments and motions (Variable)
    • Active communication with Society membership
  • Funding for travel is currently available through SWE for the Winter Senate Meeting and Annual Strategic Planning Sub-Team face-to-face meetings. Future funding to be determined.
  • These roles and responsibilities are subject to change by the Senate leadership team as the governance changes continue to be implemented.

The nominating committee member must be a voting member of the Society at the start of the fiscal year when he/she will serve and is elected for a two-year term. “In order to be eligible to serve on the nominating committee, a member must have had recent experience on a Society level.” The member will have an interest in shaping the future of SWE and possesses knowledge of SWE bylaws, procedures and the Strategic Plan, as well as, the SWE Leadership Competency Model. The role typically requires time dedicated for 1-2 phone calls per month, regular work via email and a significant time evaluating candidates and providing feedback to the committee during the months of October-January when phone calls increase to 1-3 calls per week. Members need to be active on the nominating committee by attending most teleconferences, participating in email discussions, reading appropriate documents, and providing input via email in advance of any meetings that they know they will miss. It is understood that everyone will not make every meeting. Committee members need to solicit information on the candidate as needed prior to discussions on the slate. It is the member’s responsibility to be able to present unbiased candidate pros and cons, not necessarily to be an advocate for every nominee. Attendance at the Society annual conference (at your own expense) is strongly encouraged, although not required. Members should assist by actively engaging with qualified candidates to encourage them to apply for open positions. The nominating committee members need to use discretion because the nature of meetings, discussions and email communications are highly confidential and must not be shared outside of the nominating committee.

While each Region Nominating Committee is responsible for ensuring that qualified candidates are slated for each position, it is the responsibility of all members to identify and bring forth qualified candidates to ensure strong leadership for the future of the organization during this governance transition time.

Region A Nominating Committee Chair, Jennie Montano:  NomComm-A@swe.org

Please take some time to consider who you feel has the skills and qualifications to best lead the Society through these roles. You may submit a nomination for someone else or yourself. The deadline for submitting nominations is January 14, 2018 by 11:59 pm PT. Nominees may apply only in the Region where his/her membership resides.

December 2017- Leadership Coaching Committee

The Leadership Coaching Committee is a network of trained SWE leaders available to advise sections on best practices in a wide range of topics. LCC’s role will be even more important in the next fiscal year: with the dissolution of regions, the LCC will be the the main point of contact on SWE development resources.

How does leadership coaching occur?
LCC coaches can meet with section leadership either virtually, or in person—FREE of charge. A significant amount of content can may be accessed by SWE members 24/7 through the SWE Advance Learning Center webinars. Check out the following video for instructions on how to access the center:

What types of training modules are available?
The LCC provides three types of modules: Joint (topics relevant to both collegiate and professional sections), Collegiate, and Professional .

What are a few examples of modules?

  • “Hitting the Ground Running” for collegiate members entering the workforce
  • “SWE Succession and Career Planning” for professionals
  • “Building Membership” for both professional and collegiate sections.
    Read more details about these and other modules on the LCC Blog.

How do consultations work?
Sections identify topics of need of improvement and LCC coaches help brainstorm or provide examples of what has worked in other sections.

Who do I contact to set up an LCC presentation at my section?
1. Email the LCC Region A Team Lead at LCC_Region_A@swe.org. The LCC Blog has a full list of contacts at the society level.
2. Fill out the LCC coaching request form available here or by copy-pasting the following address: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SBNe8Nb_UMC4x9D25bNluUCcrNegvhuRSvNiaavw1w4/viewform?usp=send_form

SWE Region A Awards: Due December 31, 2017

Dear Region A,

The Society of Women Engineers Region A strives to recognize the successes of SWE members who enhance the engineering profession and advance SWE’s mission.

This year Region A has four individual award categories for professional and collegiate members. We encourage self-nomination.

  • Distinguished Leader Award (Professional 10+ Years Work Experience)
  • Emerging Leader (Professional 1-10 Years Work Experience)
  • Outstanding Collegiate Leader (Junior/Senior/Graduate Student)
  • Future Collegiate Leader (Community College/Freshman/Sophomore)


How to Complete the Nomination
Follow these steps to successfully complete a nomination package:



Cassi Janakos
Region A Governor
Society of Women Engineers

Region A well represented in 2017 Society Awards

Region A was well represented in 2017 Society Awards at each level of membership: ranging from collegiate to fellow grade!

