More than 50 students and faculty celebrated the new class of female students at the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science 13th Annual Women in Engineering and Computer Science Luncheon.
The event, hosted by First Year Connections, brings together first year female students and their older peers to discuss classroom experiences, career goals and strategies for success in competitive, male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
Dr. David Rooney, associate dean of the DeMatteis School welcomed the young women who began their studies at the school in September.
“In 1966, less than 1% of students graduating with a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD in engineering or computer science were women,” Dr. Rooney said. “Today 22% of bachelor’s degrees, 26% of master’s degrees, and approximately 24% of PhDs are earned by women.”
He urged the students to take advantage of the range of programs the school offers, from the Co-op Program to the new W-SPiCE Program, an initiative that helps highly motivated students learn more about companies in specialty areas related to degree programs offered at DeMatteis.
Dr. Saryn Goldberg, associate professor of mechanical engineering, described the recently launched DeMatteis Peer Mentoring Program, which connects incoming female students with a peer in a field related to their academic interests.
“Every female student in engineering and computer science needs to know that there are other women on the same path,” said Dr. Mauro Caputi, director of first-year engineering, associate professor of electrical engineering and organizer of the luncheon. “We want them to know that they can reach out to upper level students for support and guidance.”
The event has doubled in size since it began in 2007.
“In my opinion, it shouldn’t be a big deal that women are pursuing careers in engineering and computer science,” said mechanical engineering major Christina McMann, ’23. “I liked math in high school and my dad is an engineer. This just feels like a very natural fit for me.”
For more information about women in engineering and computer science initiatives at DeMatteis, visit hofstra.edu/womengineers.