empty image

Registration for WE Local conferences is now open! Learn more

SWE Networking Events for STEM Students

women talkingSWE’s research on community college students in STEM, specifically of women who have begun their engineering and computer science education at a two-year institution, highlights the limited networks that students on this pathway have to STEM professionals and support systems.

As a professional society aimed at empowering women in engineering and technology at all stages of their career, SWE offered three virtual networking activities in Fall 2021 to engage women in two-year colleges, four-year universities, and the workforce to drive the growth of women’s professional networks and encourage more college students to stay on their pathway towards an engineering or technology degree.

Each event of our Fall 2021 event series #Renew. #Relaunch. #Redefine. included an interactive interview with an exciting woman in STEM, followed by breakout sessions to engage and network with other event participants.

Check out our speakers and recordings below!

November 3, 2021     Check out the recording here!

Montgomery in greenhouse

This event is cohosted with the Pioneer Valley Women in STEM Network (PVWIS).

Beronda L. Montgomery, PhD is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University.  A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Society for Plant Biologists, she was named one of Cell’s 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America.

Lessons from Plants Cover

Beronda explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They “know” what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world.  Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears.  They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight.  Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment.

Beronda uses her book “Lessons from Plants” to share plant-based knowledge and to develop and disseminate accessible lessons on the awareness and adaptability of plants. She frequently shares  lessons from her work on Twitter @BerondaM and @PlantLessons.

November 17, 2021     Check out the recording here!

Kate GundersonKatelyn (Kate) Gunderson is a mechanical and aerospace engineer working at her dream job in the space industry. The engineering group she works in maintains and performs upgrades to a fleet of more than 20 aircraft supporting various astronaut training activities and airborne science missions flown all over the world. Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) and a Master’s in aerospace engineering specializing in structures from Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA). While currently based in Houston, TX, early next year Kate will be attending the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA through a flight test engineering fellowship.

During college, Kate completed several internships/co-ops which she highly encourages all students to participate in, believing they are the key to scoring her dream job so early on. Her work assignments included several with GE Aviation and NASA’s Johnson Space Center as well as an internship with the United States House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Kate was born and raised in West Fargo, North Dakota. Although proud of her hometown, Kate always had a nagging feeling that there was more for her somewhere else. She talked early-on (starting in second grade) and often about her desire to become an astronaut one day. Although many of her classmates were critical, she has never given up on her dream.

Outside of engineering Kate is a fitness enthusiast and marathon runner. She also has a passion for increasing female participation in engineering and authors a blog aimed at empowering women to confidently thrive in STEM fields. Visit her blog or check her out on Instagram: @theplanekate.

December 8, 2021    Check out the recording here!

KorieGraysonDr. Korie Grayson is a biomedical engineer, chemical engineering researcher, and a diversity advocate in STEM. She is a first-generation student and proud alumna of the HBCU Norfolk State University, where she earned her BS in Chemistry (2012). Korie obtained her MS (2017) and PhD (2020) in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University where she studied cancer drug resistance in 2D and 3D prostate cancer cell culture environments. Currently, Korie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on the evaluation of novel nano- and microparticles for therapy in neutrophilic, acute inflammatory disease and cancer.

Korie is passionate about increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM by illustrating that #representationmatters. She is the Diversity Chair for @womendoingscience, a popular IG account that showcases women in STEM from all over the world. She is also on the planning council for STEMNoire, a holistic wellness and research retreat for Black women in STEM, and the Finance Director for BlackInCancer, an organization that aims to strengthen networks and highlight Black excellence in cancer research and medicine. She is also a part of the STEM Avengers that successfully planned the STEM Success Summit, a virtual conference designed to equip and empower young adults, who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM, to launch and build a successful STEM career with purpose. Korie continues doing advocacy work via community service, workshops, and speaking engagements while (Re)Defining the Image of STEM!

Learn more about Korie and her research on her website or follow her on Twitter @teamkorie. Korie also shared her experiences attending an HBCU on SWE’s Alltogether blog.

Read more about SWE’s research on community college transfer student success and view recordings of the Spring 2021 networking event speakers here.