Eight female engineering students traveled to California in December to attend WE ’19 – the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology – as part of the University’s efforts to support women in STEM.
Jenna Alma ‘21, Robyn Alma ‘21, Margaret Ruggiero ‘21, Emily Hughes ‘22, Lucia Galindo-Caceres ‘22, Shannya Niveyro ‘22, Yulisa Frias ‘21, and Katelyn Boncaro ’22 received the scholarships based on their leadership and involvement in the university’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The scholarships were funded by the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, Hofstra’s Student Government Association (SGA), and the Provost’s Office.
WE ‘19, organized by SWE, provides opportunities for undergraduate students to learn from and network with industry professionals.
More than 16,000 engineering students from universities nationwide attended this year’s conference.
“There’s a lot of value in this conference for undergraduates because it provides a very welcoming environment where students can develop presentation, network, and interview skills as well as potentially land a summer internship with one of the 200+ exhibitors who accept resumes and interview on the spot,” said Dr. Lynn Albers, assistant professor of engineering who accompanied the girls on the trip. “The students even had an opportunity to have professional headshots taken.”
In addition to the exhibition, WE ‘19 featured presentations from female leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Carol Malnati, vice president of Research and Development, Cardiac Rhythm Heart Failure and AF Solutions at Medtronic, Rachel Hutter, senior vice president for International Facilities Operations Services and Worldwide Safety, Health and Engineering at Disney and Jayshree Seth, corporate scientist and chief science advocate at 3M who shared advice about pursuing STEM careers and their individual leadership strategies.
“Attending WE19 allowed me to develop academically, personally, and professionally in ways I didn’t expect,” SWE President Jenna Alma said. “I was able to attend a massive career fair and speak to many potential graduate schools about their Master’s and PhD programs, helping me to reach a more informed decision about my plans after graduation. Going to the workshops that focused on personal development made me realize that I wasn’t the only female engineer struggling to do it all.”
Throughout the three-day conference, students attended personal and professional development workshops focused on topics such as how to battle burnout, increasing professional confidence, learning how to excel as an intern, and embracing failure. Workshops on how to how to grow and retain SWE membership, expose young girls to STEM were also available.
For more information about women in STEM at the DeMatteis School, visit hofstra.edu/womengineers.