Society of Women Engineers wins national essay contest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Where do you think your shoes could take you? Could you explain it effectively in 350 words for cash prizes for your organization?
"Where will your shoes take you?" was the essay question that the Penn State Society of Women Engineers (SWE) answered in 350 words that won them a total of $16,800 in prize money to be given in part to their engineering programs.

The contest, named Create Your Own Path, was sponsored by Schlumberger and the National Society of Women Engineers. This is the third year that the organization has won this essay competition.

Contestants had to creatively answer where they thought their non-traditional careers would take them. Penn State had 148 entries followed by Ohio State with 95. Penn State was awarded $100 per entry and an additional $2,000 for having the highest number of entries.

Kelsa Benensky, a mechanical engineering junior, won first-place for an essay about her parents' influence on her to go for her dreams.

"I learned from their example that if you follow your heart and really go for it that there is nothing stopping you," said Benensky. She also said it means a lot to Penn State's SWE organization to have done so well in the competition because their success raised money to help young women in engineering at Penn State.

"SWE really gives women engineers a great opportunity to network, make friends and give back to the Penn State community," explained Benensky. She intends on using her prize money to attend the American Nuclear Society's winter meeting, meet her mentor and network with other professionals in this field.

SWE President Kylie Sheplock echoed what Benensky had to say. "I am so happy that this year SWE has continued the tradition with winning the essay contest. Schlumberger is a wonderful company who has been always generous to Penn State SWE, and it is nice to see how important it is for them to get women interested in engineering."

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Last Updated November 06, 2012