November Hot Topic: Outreach Events, IGED 2015 paired with iCON15

Reblog from http://kcsweiged.blogspot.com/

On February 27-28th, 2015, the Society of Women Engineers Kansas City Section (SWE-KC), in collaboration with the UMKC Collegiate Section, is excited to be hosting two prominent events: our 5th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) and the Region i Conference (iCON15). We are planning both of these events for the same weekend. IGED will be held on Friday, February 27th, from 7 AM – 2 PM. iCON15 will open Friday evening and run through Saturday night. Both events will be held at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza.

IGED is SWE-KC’s largest engineering outreach event. The purpose of the event is to assure high school girls that they can succeed in an engineering field. IGED will consist of an industry fair, a university fair, an engineering discipline fair, a college panel, a keynote speaker, and a hands-on engineering activity.

We are also proud to be hosting the 2015 Region i Conference (iCON15). We look forward to welcoming up to 250 professional and collegiate members to Kansas City from the Region i states of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. The annual Region i Conference supports diversity in STEM, offers networking opportunities, and provides personal, professional, and SWE development. This year’s conference theme is “Engineer a Game Plan”. This highlights Kansas City’s many successful architecture and engineering firms, several of which have designed notable stadiums worldwide, including for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and for the London Olympics. Furthermore, the theme will promote the mission of SWE and the goal of the conference: to stimulate women to achieve full potential as engineers and leaders by “engineering a game plan for their careers.”

IGED mentors are welcome to register for iCON15: http://www.swe-kc.org/icon15/. We look forward to an exciting 2015!

2014 5th Annual Rocky Mountain Mini Conference

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Below is a summary provided by Chelsea Panos who is the Vice President of Communications for the Colorado School of Mines Collegiate Section. 

The keynote speaker at the mini-conference was Dr. Priscilla Nelson, the Head of Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Following the theme of transitions and accessing your power, Dr. Nelson presented about her lifelong journey of transitioning from her countless jobs. She shared funny and inspiring stories about her “say yes” lifestyle and showed how she accessed and developed her personal power throughout her career.

Four recently graduated professional SWE members hosted a Q&A session at the mini-conference specifically for collegiates. They gave advice on how to succeed at career fairs, specifically the one held at the SWE Annual Conference. They also gave tips on how to give a good elevator pitch and how to transition successfully from college to your career. Lastly, they answered any and all questions that the collegiates had about school, careers, and life.

The conference’s workshop was titled “Making Visible the Invisible: Accessing our Power” and was given by Kari L. Granger, a performance consultant and a member of the leadership development faculty with Sungeros, LLC and a fellow at the United States Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development.  The highly interactive workshop used presentation, inquiry, dialogue, and individual and team group work to support participants’ achievement in aligning with their potential as women professionals in a male-dominated career field.  Participants were arranged in semicircles of five chairs and given the opportunity to work in groups. The workshop focused on identifying and breaking through self-limitations through teaching about “the way we listen,” “the source of my actions,” and “your past-given future.” Kari asked the participants to answer self-reflective questions including, “What conclusions have you reached about the way you are?” and “What conclusions have you reached about what it takes to be a successful engineer?” and “What do you want to be known as?” Ultimately, after three hours, participants were able to acknowledge that they are the authors of the decisions that they make and each person formulated an “action plan” to use their newfound power to overcome daily and long-term challenges and limitations.2014SWERMSMiniConference8

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Throwback Thursday: Region i Leadership Summit

This August, the leaders of Region i ventured to Olathe, KS for the annual Leadership Summit. Region i is one of the few regions that still convenes in person for their Leadership Summits. It is a great opportunity for new and old leaders of the region to get to know one another, grow their skills, and have some fun.

LS began with dinner that included introductions of all followed by a workshop held by special guest, Susan Phariss. The workshop was entitled “Collaboration and Creativity Takes Balls.” During this workshop, attendees got the opportunity to learn about how to work together all while having a “ball.” Region Leaders then had the opportunity to make LED Bracelets in an outreach activity led by Region i’s Outreach Chair, Barbara Davis. The evening concluded with a Town Hall Meeting with the Section Presidents.

The next morning began with a yoga session and breakfast. To get everyone ready and energized for the day, Susan Phariss lead another workshop entitled, “The Truth About Your Brain: It’s not All in Your Head.” The leaders of Region i learned about how to improve circulation to the brain through hydration and special foods. Following the workshop, Cindy Hoover, Society Treasurer, presented a template for the Society Strategic Plan. Then, Chiss Chavez, Region Governor, presented the Region Strategic and Tactical Plan. Adriana, CLCC, then presented a workshop on Section Strategic and Tactical Planning. The sections were then given time to work on their own section planning. The rest of the afternoon consisted of break out sessions held on professional and collegiate section officer training, managing effective meetings, and building membership.

Following dinner, a special workshop was held by Dr. Tracy Volz about “The Importance of Networking and Maintaining Section Communications.” Region Leaders learned and practiced how to effectively network and the impact it can have in their lives. Faith, LCC, then led a Succession Planning Workshop so the leaders could better plan for officer transitions and seeking out upcoming leaders. The evening concluded with a Jeopardy Game lead by Ellie Philips, RCCE, that resulted in some “friendly” competition.

Sunday morning began with a Region Council Meeting to discuss FY15 bids, iCON15 information and the new and improved awards program. Susan Phariss then lead the last workshop of the weekend, “High Tech Relief for High Tech Women.” Then, Alexis Brown, GMC, helped to clarify and answer questions about the requirements for each section to have their own Graduate Member Chair.

