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Our FY17 leadership team is a diverse and dynamic group! Join our FY18 team and make the most of your Dallas SWE experience.

It’s that time of year again: we are gearing up to elect a new team of Dallas SWE Leaders! SWE is a great place to learn new leadership skills, give back to your community, and build a network of engineering professionals and friends! Per our section bylaws, elected officers must be voting members of Dallas SWE in good standing with the Society.

Officers are expected to attend monthly 1-hour executive council meetings, usually conference calls on a weekday evening. The schedule for the year is agreed-upon by officers each year. Once a quarter, in place of a conference call, we have a face-to-face 2-hour business meeting on a weekend. At the start of each fiscal year, a day-long officer transition meeting is held to share lessons learned from outgoing officers to incoming officers and bring everyone up to speed on Dallas SWE happenings. We have a wealth of experience to help you succeed in your leadership role and won’t leave you hanging!

See an important message from our FY17 Nominating Committee below!

Dallas SWE is currently seeking nominations for officers to serve for FY18 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018).

There are 8 positions available and self nominations are highly encouraged! We need nominations for the following 1-year term positions: President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Outreach, Secretary, Section Representative (1 position). Additionally, we are seeking nominations for Treasurer (2 year term) and one Financial Advisory Committee Member (3-year term). Below (under the cut) are detailed positions descriptions per our section Bylaws. You can also view practical descriptions of our assigned activities on our website here. Please e-mail any questions to zgahmad@gmail.com.

Please e-mail nominations to zgahmad@gmail.com  by Saturday, April 8th at 11:59pm.

Thank you!
Dallas SWE FY17 Nominating Committee
Teri Cate (Chair), Tessa Hazlett, Zaineb Ahmad, Molly Sing


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With our Member of the Month program, Dallas SWE seeks to recognize some of our non-officer members whose technical contributions, leadership accomplishments, or SWE volunteer service are particularly noteworthy. If you would like to nominate a Dallas SWE member for his/her contributions, please email us.

Our Member of the Month for March is Shilpa Nagaraj! Shilpa has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, India. Her love for math and science led her to engineering while bringing a design to life via solid modelling and analysis lured her into a mechanical engineering profession. She currently works as a Senior Design Engineer at Emerson designing pressure regulators for Natural Gas Pipelines. She has also worked in New Product Development Group as an HVAC compressor design engineer for the automotive industry. She has extensive experience in engineering & project management in the R&D, automotive and energy sectors for over 15 years.

She believes providing exposure and opportunities for young women to showcase their capabilities is crucial in increasing their chances of success in STEM careers. As a STEM activist for young women, she serves as a Counselor to the Collin County Community College section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Ever since she worked on her thesis in Robotics and Control Systems in Graduate School, she has developed a keen interest in volunteering at Robotics Activities such as building VEX Modkits Robots for Robot Soccer via Collin College Girls in Engineering Program. Other involvement with STEM included serving as a Panel member for Shark Tank Design Contest for Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Career Panel member for Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas, volunteer for Dallas SWE’s Design Your World STEM Conference for Girls,  volunteer as Scholarship Review Committee Member and Finance Committee Member for SWE.  She is also a College Relations Officer for Local Universities via the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She currently serves as Women’s Alliance of Mckinney (WAM), Mckinney Chamber of Commerce Board Member and helps empower women in business. She recently completed a Certificate of Non Profit Management Course from State University of New York (SUNY).

The SWE network is like no other; it is a strong force, a collaboration, a sisterhood that encourages & understands its student and professional members. SWE provides amazing networking, professional development and outreach opportunities for its members. I have developed great friendships while attending events such as Region and National Conference, local networking events and industry tours. SWE keeps me up to date with technology, industry trends via presentations, webinars, and poster presentations. The outreach activities at SWE keep me engaged and facilitates its members to give back to the community.

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The Key to Success and Sanity in the Workplace:
Developing the Vital Communication Skills to Talk about ANYTHING

Join Dallas SWE members for an engaging professional development event presented by Alise Cortez, an expert in organizational development, complex enterprise strategy implementation, and leadership transformation and development. She will discuss how to cultivate the skills needed to inspire, motivate, and communicate about tough issues in the workplace.

