Getting To Know Your Region Leaders: SWEFL Edition


Name: Emily Phipps
West Virginia University
Industrial Engineering


What is your current SWE position and what do you do?

Vice President, SWEFL 2014 and Assistant Conference Chair for 2014-2015.

As Vice-President I supported our President in organizing Section Meetings and correspondence with the members of our organization. I also represented SWE WVU Section at other Regional Conferences. In addition, I assisted in one of our organization’s largest outreach events, Girl Scout Day, which involves the coordination between SWE and other Student Orgs at WVU to teach various age levels of Girl Scouts about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


Favorite thing about SWE: Enjoying the ability to meet peers not only within my University but also in regional and societal conferences. This allows me to surround myself with like-minded individuals who are passionate about personal and professional development.


What do you like to do outside of SWE?

Outside of SWE I enjoy biking, hiking, running, reading, swimming, and of course just having a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation. Being an engineer is not one for the small-hearted and undetermined individuals but rather it is for those who are passionate about their field of choice and are able to balance their academia with personal well-being.


Name: Katie Dunst
School: University of Kentucky
Major: Chemical Engineering 
Year: Sophomore 

What is your current SWE position and what do you do?

I am currently the president of our chapter at UK.  I am responsible for organizing and running meetings.  I also assist with each of the events that we hold like Evening with Industry, Technical Day at Career Fair, SWE Bowl, and Edible Car Race at E-Day.  

Involvement with SWE (years, positions, etc.):

I have been involved with SWE since I first got to college.  My freshman year, I was a co-chair for SWE Bowl which is a quick recall contest for engineers.  I was elected president for my sophomore year and was recently elected to serve another term as president.

Favorite thing about SWE:

My favorites things about SWE are being able to develop myself professionally and all the relationships I have formed.  I learned through the National Conferences about professional development including how to deal with male bosses, having a family and being an engineer, and being more confident as an engineer.  The conferences have taught me how to prepare myself for life after college and what to expect.  I have also made many connections with people through the Regional Conference.


What do you like to do outside of SWE?

I am involved in the engineering sorority, Phi Sigma Rho, as a member of the standards board, Membership Educator, and Parliamentarian.  I am also involved with the Catholic Church on campus, The Newman Center.  I love being outside and going on adventures, and I just went caving for the first time and had a blast!


Name:  Laney Casella
School: The University of Akron
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Year: 3rd

What is your current SWE position and what do you do?

I am my section’s secretary and that basically puts me in charge of communication for my section. This includes things like official paperwork, reminders of meeting times, and thank-you notes to speakers. 

Involvement with SWE (years, positions, etc.):

I have been an active member for 2 full years, going on year 3. I have been treasurer for one semester, and a SWEFL for the fiscal year 2013-2014. 

Favorite thing about SWE:

Being surrounded my women who both share my interests and expand them, who encourage me, and whom I encourage.

Favorite outreach event(s) you’ve done with SWE: 

I feel like I haven’t done enough outreach with SWE, so at the next annual conference (LA!!), I plan to participate in Invent it. Build it.!

What do you like to do outside of SWE?

I am a big on reading (currently tackling Jeffrey Eugenides’ ‘Middlesex’), watching movies (my favorite is ‘The English Patient’), and sharing good times with my sisters and friends. 


Name: Lauren Boyle

School: The Pennsylvania State University

Major: Architectural Engineering

Year: Second Year (Third year in fall)


SWE position:
This upcoming year will be my second year as the SWE Stayover Director for the Penn State Chapter. This event is a year long effort. We host about 75 high school senior women engineers on campus. The event gives them a taste for what life as a Penn State engineer is like. They have the opportunity to sit in engineering classes, stay in a dorm with one of our current women engineers, and meet other prospective students. The spots fill up in just a couple days. Every year we get a lot of positive feedback, and a lot of women who made their decision to come to Penn State based on the program. We also decided to add parent programming this year to go separately during the second day of our student programming. Parents loved that opportunity! This upcoming year, my co-director and I have a lot of new ideas to make the 2015 Stayover even better than before!


Involvement with SWE:
SWE Points Chair (2012-2013) – First Year

Prospective Student Co-Director (2013-2014) – Second Year

Prospective Student Co-Director (2014-2015) – Third Year


Favorite thing about SWE:
My favorite thing about SWE is the opportunity. As a first year engineering student, I had the opportunity to have leadership and make a name for myself at my school. As a second year, I got to travel to the national conference and participate in the SWEFL Program, as well as holding a director position. Throughout this time, I have had the opportunity to meet distinguished women engineers that have made it. They are such an inspiration to me to stick with what I love to do. If they can make it, I can too. There are also upperclassmen in my section that I am able to look up to as role models and aspire to be. I am very grateful for all of the opportunity that I have gained through SWE and the people that I have met in the process.


Favorite Outreach events:
Obviously my favorite one has been SWE Stayover! I love the position I’m in. There’s something about hearing during checkout that we helped them decide to come to Penn State that makes all the stress worth it. It’s a great event for the women to meet each other before even stepping foot on campus as a student. It also gives them a chance to see the life of a student engineer. A lot of women are intimidated by that factor and we’re there to show them that it’s not all that bad! We actually have a lot of fun!


Outside of SWE:
I was recently accepted into Engineering Ambassadors at my school. In this program I will be doing a lot of outreach to grade schools and for the Penn State College of Engineering. I will also get to travel more. THON is a huge part of my year as well. It may be my favorite weekend all year! This year we raised over 13 million dollars for childhood cancer, and we hope to be able to top that next year! I am also very involved with the Student Society of Architectural Engineers, and I will be serving as secretary next year. I love staying busy at school with these organizations as well as getting outside to play intramural sports or just for fun.

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