As you can see, the weekend with action packed with lots of fun and a little business. The Leadership Summit was a great opening to FY15 and all the amazing things planned for the year.

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Region i Awards and Scholarships

Region i Awards Program is now open!

SWE Awards celebrate the lifelong contributions women engineers and technologists make to our society—and our world. We encourage and reward advancements in technological innovation, leadership, education, work/life balance, outreach and diversity. Region i has launched an enhanced region awards program for FY15, but we need you to apply!

Necessary documentation is included below for member, program and company awards. No submission is necessary for section awards. For more information and award packets, please visit our Region i Awards Website. All submissions are due on November 28, 2014 and will be presented at our FY15 region conference in Kansas City.

Additionally, our committee is looking for judges! If you would like to help our committee, please fill out your information at this form. You will be able to rank your choices between reviewing member, program, or company awards. The time commitment will be minimal.

If you have any questions, please contact the Region i Awards chair directly at kristina.george@swe.org.

Region i Scholarships

For the first time, Region i will award three scholarships in the amount of $400 each to three deserving Region i members at iCON15 in Kansas City. One undergraduate, graduate, and back-to-school professional will be awarded a scholarship. The scholarship committee is looking for both committee members, as well as scholarship judges! Committee members will assist in setting up the scholarship program (application, judging system) in time for applications to be submitted by early November. Judges will help with selecting our scholarship winner (late December/January time-frame). The time commitment will be about 1 hour per week to setup the criteria, and then about an hour to judge the submissions. You may not be a judge if you intend to apply for a scholarship, but you may assist us in setting up the criteria. This is a great way to contribute to SWE and add something meaningful to your SWE Resume!

Please contact the Region i Scholarship Committee Chair: Adriana Aguilar (adriana.aguilar@swe.org) if you are interested in either being a part of the scholarship committee or helping judge scholarships later in the year.

We Need Your Help to Recognize Graduate Student Participation in SWE: A message from the FY15 GMC

Below is a message from Elizabeth Gregory regarding the Grad Student reception at WE14

We would like to recognize all the great ways in which graduate students participate in SWE during the Grad Student reception at WE14. Could you please take a moment to complete this form (http://goo.gl/fxUnFr) about how you participate in SWE as a graduate student. Also please post a picture (or more!) of graduate students doing SWE things in the comments of the Facebook post about this on the Grad SWE Community Group: www.facebook.com/groups/swegrad/.  If you don’t have access to Facebook you can email to  102276528762719313165.GradSWE@picasaweb.com with the subject line “SWE Graduate Community” and it’ll go to a Picasa/Google+ album.  Thank you so much!

Elizabeth Gregory 
FY15 GMC

WE14 Annual Conference is just around the corner!

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More than 7,000 members from around the world will head to WE14+ICWES16 to join the three-day educational celebration of all things engineering and science. Here are just a few reasons why WE14+ICWES16 will be can’t-miss events:

  • Connect with women in engineering from around the world
  • Meet with like-minded, longtime SWE members and staff
  • Get a professional edge at insightful workshops and lectures
  • Learn from influential speakers at keynotes, plenary sessions and award banquets
  • Take your professional network to the international level
  • Start the next stage of your career at this year’s Career Fair
  • Experience a cross section of culture and cutting-edge technology in Los Angeles

Still not convinced? Check out how WE14+ICWES16 will benefit your collegiate or professional career.

Here are some links to great resources to take advantage of at the conference!

List of exhibitors attending the Career Fair
Schedule of Events
Information about restaurants, attractions and public transit
Special Discount Offers

Increasing Membership and Retention

“Membership” and “retention” are buzzwords often heard around the SWE Community. As an organization, we are always striving to bring more women, and most recently, men, into our community and keep current members engaged and involved. Membership and retention are two things that require attentive planning. SWE’s most valuable assets are the members that it contains. The post this week features some tips on how to do just that. The following is adapted from an online article featured in the Houston Chronicle titled Key Recruitment & Retention Strategies by Ruth Mayhew.

Recruiting Quality Members

Sections who find creative ways to increase their visibility though exciting events, fun activities and worthwhile meetings give your section the greatest exposure. By demonstrating to your community that SWE is an organization of choice, the most quality members will ensure that they are spending their time wisely in considering becoming a member of SWE. There are also ways to incentivize potential members. When funds allow, some sections offer reimbursement of travel expenses to the annual conference. Quality members will not only be part of creating strong section, but will also be able to reap the maximum benefit of being a member of the Society of Women Engineers.

Retaining Talented Members

This may be one of the trickiest endeavors upon which a sections can embark on because the type of strategy required in retaining members who you believe add value to your section. Developing a retention strategy requires special skills in determining which members are the most valuable to your section. Retention incentives can range from public recognition to a gift card. Succession planning can also play a role in your retention strategy. When preparing your succession plan, identify the most promising members who show aptitude for climbing SWE’s leadership ladder.

Tapping In-House Talent

Again, your members are extremely valuable to SWE and as such, perhaps they can play a role in the recruitment and retention of qualified and talented members. Establishing a referral program is an ideal was of recruiting members. Individuals who share similar work ethics and practices tend to associate with one another.  Ask current members for recommendations and create a referral program that rewards them should the referred person eventually become a member. Pay attention to feedback provided from the members you want most to retain. The insight you gain from feedback from your section may be incredibly helpful.

This article in which this post was adapted from can be found at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/key-recruitment-retention-strategies-2534.html

 

Share your best tweets with @SWERegioni and submit your posts to rcce.regioni@gmail.com.