The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a well-known organization worldwide. They strive to “empower women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders; expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.” The Chapman University Society of Women Engineers started as a club under the Fowler School of Engineering (FSE). Many female engineering students represented the club as board members and community members throughout the year, and most recently, the board applied to become an official SWE Collegiate Chapter.

“I love being involved in the community that Chapman SWE offers! Throughout our time here, Chapman SWE has created events that align with the organization’s values and goals, which include: professional excellence, globalization, advocacy, and diversity & inclusion. All of this is for women and other underrepresented communities in engineering-related fields,” shared Yanelly Mego, CU SWE President.

Journey to Becoming an Official Collegiate Chapter

After trials and paperwork, this spring 2024, the club is now an official SWE Collegiate Chapter. This opens up many opportunities for the Fowler School of Engineering and the SWE members of the chapter.

“As the faculty advisor for the Chapman University Society of Women Engineers (SWE), I am very happy that we have been approved by the national SWE Board of Directors as an official SWE Collegiate Section! Over the last few years, students have worked diligently to host events that build an inclusive environment to empower women to become leaders and develop their careers in science and engineering,” said Nicole Wager, CU SWE Faculty Advisor and Director of Experiential Education.

SWE currently has over 400 Collegiate and Professional Sections, 40 Affiliates across the United States, and nearly 100 outside of the United States, which provides excellent networking opportunities. Being connected through SWE is a great way to participate in events, volunteer in local and abroad leadership positions, and more. Having this official title will bring in many more prospects on a career-oriented basis.

“This initiation into the national Society of Women Engineers expands networking and career services for our students, while offering scholarship opportunities, participation at annual conferences, and volunteering for outreach activities,” shared Wagner.

From the beginning, SWE has served the Chapman and Fowler Engineering community by building lasting relationships among students. SWE at Chapman allows many people to connect with their friends outside the classroom. Connecting with other women in STEM and members of the Chapman and Fowler Engineering community is vital to one’s college experience. SWE at Chapman is happy to be a part of that.

Past and Future Goals

One of the members, Kalin Richardson, said she “found her place in Chapman through the Society of Women Engineers.” She could “openly chat alongside other women in the program and share similar experiences.” That support was eye-opening and inspired her to attend every meeting to catch up with other members and socialize. SWE at Chapman is here to assist those in need and help anyone throughout their STEM career. SWE at Chapman uses three words to describe their overall goal:

  • Aspire: Dream boldly, be ambitious, and envision the future.
  • Advance: Foster a culture of encouragement and excellence.
  • Achieve: Celebrate success and honoring accomplishments big and small.

These three words embody SWE at Chapman in the past and will continue to be what they strive for in the future.

Over the past few years, SWE at Chapman has been run by their president, Yanelly Mego, and a board consisting of a Vice President Daisy Fernandez-Reyes, Secretary Sarah Fieck, Treasurer Kalin Richardson, External Coordinator Viviana Arroyo-Montiel, and Graphic Designer Zuleyka Urieta. Semesters prior, SWE at Chapman had purely survived on social events and an occasional workshop.

Another member, Halle Broadnax, said she is “very happy to be a part of SWE. The events they put on are always a great time to relax, socialize, and eat some food.” Another member, Kaye Galang, said, “they have the best events in the Fowler School of Engineering.” In addition to these events, SWE plans to broaden its events in the upcoming semester through workshops with industry guests. As an official SWE Collegiate Chapter, the Chapman organization gains a professional from industry/mentor to support and answer any questions for these Chapman students.

Upcoming Events, News, and Outreach Efforts

The chapter will attend WE Local in Las Vegas, a large conference organized by SWE, where hundreds of participants from various backgrounds, including students from different colleges and industry professionals, can connect with one another. They will join hundreds of participants in all stages of their careers to network and learn through professional development workshops, inspirational speakers, and more. This conference allows STEM students to connect with recruiters from top engineering and technology companies and become a part of the WE Local community.

Besides this wonderful opportunity and upcoming experience, the chapter plans to build its resources by creating its section website, continuing its off-boarding process from SWE, and prioritizing community efforts.

“Aside from the events hosted for the Chapman community, we have also done outreach and represented Chapman by working closely with the Girl Scouts of OC. We believe in not only focusing on our Chapman community, but our local community as well. To help encourage young girls to pursue their interests and passions in STEM, and let them know they are not limited simply based on their identity as women,” said Mego.

Join SWE at Chapman

Becoming an official SWE member offers individuals a supportive community, valuable resources, and opportunities for personal and professional development, ultimately empowering them to thrive in engineering and beyond.

If you want to join SWE, email SWE at Chapman at SWE at Chapman looks forward to this upcoming year, and they hope you will join them on their journey!

Stay connected by following on their journey as an official Collegiate Chapter.