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“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just
be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg
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SWE-CI Monthly Buzz Header

A Note from the President
By Fiona O'Laughlin  

“A light exists in Spring
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here.”
― Emily Dickinson
 
March, a month that marks the beginning of spring in Central Illinois and brings hope after a season of winter, is a time of new beginnings and celebration. And wow, what a wonderful month we had through SWE!
 
We kicked off March with our 30th Anniversary Celebration of SWE in Central Illinois with a time of celebration and connection while challenging ourselves to think differently about applying STEM with 'persistence, purpose and possibilities' to improve our world with compassion, technical fortitude, and innovation. The evening was truly a fabulous event with excellent and inspiring speakers, good food and great conversations. My favorite part of the evening, that sparked personal joy, was the buzz in the air watching people reconnect in community through SWE.
 
WE Local in Des Moines was well represented by SWE CI members as featured conference speakers and as recipients of multiple individual and group awards. The sessions on crypto currency, neurodiversity, and advocating for issues important to SWE and women in STEM through our state government challenged me to think broadly and differently. Throughout the 2-day conference, we networked and returned with ideas for future speakers, topics & outreach for our Central Illinois professional section.
 
Our SWE CI communications committee launched a month of recognition in celebration of International Women's Day, Women's History Month, and Men as Allies Month by asking SWE CI members and friends of SWE CI to nominate someone who has made a difference in their lives. The whole month of March is dedicated to highlighting, celebrating and thanking advocates and allies through our weekly emails and social media presence. The month is not over and there is still time to submit individuals for this recognition.   
 
Finally, as March comes to a close, I challenge you to spread the light inspired by spring and consider a SWE CI member who has made an impact on you, our community, or our professional section. There are several upcoming opportunities to recognize others through the SWE Conference awards and SWE CI local awards. Our professional development and awards committees are hosting an annual awards dinner celebration in May; part of SWE CI's annual tradition is to celebrate four individual award recipients during this event. Let's spread the gift of recognition - please consider taking a moment to complete the short nomination form for these four awards.
 
Go be great, go be you, go share your light, and celebrate each other along the way.
 
Yours through SWE,

Committee Updates
 

Champaign-Urbana Area

SWE-UIUC Looking for Mentors:
The Professional Liaison Committee of SWE is starting a mentorship program where mentors with professional experience in the workforce will be paired with mentees and meet at least once a month for the remaining of the school year. This is the opportunity to gain insight about starting a career, managing personal and professional life, and everything in between.

If there are any questions, please contact Tricia Liu (tricial2@illinois.edu) and Rhea Tiwari (rtiwari3@illinois.edu). Thank you so much for sharing our program! We sincerely appreciate your help.

 

SWE Team

FY22 SWE Professional and Collegiate Awards - Now accepting nominations through March 31, 2022:
The Society of Women Engineers strives to recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession and advocate for women in engineering through contributions to industry, education, and the community. The awards listed in the packet linked below recognize individuals and groups who support the mission, objectives and goals of the Society. Recipients will be honored at the annual conference this fall. 2022_IndividualAwardPacket_PublishJan03.pdf (swe.org)
 

Professional Development Committee

Awards Ceremony:

Save the date! Join us for our FY22 awards celebration dinner on May 12th at the Peoria Women's Club. Celebrate our award winners and hear about Lessons in Leadership at a Non-Profit Organization from our guest speaker, Jada Hoerr. She will also touch on her recent climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

When: May 12, 2022 
Time: 5-7:30pm
Where: Peoria Women's Club, 301 NE Madison Ave, Peoria, IL 61603
Cost: TBD


Advocacy Committee

Virtual Congressional Visits:
SWE will be holding Virtual Congressional Days in the coming weeks.  11 individuals from the State of Illinois will be participating in this important initiative.  Even if you are not able to attend please review these 2 documents.  They will help you understand what is being discussed and how you might be able to help even if you are not signed up to participate.

