Section Spotlight: Carnegie Mellon University SWE

Travel to the city of Pittsburgh to visit this month’s section spotlight: Carnegie Mellon University.  Shout out to the officers, especially president Erica, of the section for organizing this post and sharing some of CMU’s best practices with you!

Members of Carnegie Mellon (CMU) SWE have successfully hosted some of our reoccurring events and have been working to create new partnerships and brainstorm new event ideas to implement. Out of our many initiatives, we have been proud of the following this school year:

Professional Development

Since SWE is a professional organization, it is important that our members have opportunities to network with professionals to explore their career aspirations.

  • In September 2014, CMU SWE hosted the Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC), the largest job fair that happens on campus each year. The TOC had more attending companies than the job fair at WE14 in Los Angeles.
  • In November 2014, CMU SWE and Pitt SWE teamed up to run a networking event with the Pittsburgh professional section. Michele Eidam, a SWE member and P&G employee, spoke at the event about how professionals and collegiate can practice and improve their networking skills.
  • CMU SWE hosts a variety of companies for tech talks during the fall and spring semesters. So far, we have hosted companies ranging from Khan Academy to Bank of America. We have co-hosted some of these talks with organizations such as CMU’s Education Technology Club (CMU EdTech) and NSBE.


TOC Committee Members and CMU SWE’s Vice President & President

Mentoring and Advocacy

The chance to learn from older students and seasoned professionals is incredibly valuable for an aspiring engineer. CMU SWE’s Mentoring and Freshman First programs provide our students with the ability to learn from others and grow together.

  • The Mentoring Program strives to create strong underclassmen/upperclassmen and upperclassmen/graduate student relationships. Individual mentor and mentee pairs meet up at SWE events and on their own to bond on a personal and professional level. Groups of mentors and mentees also have the chance to hang out together at SWE events and sometimes go on outings as mentoring “families”.
  • The Freshman First program hosts events specifically planned to help first years learn about and get acclimated to CMU SWE and the College of Engineering. One upperclassman and one freshman co-chair work together to make these events successful.
  • Freshman First’s biggest venture, a group of events called SWEet Week, occurs every November. This year, our theme was “Mind of an Engineer, Heart of a Child,” and the co-chairs ran events ranging from homemade ice cream making to gingerbread bridge building.


CMU SWE’s Freshman First Co-Chairs and members of the SWEet Week committee making ice cream


The strength of the engineering profession depends on the future generation of engineers. CMU SWE members work to engage aspiring engineering at the middle and high school level and give back to the Pittsburgh community in general.

  • Our biggest focus is on educational outreach. We invite Pittsburgh area students to our High School Day in the fall and Middle School Day in the spring for a day of interactive sessions to learn more about different fields of engineering. We also feature a keynote speaker and student panel at these events.
  • CMU SWE members have also gotten involved with Relay for Life and Global Links this year. We sold resistor bracelets at Relay for Life as our fundraiser. Our members also make periodic trips to Global Links to fix wheelchairs for those in need.swe3

Members of CMU SWE Volunteering at Global Links

Engaging with the Society

CMU SWE members always attend the Region G Leadership Retreat, Annual Conference, and Region G Conference each year. Members appreciate the opportunities to learn more about SWE as an organization, network with other students and professionals, and explore a new place.

  • At WE14 in Los Angeles, CMU SWE won the Outstanding Collegiate Section Gold Award. One of our PhD students, Tabitha Voytek, was also recognized as an Outstanding Collegiate Member.
  • At Region G Conference at West Virginia University, CMU SWE won the Achieving Collegiate Section Gold Award and the Aspiring Programming Award in Professional Development. Voytek was recognized as well for 10 years of membership in SWE and as the winner of the rapid fire research competition.


CMU SWE’s Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and President with the section’s Region G Achieving Collegiate Section Gold Award

Would you like your section and it’s events/best practices to be featured in the Region G blog? Send an email to srobb@cmu.edu to get started!

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