At the collegiate level, Erin Baumgartner of California State University, Chico was awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Member Award.  This award recognizes collegiate members who make “an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community and their campus”. Congratulations Erin!

Erin Baumgartner (L) celebrating the award with her mother.

Two SWE professional members were recognized for active engagement in engineering during the first decade of their careers. Congratulations to SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award recipients Cassi Janakos of Healthy Horizons and Erika D. Rodrigues, PhD, of Jacobs Technology at NASA Ames Research Center!

Erika D. Rodrigues, PhD (L) with Cassi Janakos (R), honored at the SWE Awards Banquet.

Cecilia (Ceal) D. Craig, PhD, of Druai Education Research was awarded with Fellow Grade honors for “continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession”. Congratulations Ceal!

FY18 SWE President Jonna Gerken (L) with Ceal Craig, PhD, at Celebrate SWE.

Several sections within Region A also received awards. The Santa Clara Valley Section was honored with a Multicultural Award sponsored by the Motorola Foundation. The Sierra Nevada Section received both a “Best Practice” and a “Silver” overall award in the SWE Mission Award category.

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Quite a collection of Region A winners! Representatives from the Santa Clara Valley and Sierra Nevada sections, in addition to members of the Region A Council and College Leadership Team at WE17’s Celebrate SWE!

SWE Santa Clara Valley Formal Mentoring Program (Open to all Region A Members!)

SWE Santa Clara Valley (SCV) is exploring establishing a Formal Mentoring Program to build empowering relationships between its experienced, developing members and scholarship applicants as well as between members.
We need you!
Our goals would be to:
1. Help members find a compatible mentor
2. Provide opportunities for members to mentor other professionals, scholarship applicants or both
3. Provide the guidance to help members create effective, long-lasting mentorships.
The time commitment is flexible, depending on the relationships that mentors and mentees develop together. We need your input to evaluate interest in this program.
Please take the following survey to let us know your interest level so we can get this started!!!

Join Region A on Nov 11 at Apple Hill in Placerville, CA!

Region A and the Region Collegiate Team (RCT) are hosting their Fall Social Event in Placerville, California. Join us on Saturday, November 11 at 12pm for a day of family-friendly fun! Feel free to bring friends and family.  Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/161339951124694/ (RSVP requested)

Tractor Hayride + Lunch for SWE Members, Friends, & Family!
Meet at the Tractor Hayride area first. Attendees to pay costs for attractions and lunch onsite directly at the ranch.

High Hill Ranch is located in Placerville and offers unique outdoor activities for kids and adults. They have a variety of apples, craft booths, restaurants, pony rides, fishing, fudge factory, suns and shade areas, drinks, face painting, music, pumpkins, parking…etc.

Tractor Hayrides cost $5 for adults and $3 for kids. We’ll ride a 1960’s Farm Cub Tractor on a guided tour through the apple orchard. Will learn about the apple process from picking, storage, to baking.

After the hayride, we can socialize over a leisurely lunch then have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the other attractions.

From Sacramento take HWY 50 towards Placerville take the Carson Rd Exit and turn left we are less than a 1/2 mile down Carson Rd turn RT at High Hill Rd.

Learn more about the ranch: https://www.highhillranch1.net/

High Hill Ranch
2901 High Hill Rd
Placerville, CA 95667
Phone: 530-644-1973
They do not ship any of their products.
Live weather click on the link below.

Apple Hill

#WE17 – The Final Checklist

WE17 is here! We have SWEsters from all across the country and the world flocking to Austin, Texas to enjoy a few days really teaching us what SWE is all about. As you finalize your packing tonight, if you haven’t already taken off, here’s a quick checklist that may be of help.


