Society of Women Engineers wins Outstanding Collegiate Section award

Stefanie Tomlinson
November 04, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was selected as recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Collegiate Section Silver Award at the SWE National Conference in Baltimore on Oct. 24 to 26.

The award is presented to collegiate sections with the most outstanding overall program for the previous academic year.

Sections were assessed on their ability to meet SWE's strategic priorities as well as a self-evaluation and activity report that was submitted to the SWE National last May. Reports were judged on criteria such as communication, membership recruitment, outreach, professional excellence and innovative, new or expanded activities.

Erin Miller, Penn State SWE treasurer and fifth-year senior in architectural engineering, noted, "It was a lot of work to pull the report together after classes ended and submit it by the May 31 deadline. We wanted to include all the details about our events, who attended them and their impact." The Penn State SWE chapter engages in an array of initiatives throughout the year from Penn State Homecoming and THON to career development and networking programs to pre-college outreach and SWE Stayover events.

Twenty-three Penn State SWE members attended the awards banquet. The group did not know which university was going to receive the award until their section name was called. Miller, who has been a SWE member since her first year at Penn State, recalled, "They gave out gold, silver and bronze section awards. We were supposed to hold our applause until the very end, but that's not our style. We saw our name on a board before it was announced, and we stood and cheered."

Miller said they were especially glad to win, because it was the only award for which they submitted an application. She said, "Maybe next year, with a little more planning, Penn State SWE can win the gold."

According to its website, the SWE’s mission is to "stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life and demonstrate the value of diversity."

SWE boasts nearly 20,000 members worldwide, and more than 400 professional and collegiate sections across the country.

Last Updated May 12, 2016