Societal News

Collegiate Director’s Letter

Hello collegiate SWE members! I imagine May is a busy month for many of you – it certainly is for me! Many of you are probably approaching the end of the semester, which can be great because you’re looking forward to wrapping up your courses and getting a break, but can also mean a lot of work to finish projects and prepare for final exams.  As a Ph.D. student, I am working on finishing the last two courses I need for my degree this semester, as well as preparing for my proposal defense. At the proposal defense, which I plan to hold in May or June, I will present the research I have completed so far to a committee of four professors. I will also present my plans to complete additional research, to publish the results and to prepare for the completion of my Ph.D. degree. That will come with writing my dissertation and presenting my final defense during the next school year.

If you are also a graduate student, some of this may seem familiar to you. Whether you’re studying for a master’s or Ph.D. degree, in engineering or in another field such as business, hopefully you realize that there is a lot of value in your SWE membership! There are many graduate student SWE members just like yourself, and we make up an important part of SWE’s overall membership. There are also many opportunities for graduate students to get more involved in SWE. At WE12, graduate students shared their research through the Technical Poster Competition, as well as through Rapid Fire presentations. Throughout this year, graduate students in SWE have organized webinars, presented at region conferences and submitted abstracts for sessions at WE13 that are of interest to graduate students. To connect with others and get updates on the activities of graduate students in SWE, check out the graduate student blog.

If you are an undergraduate student, you may not have heard of a proposal defense, or thought about the fact that many graduate students are balancing coursework with other things such as research or teaching. There may be graduate students at your university that are SWE members or interested in joining, and engaging with them would benefit your section. All collegiate sections are different, and some even have graduate student committees or groups as a part of their SWE section. Others may have a smaller number of graduate student members that participate within the section – this has been my experience so far. Either way, don’t forget about graduate students! We bring a unique perspective to collegiate SWE sections, and are a crucial piece of the Society as a whole.

As always, I’d love to hear any comments or questions you have!

Kaitlyn BunkerKaitlyn Bunker
FY13 Collegiate Director


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