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Last week, Dallas SWE members Laura Geiger, Shelley Stracener, Nicole Navinsky, and Wanda Holmes attended the Annual Society of Women Engineers Conference (WE13) in Baltimore, MD.  Attendance was at an all-time high this year: over 7,000 people were present to enjoy this year’s event!  The Career Fair was also the largest ever for a National SWE Conference, with representatives from industry, government, and graduate education recruiting engineers of all types and ages.

Celebrate SWE crowd on Saturday evening!

Celebrate SWE crowd on Saturday evening!

National conference is always a great time to recharge our batteries, take care of SWE section business, and get inspired to improve ourselves and our careers through education, networking, and collaboration.  We posted lots of real-time info on Twitter and Facebook, so check those out if you want the play-by-play report of the week’s activities.  Thursday was kicked off with an inspiring talk from Cristina Amorim, Chief Sustainability Officer of Life Technologies, about how visibility (seizing and in some cases creating your own opportunities to be noticed and recognized for your excellent work) is key to success for women in engineering.  There were some truly amazing sessions, including a film screening of Top Secret Rosies, advice on how to grow your career in a growing organization, influencing without authority,  and several sessions on how to effectively run meetings even if you participate via a virtual work environment.  Technical talks included highlights in the fields of biometric identification devices, cloud computing and storage, smart power grids, and mobile application development.

Joint Collegiate and Professional Region C Meeting

Joint Collegiate and Professional Region C Meeting

At the Region C meeting, professionals and collegiates from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi got together to discuss membership and recruitment, leadership training resources, proposed bylaw changes, outreach activities, and some new collegiate sections.  At Celebrate SWE, the conference’s closing ceremony and celebration, Nicole Navinsky, our Fundraising Committee Chair, received an award for Outstanding Collegiate Member!  The SMU student section got the Outstanding Collegiate Section Silver Level Award.  To top off the shared successes of this year, the Dallas SWE section was presented with a Section Award for our Outreach Event Series, Design Your World!  We are honored to be recognized for the events on which our volunteers and officers worked very hard and also had a lot of fun!!  It was a great way to end the conference.  Congratulations to all the award winners for this year!

If you didn’t get to attend this year, plan on joining in on the conferences for 2014!!  The Region C Conference will be February 7-9, 2014 in Houston, TX.  Early bird registration prices are available through December 31 so don’t wait!  Visit their website for details and to register.  The National SWE Conference will be October 22-25, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA.  Stay tuned for details and a website link next year, but mark your calendars now!

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