“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart
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A Note from the President

By Thuong Le  


"A World of Opportunity Awaits" is the theme for the upcoming WE22 Conference; and I encourage you to attend this event in person to feel its impact. My first WE Conference was WE18 in Minneapolis, MN. The conference drew over 14,000 attendees from over 35 countries; and it was an awe-inspiring experience. I've never been in a location with so many like-minded individuals. I instantly felt connected and a sense of belonging as it was a safe, supportive and encouraging environment with a multitude of professional development and networking opportunities. 
One of my favorite parts of the conference was listening to Cindy Kent, the opening Keynote Speaker. She was truly motivating and provided four key lessons which still hold true and dear to me: 
(1) Know your why - People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it
(2) Be willing to ask/accept help, and be willing to provide help in return
(3) Never compromise your authenticity - you are the best you this universe has ever seen - flaws and all
(4) Own your own seat - "Comfort is the cost of courage" - speak up and dream big anyway
Cindy also ended her speech with a very inspiring quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – by Mary Ann Wilkinson. Cindy said “Let your own light shine, you unconsciously give other people permission to do the same, and as you are liberated from your own fear, your very presence will liberate others.” So I encourage you to do the same. Let your own light shine through!
I hope you’ll get a chance to participate in this year conference and have a meaningful experience like I did!

Committee Updates

Advocacy Committee

GET OUT AND VOTE. One of our most important privileges as citizens is exercising our right to vote. In preparation for the November 8th election, the first step is to be sure you’re registered. And now is the time to do just that. The process is simple. Just click here LWV-IL ( and go to the ‘register to vote’ box. Not sure if you’re registered? You can use the same link and click on ‘check your voter registration’ box. On-line registration closes on October 23rd so now is the time.

Do you remember all the buzz about redistricting from last year? Well redistricting happened and some of our SWE CI members were affected. Every 10 years, states redraw the boundaries of their congressional districts to reflect new population counts from the census. In Illinois, we lost one of our 18 seats in the U. S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census. Of concern is that under the new map, there is no longer a district where Black residents represent the majority. The 2nd District - which includes the southern suburbs of Chicago - was extended farther south and west so that no demographic holds a majority.

But redistricting also happened on the Illinois State Senate districts and the Illinois House of Representative districts. Once again, some of our SWE CI members were affected. Below are links so you can compare the districts from before and after redistricting. You can also find your own sample ballot by entering your address at Sample Ballot Lookup - Ballotpedia

U.S. House of Representatives – 17 districts, down from 18 districts
United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois, 2022 - Ballotpedia
Illinois State Senate – 59 districts
Illinois State Senate elections, 2022 - Ballotpedia
Illinois House of Representatives – 118 districts
Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2022 - Ballotpedia

We strongly recommend checking your voter registration as redistricting has occurred and is in effect for the November 8th elections. Click on the ‘check your voter registration’ box mentioned above and you’ll find all of current district information. As the election draws nearly, stay tuned for more information on being an informed voter.

Awards Committee

SWE Central Illinois Award Nominations Coming Soon!

Every year, SWE Central Illinois honors and celebrates the accomplishments of individuals who share the SWE mission 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.

Our section is filled with talented, technical and inspiring members. Please take a moment and consider someone who exhibits this passion and dedication to the Central Illinois Professional Section and the field of engineering and technology.

We invite you to give the gift of recognition and nominate SWE CI members for 4 awards:

  • Distinguished Member
  • Outstanding Engineer 
  • Outstanding Advocate
  • Pillar of Support

You'll receive more information next week via email with instructions on how to complete the nomination process.

Award recipients will be recognized at SWE Central Illinois Awards Dinner on November 15, 2022.

August/September Events

Work-Life Integration Committee:
Sculpture Walk:

On August 27th, SWE members and their families went on the Sculpture Walk by the Peoria ART Guild. It began with a look at the Print Room and letter pressing from our SWE member Paroma. Next, we went on the guided tour that highlighted nine sculptures downtown. We got to learn more about the artists, material used, and other unique details. It was a beautiful, sunny morning to be outside and rediscover Peoria’s sculptures.

Outreach Committee:

SWENEXT Liberty:

Lindbergh SWENext Club is now Liberty SWENext Club due to Peoria Public Schools changing the name of Charles Lindbergh middle school to Liberty Leadership Middle School.  In 2020, then school board president Gregory Wilson stated, “We have schools named after men who left legacies of continuing slavery and racism.  We have black children entering those schools that those men would not have allowed inside.” In accordance with Society of Women Engineer’s Core Value of Inclusive Environment, SWE-Central Illinois applauds the district for this change.
On Sept 15, 6 students and 5 mentors gathered at the school for an hour of learning.  Discussion topics were SWE’s mission and purpose, engineering careers and effects of speed, velocity, weight, mass and gravity on rollercoasters.  Thanks to Roma Mehta, Shruti Gour, Kosha Patel, and Heather Ulrich for volunteering.  Gina Riley is the leader of Liberty SWENext.  Feel free to contact her to participate.  The next session is Oct 13.