SWE CVD Research and Talking Points 2022  and Key Talking Points SWE CVD 2022


Sister Section

SWE CI to be a Sister Section to Chennai SWE Affiliate:

SWE Central Illinois is honored to be invited to be part of an inaugural Sister Section Program.  SWE Leadership Coaching Committee (LCC) recently created a Sister Section Program where strong US-based sections provide coaching support to global affiliates. SWE CI will serve as a sister section to Chennai SWE Affiliate with Fiona O'Laughlin and Thuong Le serving as the points of contact now through June of 2023.

The Leadership Coaching Committee (LCC) provides support to collegiate and professional SWE sections and affiliates in the form of customized consultation sessions based on global affiliate needs. Thuong and Fiona will meet regularly with Jahnavi Chennupati to assist the Chennai SWE Affiliate. We'll discuss and offer advice on everything from hosting and advertising events, brainstorming ideas, sharing outreach activities, building and engaging membership, and fundraising. We're looking forward to partnering and sharing what we have learned to help support women in STEM in Chennai. Plus, you might see some new SWE members from India attending SWE CI hosted virtual events.

SWE-CI Award Nominations


Please complete nominations for SWE-Central Illinois Section: Outstanding Engineer Award, Outstanding Advocate Award, Distinguished Member Award, and Pillar of Support Award. The award recipients will be determined by judges who are members of Central Illinois SWE and will be presented at the SWE CI Awards Dinner Celebration scheduled in May of 2022.

Central Illinois Section Outstanding Engineer Award
The Outstanding Engineer Award is awarded to a qualified woman who has made significant contributions in the field of engineering and/or technical management(70% scoring consideration).  An additional aspect for consideration would be community contributions and/or successes(10% scoring consideration). She need not be a member of the Society.  Requirements include a minimum of an engineering degree or a degree in a technical field(20% scoring consideration).  The main criteria for selection are based on the significance of the achievements cited on the nomination form.  The award recipients will be determined by judges who are members of Central Illinois SWE and will be presented at the Professional Development Event in May 2022.
 
Central Illinois Section Outstanding Advocate Award 
The Advocacy Award recognizes SWE Central Illinois members or Central Illinois engineers who advocate for the inclusion and success of women, both present and prospective, in engineering and technology.  The nominee must have demonstrated outstanding advocacy for women and girls in engineering and technology.  These activities could include but are not limited to: pre-college outreach, recognition of women engineers through awards or high-visibility communications, education or career counseling activities, advocating for corporate policies friendly to women engineers, and advocating in local, state or federal government for laws friendly to women engineers.( 80% scoring consideration for all of the above)

Participation in SWE or other professional and/or technical societies and community organizations is highly desirable as well-rounded individuals are sought for the award(20% scoring consideration).  The main criteria for selection are based on the significance of the achievements cited on the nomination form.  The award recipients will be determined by judges who are members of Central Illinois SWE and will be presented at the Professional Development Event in May 2022.
 
Central Illinois Section Distinguished Member Award
The Distinguished Member Award honors women who have been actively engaged in the Central Illinois Section of the Society of Women Engineers.  The nominee must have demonstrated outstanding support and participation in the furthering of technical understanding or interest in young women.  The nominee must be a SWE member or senior member in good standing and active in local activities of SWE.  (80% scoring consideration)

Participation in other professional and/or technical societies and community organizations is highly desirable as well-rounded individuals are sought for the award. (20% scoring consideration) The main criteria for selection are based on the significance of the achievements cited on the nomination form.  The award recipients will be determined by judges who are members of Central Illinois SWE and will be presented at the Professional Development Event in May 2022.

 
Central Illinois Section Pillar of Support Award 
The pillar of support may be anyone within or outside of SWE but have expanded the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life and demonstrate the value of diversity. We are thankful for our pillars of supports throughout the years that helped up reach our 30th anniversary milestone. The main criteria for selection are based on the significance of the achievements cited on the nomination form.  The award recipients will be determined by judges who are members of Central Illinois SWE and will be presented at the Professional Development Event in May 2022. 
 
