“I tell young people: Do not think of yourself, think of others. Think of the future that awaits you, think about what you can do and do not fear anything.” — Rita Levi
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A Note from the President

By Thuong Le 

October is Emotional Wellness and Mental Health Awareness Month. We truly never understand what others around us might be going through; and as I get older, the more I realize the importance of developing compassion for others around me and also for myself. I would like to share with you an excerpt from a book that I’m reading; "DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF...and it's all the small stuff" by Richard Carlson.

Nothing helps us build our perspective more than developing compassion for others. Compassion is a sympathetic feeling. It involves the willingness to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to take the focus off yourself and to imagine what it's like to be in someone else's predicament, and simultaneously, to feel love for that person. It's the recognition that other people's problems, their pain and frustrations, are every bit as real as our own -- often far worse. In recognizing this fact and trying to offer some assistance, we open our own hearts and greatly enhance our sense of gratitude.

Compassion is something you can develop with practice; it involves two things: intention and action. Intention simply means you remember to open your heart to others: you expand what and who matters, from yourself to other people. Action is simply "what you do about it." You might donate a little money or time (or both) on regular basis to a cause near to your heart. Or perhaps you'll offer a beautiful smile and genuine "hello" to the people you meet on the street. It's not so important what you do, just that you do something. As Mother Teresa reminds us, "We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love."

Compassion develops your sense of gratitude by taking your attention off all the little things that most of us have learned to take too seriously. When you take time, often, to reflect on the miracle of life -- the miracle that you are even able to read this book -- the gift of sight, of love, and all the rest, it can help to remind you that many of the things that you think of as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff. 

I hope you can join me in developing and continuing to develop your compassion for those around you and yourself. Understand that there are separate realities and not be too hard on ourselves and others. Make peace with our imperfections and set some quiet time to truly reflect all the miracles around us.

Committee Updates

Section Update:

This year SWE Central Illinois Professional Chapter won two mission awards! SWE Central Illinois was recognized as one of the top Gold level professional chapters. SWE Central Illinois was also recognized as one of two professional chapters for Best Practice - Mentoring!

Awards Committee:

SWE CI Awards
Give the Gift of Recognition and Nominate Someone for a SWE Central Illinois Awards – Deadline Extended to EOD Tuesday, October 25, 2022

What better way to celebrate and honor an amazing person by nominating her/him/them for SWE Central Illinois awards!  

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

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 and give the gift of recognition by nominating the individual for one of four SWE Central Illinois awards.

Nominations will be accepted until EOD Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Please see awards packet for description of awards, qualifications, scoring considerations and templates of questions asked on the online nomination submission form. Please note that we have a new process this year with nominations submitted online using the links below:

  1. Distinguished Member
    • 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 demonstrate outstanding support and participation in the furthering of technical understanding, build programs to engage and support members, or interest in the technical development of young women. The nominee must be a SWE member or senior member in good standing and active in local activities of SWE. Participation in other professional and/or technical societies and community organizations is highly desirable as well-rounded individuals are sought for the award.
    • Nomination Form for Distinguished Member Award:
  2. Outstanding Advocate
    • The Outstanding Advocate Award recognizes individuals who advocate for the inclusion and success of women, both present and prospective, in the fields of engineering and technology. The nominee must demonstrate outstanding advocacy for women and girls in engineering and technology.  These activities may 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 in technical fields, and advocating in local, state or federal government for laws friendly to women engineers
    • Nomination Form for Outstanding Advocate Award:
  3. Outstanding Engineer
    • The Outstanding Engineer Award is awarded to a qualified woman who has made significant contributions in the field of engineering and/or technical management. Requirements include a minimum of an engineering degree or a degree in a technical field as well as work experience as an engineer.
    • Nomination Form for Outstanding Engineer Award:
  4. Pillar of Support
    • The Pillar of Support Award is awarded to someone within or outside of SWE who empowers women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expands the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrates the value of diversity and inclusion. These individuals support the SWE Central Illinois Professional Section through instrumental ways such as providing vision to promote and support sustainable and impactful initiatives, provide strategic guidance, or financial support that benefits SWE CI members, etc.
    • Nomination Form for Pillar of Support:

You need not be a SWE CI member to nominate someone for an award.

