Society of Women Engineers wins national award for eighth consecutive year


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– For the eighth year in a row, the Penn State Society of Women Engineers received the Outstanding College Section Gold Mission Award at the Annual National SWE Conference (WE21), the largest conference for women in engineering and technology. The national organization’s Penn State Student Section was also recognized, for the first time, with an award for Best Practices in Communication: Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion.

According to SWE website, SWE’s mission is to empower women to realize their full potential in careers as engineers and managers. SWE aims to promote the image of the engineering professions as a positive force to improve quality of life and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion. The company’s OCS Gold Mission award is the highest possible collegial recognition within the national organization.

WE21 took place October 21-23 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year’s theme was “Aspire to inspire”. The event – which also included virtual components – hosted a career fair, various information sessions, networking events, an awards reception and keynote speeches from women in the industry: Stephanie Hill, Executive Vice President rotary and mission systems at Lockheed Martin; Barbara Humpton, President and CEO of Siemens USA; and Patti Pope, CEO of PG&E.

Each year, SWE honors numerous SWE college chapters across the country with its Mission Awards. According to SWE website, the recipients of this award embody the core values ​​of SWE and demonstrate continuous improvement and growth while working to achieve the strategic goals of the company.

Penn State SWE has a leadership team of 68 women who are dedicated to creating events and opportunities for members to improve professionally and in aspects of service, diversity and inclusion and socially. Said Erin Anderson, fourth-year civil engineering student and director of personal improvement for Penn State SWE. “I think what sets us apart from other sections is the size of our management team. Having such a group of dedicated women at SWE really helps us create great events and make them fun for everyone. “

Penn State SWE has not only been recognized for its efforts to represent SWE’s national motto, “Advance, Aspire and Succeed”, but also for its achievements in diversity and inclusion.

“Our ambitious section of Penn State SWE always goes above and beyond expectations and impact at scale,” said Cheryl Knobloch, Senior Director of the Penn State Women in Engineering Program and Advisor to Penn State SWE. “Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles during a pandemic, our members are committed to achieving excellence and innovatively generating programs to advance their engineering peers and enrich our college. Receiving the National Gold Mission Award for eighth year is an extraordinary achievement, and we are also proud of the explicit recognition of their diversity and excellence in inclusion. The competition for national recognition is fierce and distinguishes our chapter as visionary leaders and a model for SWE college chapters nationwide.

The Best Practice in Communication: Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award recognized Penn State SWE’s efforts to create an inclusive and fair-minded environment for its members, including the introduction of a new series of events focused on educational activities and discussions on diversity and inclusion.

The Diversity and Inclusion arm of Penn State SWE has been instrumental in educating members about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in raising awareness of the advocacy events taking place on the campus, ”Anderson said. “We have created a movie viewing club and organized book clubs that discuss diversity and inclusion topics. “

Penn State SWE, founded in 1975, is one of the largest active engineering organizations on campus with over 250 members. The Penn State Chapter participates in many campus-wide events each year including THON, homecoming events, and spiritual events and hosts professional development sessions, networking opportunities, and various social activities for his members.

“SWE is a community full of people who understand the challenges of being under-represented in the field and in the classroom,” said Klaudia Bak, third-year architectural engineering student and manager of services and development for Penn State SWE. “This common experience allows us to uplift each other and it is so important that we share resources and knowledge for every woman in engineering to be successful.”

More information, including how to get involved with Penn State SWE, can be found on the section website.


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