When: Tuesday, March 21, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Blue Mesa Grill – Addison, 14866 Montfort Dr, Dallas, TX 75254
Cost: FREE for SWE members, $5 for non-members. Food available for purchase by  the individual. RSVP below!

Eventbrite - Dallas SWE - March 2017 Professional Development Event

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Collegiate group photo at the final Region C Conference!

Last weekend, twelve Dallas SWE members kicked off Engineers Week by attending the final Region C Conference! Texas A&M University in College Station hosted over 300 collegiates and professionals from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi for a busy weekend of networking, professional development, career coaching, and celebrating the history of SWE Region C!

Dallas SWE at the final Region C Conference!

Friday evening attendees were welcomed at a networking social with prizes for filling in networking bingo cards and performances by A&M’s Aggie Wrangler dance team and the Apotheosis a cappella singing group. Later, the group separated into socials for smaller groups including graduate students and past section presidents and region governors.

Saturday’s activities kicked off with breakfast and keynote speaker Polly Bessel from AT&T who shared perspectives from her long and varied career experiences. Our joint region business meeting was led by Region C Governor Hope Toole Schwalls and the FY17 Region C leadership team, giving updates on SWE governance changes, region finances, K-12 outreach initiatives, SWE Senate updates, SWE branding tips for social media use, and LCC program updates. Then we split up into separate professional / collegiate meetings to discuss further region business.

During the professional Region C Council meeting, the main point of discussion was how to dispense our healthy region finances as SWE governance changes force the dissolution of our current region structure. A proposal was presented to fund an endowed scholarship to be managed by the SWE Finance Committee, with the remainder of region funds being disbursed equally to all professional and collegiate Region C sections and MAL accounts in good standing. Pros / cons to this approach were discussed and several other endowment options were also considered. The Region Council will consider several proposals in the coming months as we have a goal to approve a plan by the end of FY17. If you have suggestions or opinions on this topic, please email us at dallas.swe@gmail.com as soon as possible and we will make sure our Section Representatives take your important feedback into consideration before a vote is brought to the Region Council.

After one breakout session hour, attendees enjoyed lunch with SWE Board of Directors member Karen Roth delivering the State of SWE presentation on changes happening within SWE at the national and international level. Special highlights were made on SWE Next, WE Local conferences, and membership growth especially in countries outside the United States. In the afternoon, attendees enjoyed three more breakout session hours, a research poster competition, and the career fair.

Accepting Lennox SWE Region C Sustaining Benefactor Award!

Saturday evening culminated in the annual Region C Awards Banquet with keynote speaker Janeen Judah, an A&M Alumna with inspirational words for women engineers at all stages of their education and careers to be proud of our accomplishments and strive for excellence in all circumstances. Lennox was awarded the SWE Region C Sustaining Benefactor Award for their support of Dallas SWE professional development and outreach activities!

As the tradition of over 20 years of Region C Conferences come to a close, we are optimistic about the replacement WE Local Conferences and the opportunities they will bring for networking and sharing SWE lessons learned across geographic regions. In FY18, the closest WE Local conference to us will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For the latest information on WE Local conferences, visit SWE’s WE Local website.

Below are some additional photos and insights from Dallas SWE attendees. If you missed this conference, we hope to see you at WE17 in Austin, TX October 26-28! Mark your calendars! The WE17 website will be up soon with housing reservations opening in April and registration opening in May. The conference planning team is in need of volunteers: if you are interested, sign up here or email us for more information!

“As a relatively new grad, my main goal was to hit up a one-on-one coaching session with experienced engineers to talk about my career trajectory and interests. I got some great insight and direction and was really glad this experience was available to me. Another great moment at the conference was realizing that one of the speakers, now a faculty member at Texas A&M, was once a faculty member at Ohio State! She influenced me to join a engineering design team and that led me to Buckeye Current – a major part of my college experience.”
– Kim Concillado, Dallas SWE Social Media Chair

“I loved the Cyclotron tour, it was a truly unique experience. The conference was a great opportunity to meet fellow SWE members and also interact with the Collin College student chapter. I particularly loved the ‘Life Hacks’ session by Shawna Fletcher.”
– Shilpa Nagaraj, Collin College SWE Counselor

