GSU’s Society of Women Engineers fly out to national conference

Grace Huseth


The Society of Women Engineers will once again attend the Women Engineers conference during the second week of November to inspire their members in the field of engineering.

This year, four club members will fly to Houston to join the national conference, which informs and inspires young women in the engineering profession through guest speakers and career related workshops, Shavonti Weaver, senior mechanical engineer major and president of SWE said.

“We are going to network with over 50 employees and meet other SWE members in professional organizations,” Weaver said.

“We will also learn from workshops on resume building, life coaching and the balancing act of being an engineer and successful women,” Weaver said.

Dr. Shonda Bernadin, associate professor of electrical engineering and advisor for black engineers, works with the SWE to promote a female presence on campus encouraged the SWE members to attend the conference.

“Potential employers will take your resume and interview you on site.  This can lead to the girls getting an internship, co-op or even a permanent job,” Bernadin said.

Weaver is looking forward to the trip regardless of the outcome of the conference and possible job opportunities.

“I feel that we will grow from this experience by being able to have a better appreciation for what we are doing as women in engineering. Being around other women engineers who are in their profession will motivate us to continue to excel in our academics and community involvement because one day it will pay off,” Weaver said.

The three-day conference starting on Nov. 7 will feature speakers who are women engineers to give the girls a glimpse into the career they aspire to be a part of.

“I am looking forward to hearing our keynote speaker Dr. Ellen Ochoa. She was the first Hispanic woman to go to space. I am sure she has encouraging words and a lifetime full of experience that we will be able to relate to,” Weaver said.

The conference will also encourage the girls in a field that is predominately male but is shifting to include more women.

“The Society of Women Engineers is so helpful to our future career because it provides a small group that understands our struggles, and our ambition to be the best that we can be.

The population of women engineers at GSU itself has grown thanks to the new stand-alone civil electrical and mechanical engineering program GSU started this fall, Bernadin said.

Other schools have about a 16 percent female population while 10 percent of the department at GSU is female, Bernadin said.

Bernadin said, “As a college we have a very healthy number of female students, and I think that with our new engineering program a lot more women are choosing to stay here.”