  • Your plane ticket: make sure to finalize your departure and returning flights, and transportation to/from the airport. Be sure to check out any traffic or weather that may impact your travel.
  • Review of the Liquids Rule: depending on your airline, be sure that you are aware of what you are allowed to bring in your carry-on, or you may want to consider checking in luggage.
  • If your hotel offers a shuttle service, check out the schedule. Lyft also provides an option for you to schedule a pick-up; when using Lyft, there is an additional charge for them to pick you up from the airport.
  • It may also be easier for you to print out your resumes (recommended at least 20 if you plan to attend the career fair) ahead of time.
  • Ensure your hotel reservations are still good!
  • Double check your luggage sizes: backpack, duffle bags, carry-ons, suit cases, etc. and verify your airline’s policies. Some airlines also have weight-based policies.
  • Don’t forget your ID, passport, credit card, wallet, itinerary, insurance card, and emergency contact information.

What to Pack: 

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup remover wipes (if necessary), face-wash, shampoo/conditioner, etc. Hotels provide small samples of them, so if they’re not enough, either pack travel-sized ones or you could stop by a convenience store in Austin. All-in-one shampoos and conditioners are great because of their many uses and you save space!
  • Any medication that may be necessary. If you have allergies or a medical condition, be sure to alert your fellow travel companions of an emergency situation and how best to respond.
  • Backpack or purse(s) to carry your stuff around with.
  • 2-3 pairs of shoes
  • 2-3 business casual outfits and at least 2 personal outfits depending on what you’re doing.
  • Hair ties, brush/combs, hair products, safety pins, or clips as needed.
  • Lotion, perfume, chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton balls, Q-tips, facial tissues
  • Socks and other essentials
  • Glasses or contacts and contact fluids, if applicable.
  • Pens/pencils, paper, and some folder or portfolio with a hard surface to write on.
  • A light coat, if necessary
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel pillow and/or earbuds
  • Cell phone charger, adapter, headphones, laptop and laptop charger.
  • Reusable and empty water bottle (refill after going through TSA).
  • Optional: again, your hotel will provide towels and if they don’t provide fresh towels as needed, you may want to bring your own.
  • Tip: save space in  your luggage and WEAR some of those clothes to the airport. Or you could also pick up Spacebags from Target or Walmart; there’s a variety of bags, and the most travel-friendly Spacebag is the one where you can roll the air out of it.

Other Tips/Advice: 

  • Don’t forget that you’ll get to pick up free swag at the conference or souvenirs so account for that space in your luggage!
  • Be aware of your surroundings and travel smartly. Uber/Lyft drivers and other locals are great resources on knowing what to expect around Austin.
  • Take your time in packing, traveling, and getting to places. Make sure you double-check your hotel when leaving – it’d suck to return home and realize you left something there.

Now some of these things may be overkill, but simply recommendations for a comfortable time. Safe travels everyone!

#WE17 – Dress for Success

Hey SWEsters! We are OFFICIALLY less than a week away to WE17, and if you haven’t started packing, fear not – we are here to help you. From what to wear for the conference or personal exploration, for how to pack efficiently, or what to bring to the convention center itself, we got you covered.

Assuming most of you are staying Thursday-Sunday morning, that’s about 3 days filled with formal interactions, nightlife, and down-time. First, let’s explore appropriate conference attire. WE17 published the following webinar to help provide guidelines on what is appropriate for the conference; the webinar will help you learn what to wear/not wear at the WE17 Career Fair, networking sessions, and professional development workshops. You will learn how to carry yourself with confidence and dress in a way that will highlight you in a positive, professional light.

We often face the struggle of sacrificing style for comfort and function. Flats have been an optional solution to this by providing all the aesthetics of a heeled shoe, but easier for your feet to wear all day. On the other hand, heels, for some people, provide a smart, polished, confident look. When packing for the conference, it is about your personal preferences, and your ability to be mobile. I often find myself being high-maintenance and have brought two pairs of shoes to the conference: my heels for during the career fair, and a pair of loafers or flats if my feet get tired. Boots are also a great alternative because it has the comfort of a flat, and the aesthetic of a heel (especially with the chance of rain this Saturday). You’re going to be walking quite a lot during the conference; so don’t feel disappointed if you can’t wear your cute new pair of shoes to the conference – save it for your personal time afterwards!


These pair of Aldo Biacci flats (left) have a low-heel that still make you feel dressy, and the chic gold-toned heel on these ballet-style flats help keep you feeling modern, yet professional. They also save space in your luggage!