“After attending my third Region C Conference, I’m reminded of what an amazing opportunity it has been to network with area professionals, grow personally, and connect with SWE friends, old and new. Though smaller than the Society WE Conferences, Region Conferences provided wonderful sessions for professional development and SWE business. Every conference has had a vastly different feel, but the support, diversity, and sense of community is ever-present, which is why I’m looking forward to attending WE Local in 2018 as part of a new yearly tradition.”
– Zaineb Ahmad, Dallas SWE VP of Membership

“The first Region Conference I attended was ten years ago in College Station, so it was interesting to have the last Region Conference there as well! I’ve made some great memories with SWEsters from our Region over the years and while this last conference was bittersweet, I am confident that we’ll continue to have friends in our surrounding states and make new connections and new memories in WE Local cities starting in FY18!”
– Shelley Stracener, Dallas SWE President

I am sad it was the last Region C conference ever and am so glad I was able to attend. I attended my first Region C conference in 2013 here in Dallas, and every one since then. Texas A&M did a great job of hosting. The entertainment at the Friday night social was fantastic!
Hearing about WE17 heightens the anticipation for the conference coming to Austin in October. I appreciated Karen Roth, SWE Director of Professional Excellence, speaking to us about the Society Governance Update and the State of SWE.
I liked carpooling because it is a great time to catch up with my Dallas SWEsters and talk about what is happening in the section and beyond.
The key take-away for me is around determining the plan for disbursement of Region C finances at the end of FY18. I heard people with lots of different opinions during the professional business meeting. As a section representative, I will want to know what our members think about the options proposed.
-Barbara Read, Dallas SWE Section Representative

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On Tuesday, Feb 21, SMU held its eleventh annual networking event She Networks, She Wins, with about 65 guests in attendance. Collegiates socialized with engineering professionals and enjoyed refreshments before the panel talk began. The four panelists were Cindy Clingenpeel (VP, Hitachi Consulting), Ellen Dowd (Senior VP at Hitachi Consulting), Dr. Leslie Ledda (Director of Internal R&D at Raytheon), and Lauren Windsor (Intelligence Analyst at Lucid).

SMU SWE President Kelley Howey and Special Events Chair Marissa Dusek posed some really great questions around how changes in technology have affected the way we work, using our strengths to find our passions, and how to stand out from others, especially in large organizations. Dallas SWE President Shelley Stracener ended the meeting by inviting students to continue these important connections by attending upcoming Dallas SWE events and staying connected to professional organizations like SWE after graduation, no matter where they end up geographically.

There were many insightful quotes from each panelist, but here are a few gems that really stood out:

“Don’t try to represent all women or follow a script: being yourself brought you to where you are & it will carry you forward!” -Ellen Dowd

“Technology is great to connect us virtually but you have to build relationships and trust with people first.” -Cindy Clingenpeel

“Take advantage of opportunities to connect outside your immediate teammates to build an influential network of other engineers.” -Dr. Leslie Ledda

“Network outside of engineering groups too! Connecting with people with other interests will help you gain new perspectives.” -Lauren Windsor

Thanks to SMU SWE and their Faculty Advisor, Rachel Goodman, for continuing this successful Engineers Week tradition!

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Dallas SWE offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors and collegiate SWE leaders. Award amounts range from $250-$1000.

Qualified applicants for high school scholarships must attend a Dallas area / Region 10 school and plan to major in engineering. Applications for high school scholarships are due April 15.

Qualified applicants for the Annie Colaço collegiate SWE leader scholarships must be SWE members in good standing and attend a Dallas / Fort Worth college or university. Applications for collegiate scholarships are due April 30.  For more information and to apply, visit our Dallas SWE scholarship website: http://www.dallaswe.org/scholarships/

Please share this information with the young ladies in your life! We also need volunteers to review the increasing number of applications we receive each year. We have a great rubric set up and the entire evaluation process will only require a few hours out of your busy schedule over the 2-3 week evaluation period in late April. Please email Scholarship Committee Chair Lynn Mortensen if you are interested in helping us reward local students for their accomplishments! This is a great way to give back to SWE and pay it forward for the next generation of women engineers.