Email nomination to George_Asha@cat.com
Nominations must be received by 31 March 2022.
Access Award Information
HERE
 

March Events


Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers contributing their time to help SWE support successful events throughout March!

30th Anniversary Celebration:

 



Happy 30th anniversary to SWE CI. We were excited to have over sixty SWE CI members and supporters celebrate with us on March 1st. And what a celebration it was. The extended networking session before the program was a big success as people were busy catching up with so many people that have made an impact to our section. The program for the evening kicked off with Tana Utley talking about Persistence, sharing a heart-warming story about how persistence paid off for a young girl who aspired to be a chess champion. We then moved to Karen Horting who shared why Purpose, and specifically the vision and mission of SWE, has been key to her longevity and continued commitment to the society. When things get tough, it’s the purpose of SWE that continues to fuel her passion. To wrap up our program, Dara Dotz gave us a good dose of inspiration and Possibilities with her talk on “Resilience and Creativity Creating Possibilities Amid Chaos”. Dara shared personal stories and photos from her team’s successes in helping people from war torn areas to areas devastated by natural disasters. Her team showed time and time again, that they can make a difference with a little creativity, passion and old-fashioned hard work.


SWE CI 30th Anniversary Keynote Speaker, Dara Dotz (in front),
with several SWE CI members that were inspired by her message.

Many thanks to our sponsors for the evening and to the planning committee of Fiona O’Laughlin, Heather Ulrich, Pam Roberts, Holly Teig and Stacey DelVecchio

 
Professional Development Committee:

Developing the Mindset for Inclusive Leadership (Module 4): 
 
On March 10th, 2022, the SWE-CI Professional Development Committee hosted a round table discussion on the SWE “Developing the Mindset of Inclusive Leadership” training – Module 4. 

Module 4 of this training discussed allyship, and the different roles that we may take when we see negative or harmful behavior.  We talked about different examples of harmful behavior, including some that are less obvious, and techniques that we could use to support people who are subjected to these behaviors.  We were also encouraged to develop an Ally Action Plan.

A special thank you to Holly Teig for leading the discussion and ensuring an inclusive environment for all participants. Insightful conversation flowed from personal experiences and work situations.  

For more information about the free SWE Developing the Mindset of Inclusive Leadership training, go to the following link: https://advancelearning.swe.org/pages/Program/ProgramDesciption.aspx?CertificationId=25

We will be holding our final discussion of this training series on Thursday, April 14 from 5-6 pm.  This discussion will cover Module 5, “Spark Momentum with Self-Reflection”.  This final session is a forum for critical reflection, designed to help participants contemplate key learnings encountered throughout the training.  We hope you’ll join us!




Work Life Integration Committee:

Yoga Breathing Workshop with SWE Central Illinois:

On February 24, SWE-CI hosted a virtual WLI session with Ms. Sangeeta Wadhawan, certified breath coach, to learn the proper breathing techniques. Breathing techniques can be done anywhere and only takes up a small amount of our time. During the session, we learned the “Coffee Breathing” for the morning, a “Balancing Breath” for midday and the “Relaxing Breathing” before bed. WLI committee would like to thank you Ms. Sangeeta to help us understand the importance of proper breathing techniques. Learn more about Sangeeta at https://www.yogfromtheheart.com/
  
 
Outreach Committee:

Engineering Day at Peoria Riverfront Museum: 
 
After virtual in 2021 due to COVID, the 57th annual Engineering Day returned to an in-person event this year.

On Feb. 20, a crowd of 1038 visited the Peoria Riverfront Museum to get a glimpse into the world of engineering with hands-on activities aimed at children ages 5-18
 
Caterpillar SWE-CI provided a variety of activities including drill stations, planetary gear assembly, catapult building, button-making, a SWE photo booth, and Kamigami robot operation. Several Caterpillar SWE-CI members volunteered along with Bradley University SWE chapter members.

Caterpillar SWE members use Rubik’s cube activities an examples of math and algorithms in engineering