Alternatively, these leather ankle tie boots provide the perfect fall feel, has a heel that is just flattering enough, yet functional to     manage the weather and those anxious interactions. It also has a tasteful pop of bootie1.JPGcolor and texture.





loafer 1 When it doubt, black will always be a classic color. Loafers are now trending, and are professional enough; they are that sweet spot between a formal sneaker and a flat. These black, velvet cambrie loafers can go from the career fair, to networking, to grabbing lunch with other SWEsters.


The weather forecast in Austin, TX is low-80s/low-50’s for Thursday, and the upper-60’s/low-40’s from Friday thru Sunday, and overall sunny and dry. So, for most of us from the Golden West, it’s perfect fall weather. I’ve had a few questions come in regarding humidity – which will be about 30% on average for the conference; to compare, for those of you in Northern California, this week had about 40-50% humidity.

You will need 2-3 business casual outfits, personal outfits, the “essentials”, and perhaps 2-3 pairs of shoes for the trip. Mind you, this is just a modest recommendation, so if you’re like me and you’re a bit high maintenance, feel free to vary as needed. The key to packing for outfits if you can’t make up your mind, or you don’t want to take up precious luggage space, is utilizing multi-functional clothing, or mix-n-matching outfits. For example, a good quality blazer can go a long way, and you can pair it with different blouses; the same goes with slacks or a skirt – just change the top and shoes! In general, by investing in a high-quality, professional wardrobe, it’ll pay off in the long-run because those pieces will go with everything, and last a long time.

Other pairings could include a dress and a blazer, skirt and a blouse, or even rock the power suit. Overall, your clothes should fit well (i.e. not too baggy or not too tight); studies show that when you put 26% more effort into your outfit, your professionalism and confidence increases significantly. What’s extra effort? Iron/steam your clothes in the morning (hang your delicates in the bathroom as you shower), using a lint roller, wearing a belt, using tasteful jewelry, just those small things that truly go a long way. My piece of advice is to dress in a way that speaks to your personality – make it shine.

suit1        bc1bc2        skirt1

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bc5.JPG                                           bc6.JPG

Casual outfits could be made up of jeans, tees/graphic tees, a light cardigan or silk scarf, sundresses, sneakers, flats, flip flops, or boots! Based on your Austin activities, it’ll help determine how to dress. If you plan to be mobile and walk a lot – dress for comfort and maybe choose one article of clothing that is slightly stylish/dressy if you want your pics to feel more put together. Dressing for the night out? Pockets and small cross-body purses are your best friend to eliminate the need for a coat, and can also carry your essentials with you. Also, it’s Halloweekend! So, perhaps bringing your costume may not be a bad idea.

We’d love to see your outfits, so tag us on Instagram (@swe.regiona) or email us and show us how you handle #WE17 LIKE A BOSS.

Featured Questions: 

“I know everyone interprets business casual differently, but is it better to be overdressed or underdressed?” 

My personal policy is it’s better to be overdressed, just because you probably wouldn’t feel as embarrassed if you were underdressed. I like to think of business casual as this happy medium where you would feel comfortable talking to your potential future employer in it, or dressing professionally in such a way that any interaction could change your life. I know we all have really cute pieces in our closets that we want to flaunt, but use discretion that perhaps the conference itself may not be the best place.

“How short is TOO short for a dress/skirt [ for the conference]”

Again, this is subjective, but a common rule of “thumb” that I’ve been told is if you stand straight, and let your hands fall to the sides of your legs, your middle finger is the length you’d like to aim for. If you feel like it’s a bit risky, then trust your gut. Also keep in mind how the length of your dress/skirt changes considerably based on the fit/fabric when you sit down and it rides up.

“Do I have to dress business casual the whole time during the conference?”

Not quite! It depends on the manner of your interactions; if you’re attending the career fair, interviews, or professional events, then business casual is definitely your theme. However, if you’re just attending sessions all day, or even volunteering for the outreach events, you may want to opt for a more casual outfit. Don’t know whether something is too casual? A great tip is that if you have SWE-related gear, those, most of the time, will always work.