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With our Member of the Month program, Dallas SWE seeks to recognize some of our non-officer members whose technical contributions, leadership accomplishments, or SWE volunteer service are particularly noteworthy. If you would like to nominate a Dallas SWE member for his/her contributions, please email us.

Molly Sing is a microelectromechanical system characterization engineer at Texas Instruments. She has her MS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and her BS in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She is currently working on her PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the nonlinear control of microsystems at University of Texas at Dallas. Two tenets have served Molly well in her career, asking why until there is a physically relevant phenomena, and fostering communication between disciplines and roles. So far she has worked on silicon nanowires, phase change switches, aluminum nitride filters, MEMS variable capacitors, and MEMS spacial light modulators, in academia, national laboratories, and in industry.

Molly joined SWE in 2010 during graduate school at Purdue. She served as graduate student coordinator, running a program to connect undergraduates with graduate student mentors. She joined the Dallas professional section in 2015 and in this year participates on our Programs Committee where she has helped plan two of our monthly professional development meetings. She has also participated on several panels including the one on Industry Perspectives on Diversity in STEM at our recent College to Career Leadership Workshop. We love her enthusiasm for sharing her story with others! Outside of SWE she has volunteered for High Tech High Heels, UTD’s Young Women Investigators in Science and Engineering, and serves as the Dallas Alumni coordinator for Rose-Hulman.

“What I love about SWE is that we are stronger because we are together, we are stronger because we are different, and we are stronger because we can be honest with each other. What attracted me to SWE was a commitment to helping each other. Sometimes you need help, sometimes you can help others and SWE accommodates both.”

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To celebrate Engineer’s Week in February we’ll host a social brunch at Coal Vines Prestonwood. We’ll network and socialize over some great food!

When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

Where: Coal Vines Prestonwood
5407 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254

Cost: Registration is free, food and drinks are available for purchase by individuals.
Check out their brunch menu here.

Please RSVP by Noon Friday, February 24th so we can make an accurate head count!
Eventbrite - Dallas SWE February Social Brunch

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On Saturday, February 4th Dallas SWE was a part of the Dallas ISD STEM EXPO, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.  The STEM EXPO was an all-day event that focused on STEM-related careers and coursework.  K-12 DISD students and family members engaged in hands-on and interactive sessions that were provided by local colleges and universities, museums, engineering organizations, and STEM-focused organizations. The Dallas ISD STEM EXPO also included the district’s STEM competitions, showcases, and exhibits from students within Dallas ISD.  Dallas SWE had a booth to assist the students and parents in “building a circuit” and gave out information on Dallas SWE, SWENext and Design Your World.

Thanks to the volunteers Kim Concillado, Stephen Scheramic, Rebecca Byford, Latischa Hanson and Samica Norman for their help at the event.

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A partial group photo at the end of the day: lots of smiles!

The first College to Career Leadership Workshop hosted by SWE Dallas, NSBE DFW, and SHPE DFW was a great success! On Saturday, January 28, collegiates and professionals met at the lovely Meadows Conference Center in Dallas to network and get prepared for entering or re-entering the workforce.

Attendees had their choice of attending one of three sessions each hour, with a pizza lunch sponsored by State Farm and Texas Instruments. Two hours of resume review and interview training were held, as well as sessions with guest speakers including:

  • Alicia Morgan on Leading With Your Strengths and Values
  • Brianne Martin on Personal Branding
  • Lynn Mortensen on Changing Career Tracks from Technical to Managerial
  • Norman Tidmore on Dressing for Success
  • A panel talk on Industry Perspectives on Diversity in STEM Careers with Molly Sing and Zaineb Ahmad from SWE, Aniekan Inoyo and Dejanae White from NSBE, and Jacob Acosta from SHPE

Panel: Industry Perspectives on Diversity in STEM Careers

Feedback survey responses were overwhelmingly positive, especially from our collegiate attendees who really enjoyed meeting professionals and getting some perspectives on strategies for securing their first job, lessons learned from early career challenges, and potential career paths to consider. They also gave us some great ideas for future session topics.

Special thanks to our sponsors and, our event planning team, and our day-of volunteers who provided their expertise and mentoring to our local collegiate and professional attendees! Working together for our common goal of inspiring and equipping engineers to be successful in their careers has fostered some great multicultural partnerships. We look forward to future events of this kind!

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