Here is a tip to submit a great nomination form – reach out to the individual you are nominating for a SWE resume and to help answer questions within the nomination submission. The judges may not know the individuals nominated and in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the submission, a complete nomination form representing all of the individual’s contributions is extremely valuable.
If you have any questions or trouble with your online submission, please use the ‘SWE CI – Awards Packet – Nomination Form for FY2023’, and email Society of Women Engineers - Central Illinois SWE at and the email will be forward to the SWE CI Awards Committee of Emilie Egan, Asha George, and Fiona O’Laughlin.

To view past SWE Central Illinois winners and to access a link to the  ‘SWE CI – Awards Packet – Nomination Form for FY2023’, go to

September/October Events

Advocacy Committee:

On October 11, SWE-CI joined Women for Equity in Peoria for an interesting and informative presentation on “Election Law & How to Be an Informed Voter”.  Connie Romanus from the League of Women Voters shared information on the history of voting, the election process, election security, and how to become an informed voter.

Connie noted during her presentation that Illinois allows same-day voter registration on election day, so if you are not registered before the election you can still register and vote on election day!  She noted that if you vote by mail, your ballot must be received by November 3 to be counted in the election.

Attendees left with good resources to help  become more informed voters.  In Illinois, you can get nonpartisan candidate information at  The Illinois State Bar Association website ( has judicial evaluations so that you can learn about the judges who are up for re-election.  Connie shared election commission websites for Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties, where you can see a sample ballot.  By reviewing the sample ballot, you can see the candidates, referendums, and any other issues that will be on the ballot so you won’t be surprised on election day.  

Peoria County Election Commission:

Tazewell County Office of Voter Registration:

Woodford County Election and Voting Information:

Democracy is not a spectator sport, so please exercise your right to vote this November!

Outreach Committee:

Caterpillar Family Day:

SWE-CI was asking to run STEM activities for Caterpillar Family Day on October 1st, at Tech Center Building L. Over 2,800 employees and their families attended the event, and tried out the 3D pens, hand drill station, light bright and tangrams! We went through our whole stock of 3D pens, but it was worth it to engage the teenagers, elementary schoolers, and adults! Thanks to all the SWE volunteers for their hard work!

STEM Boot Camp:

On October 8th, the Outreach Committee hosted a STEM Boot Camp with Central Illinois NSBE! With multiple girls signed up they were able to get the hands-on experience of designing their own 3D printed nameplate keychains! They also had the opportunity to work with 3D pens, Tinkercad program, and Microbits! Patrick, from NSBE, joined us later in the day to go over a resume building workshop too!

Work Life Integration Committee:

Work Life Integration Membership Picnic:

On September 25th, the Work Life Integration committee hosted our annual membership picnic. The picnic was held at Robinson Park Shelter in Peoria. SWE members and their families enjoyed visiting with one another, lunch, and the nice weather. We had Jimmy John sandwiches and a spread of sides, desserts, and drinks. Thank you to all who attended!

Upcoming Events

More details to come on upcoming events. 
Work Life Integration Committee
Trivia Night
Join us at your local Peoria trivia night! Have some pub food while we play as a SWE team for the chance to win! Please RSVP below before 10/27 at 3pm.
When:     Thursday, October 27th
Time:       Please arrive at 6:30 PM to get seated
                 Trivia will start at 7 PM
Where:    Fox Pub (7800 N Sommer St, Suite 302, Peoria, 61615)

Henna Hand Art
Join SWE members for hand Henna by a local Henna artist! Enjoy snacks, games, and socializing with members throughout the event! Please RSVP below before 11/4 at 2pm.
When:     Sunday, November 6th
Time:       1 – 4 PM
Where:   1221 E Duryea Av, Peoria Heights, IL 61616
Cost:       $25 per person

Professional Development Committee

SWE CI Chapter Awards Dinner

~ Please RSVP by November 4th! ~

Come and Celebrate our Sections Award Winner and their accomplishments for this Fiscal Year! 

Stacey DelVecchio will be our guest speaker and will be speaking to us about Career Development.
When: Tuesday, November 15th @ 5:30pm
Where: Barrack’s Cater Inn (Pioneer Park in Peoria, IL)
RSVP: by November 4th
Cost: Members $25 / Non-Members $30

WE Locals 2023

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 

Know someone who should be spotlighted? Let us know by emailing 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. 
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