Upcoming Events 

Outreach Committee

Girl Scout Camp:
When: September 24th 
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Metamora

Caterpillar Family Day:
When: October 1st 
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Building L in the Tech Center
Volunteer Sign-up Link:

When: October 8th
Time: 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Northwoods Mall
Volunteer Sign-up Link:

SWENext Liberty:
When: October 13th
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Liberty Leadership Middle School
Volunteer Interest:

Work Life Integration Committee

Membership Picnic:

Join SWE members for some outdoor fun at your annual picnic in the park! This is a family friendly event that will be held at Robinson Park Shelter on Sunday, September 25th from 1-3pm. Catered sandwiches will be provided, and we are requesting that you bring something to share (such as a side, dessert, drinks, ect). We can’t wait to see you there! 

When: Sept 25 from 1-3pm

Where: Robinson Park Shelter (400 West Mossville Road, Peoria, IL 61615)

Advocacy Committee

Be an Informed Voter
The Women for Equity (WE) group of Central Illinois, has invited SWE-CI to join them in their next WE GATHER & LEARN event on “Election Law & How to Be an Informed Voter.”  Connie Romanus, the Vice President of the League of Women Voters, will be sharing her knowledge to educate women on how to become more knowledgeable voters.  To register click on the signup link below.

Date: Tuesday October 11, 6:30 pm
Location: Peoria First United Methodist Church, 116 NE Perry Ave, Peoria IL
Signup here:

Check out all events that the Advocacy Committee is wanting you to check up as election time rounds the corner! Follow the link at:

Professional Development Committee

Professional Development Speaker
The Professional Development Committee, in partnership with the Bradley and Illinois SWE Collegiate sections, is excited to welcome Dr. Karen Willcox from the University of Texas at Austin.  She will be presenting on “Digital Twins:  The personalized future of computing for complex systems.”  Dr. Willcox will be speaking live at Bradley University, with a live stream via Zoom to the University of Illinois.  Professional members are encouraged to attend at whichever location is more convenient for them.

Date:      Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Time:      5:30 – Networking & Appetizers
               6:30 – Presentation
Location:  Bradley University – BECC 1150/1160
                University of Illinois – Room TBA
Cost:      Collegiate Members - Free
               SWE Professional Members - $10
               Guests - $15
Event Flyer located HERE
Registration HERE (RSVP by Friday, September 30)

We are offering an opportunity for professional members and guests to sponsor a collegiate to attend the talk for an additional $5.  If you are interested in sponsoring a collegiate member, please indicate that on your registration form and include the additional amount in your PayPal payment.  Any sponsorships collected in excess of the number of students who attend will be donated to the SWE – Central Illinois endowed scholarship fund. 

Save the Date - Awards Dinner
Save the Date for our FY22 Awards Dinner
Date:      Tuesday, November 15th
Location:  Barracks Catering Inn (1224 W Pioneer Parkway, Peoria, IL)

Keep an eye out for those SWE-CI nominations information too!

WE22 Conference

Conference is October 20-22 in Houston, TX

Early bird pricing now through 9/30/2022 is $475 for professional members.
Conference registration just opened on 5/16/2022.
Michele Sullivan will be the keynote speaker at the closing celebration. 

Registration Information - WE22 (

If you are attending WE22 Conference, please fill out this form for a chance to meet up:

WE Locals 2023

WE Local Call for Participation 

WE Local is looking for speakers on topics ranging from career management and strategic leadership to technical innovations and self-management and development. As a presenter, you will have an opportunity to share your expertise and support the advancement of women engineers. 

Deadline to submit is October 17, 2022

Visit WE Local Website for More Information: Speak at WE Local - WE Local (
Overview Course to improve your chances of being selected: WE Local Call for Participation Guidelines - Overview | SWE

WE Local Awards

Please consider nominating members for the WE Local awards. If you need any help please reach out to the Awards Committee.


  • WE Local Legacy
  • WE Local ELiTE
  • WE Local New ELiTE
  • WE Local Integrator
  • Engaged Advocate


  • Rising Star
  • Guiding Star

More details about the WE23 Local Awards:

Membership Spotlight - Coming Soon!

Know a Central Illinois SWE Member that should be featured on our Newsletter? Email us at


To register or learn more, click on webinar below:

Career Journey Updates!

Please take a moment and share your career changes with us. Fill out the form here to include career updates in the monthly buzz newsletters. 
Donate to SWE!

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Tip: Import SWE-CI's Google Calendar -- no typing needed!

Girl Scout Camp:
When: September 24th 
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Metamora

Caterpillar Family Day:
When: October 1st 
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Building L in the Tech Center
Volunteer Sign-up Link:
When: October 8th
Time: 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
 Northwoods Mall
Volunteer Sign-up Link:

SWENext Liberty:
When: October 13th
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Liberty Leadership Middle School
Volunteer Interest:
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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 96, Mossville, IL 61552

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