History

Below is a History of SWE at the University of Pittsburgh

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SWE Timeline
Past Presidents
WE Conference

Society of Women Engineers Timeline



  • 2019:
  • October Pitt SWE has been awarded three Society of Women Engineers Mission Awards. The awards are Best Practice: Membership Retention & Engagement Collegiate, Best Practice: Communication Collegiate, and Gold Collegiate. The Mission Awards will be recognized at Celebrate SWE! on November 9th in Anaheim, CA.
  • April Pitt SWE receives Outstanding Program of the Year award for SWEvening, and OCC Program of the Year for Allies for Gender Equity Series at the University of Pittsburgh's Blue Stars Red Carpet Award Ceremony.
  • February Pitt SWE recieves the Outstanding Outreach Award at WE local 2019 in Baltimore.
  • 2018:
    October
    Pitt SWE receives the Gold Collegiate Section Award and Best Practice of SWE Resource Promotion at WE18 in Minneapolis.
  • April Pitt SWE receives the Collaborative Program Award at the Blue Star Awards.
  • 2017:
    October
    Pitt SWE receives the Gold Award for preforming as one of the top collegiate sections in the society and the Professional Development Award for our success with events geared toward networking and professional growth at WE17 in Austin, Texas.
  • April Pitt SWE receives the OCC Program of the Year Award for the Women in STEM Conference at the University of Pittsburgh's Blue Stars Red Carpet Award Ceremony.
  • February Pitt SWE receives the Region G gold award for Achieving Collegiate Section and 1st place for the Region G Aspiring Program Award in the categories of advocacy, professional development, and globalization at the WE Local Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • 2016:
    October
    Pitt SWE receives the gold award for Outstanding Collegiate Section, Outreach MOU Partnership Award, and the Membership Retention Award at WE16 in Philadelphia, PA.
  • April Pitt SWE receives the Outstanding Community Service Award and Collaborative Program of the Year Award for Diversity Dinnerview at the University of Pittsburgh's Blue Stars Red Carpet Award Ceremony.
  • February Pitt SWE receives 1st place for the Region G Collegiate Programming Award in the category of globalization and the region G bronze award for achieving collegiate section at the Region G Conference in Cincinnati, OH.
  • 2015:
    October
    The University of Pittsburgh receives the Gold Award for Outstanding Collegiate Section and the Membership Award for Membership Recruitment at WE15 in Nashville, TN
  • April Pitt SWE receives the Educational Program of the Year Award for Women In STEM Conference at the University of Pittsburgh's Blue Stars Red Carpet Award Ceremony.
  • February Pitt SWE receives the Region G Silver Award for Achieving Collegiate Section at the Region G Conference at WVU
  • 2014:
    October
    The University of Pittsburgh receives the Silver Award for Outstanding Collegiate Section and the Outreach Parent Educator Award at WE14 in Los Angeles, CA
  • February Pitt SWE receives Region G Silver Award for Achieving Collegiate Section at Ohio State.
  • 2013: The University of Pittsburgh receives the Membership Recruitment Award and the Silver Award for Outstanding Collegiate Section.
  • 2012: The University of Pittsburgh receives the Region G Gold Award for Achieving Collegiate Section.
  • 2011: The University of Pittsburgh receives the Silver Award for Best Collegiate Section and Best Website.
  • 2008: The University of Pittsburgh receives the Silver Award for Best Collegiate Section.
  • 2007: The University of Pittsburgh hosts the Region G SWE conference.
  • 1998: SWE goes to space! Dr. Bonnie Dunbar takes SWE memorabilia with her on a January space mission.
  • 1976: The Society of Women Engineers now admits male members with full rights and privileges.
  • 1970: The University of Pittsburgh student section is recognized.
  • 1967: The first International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists takes place. Over 100 international delegates attended.
  • 1954: Drexel University is chartered as the first Collegiate section.
  • 1951: The Pittsburgh section becomes the first chartered section after the Society's original formation.
  • 1950: The Society of Women Engineers was formed by 65 female engineering students at a meeting in New Jersey. Beatrice Hicks was elected as the first president.

Past Presidents

2018-2019 President:
Laura Traczynski



Major: Civil Engineering
Past Positions: Public relations (1 year), Treasurer (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: My favorite SWE memory was attending the WeLocal Conference in Baltimore! It was a wonderful bonding experience for everyone who attended. Many of the speakers we heard from still resonate with me, and I even got to meet some past societal presidents!

2017-2018 President:
Kaleigh Smith



Major: Mechanical Engineering
Past Positions: Historian (1/2 year), Treasurer (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: My favorite SWE memory was visiting Pittsburgh Miller elementary school to bring them hands-on engineering activities. We built structures with coffee stirrers to test against an earthquake, and measured the voltage output of our hand-made wind turbines, before playing the piano with play-dough using Makey Makey. I was up until midnight trying to find and convince my friends to skip their classes to come with me, and it was totally worth it.

2016-2017 President:
Kylie Zeis



Major: Industrial Engineering
Past Positions: Historian (1/2 year), Secretary (2 years)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: Traveling to Los Angeles for the WE14 Conference was my favorite memory! It was amazing to go to a city I've never been to, build strong bonds with the Pitt SWE girls, and learn a ton about societal SWE as a sophomore.

2015-2016 President:
Becky Glucksman



Major: Civil Engineering (Structural Concentration, Engineering for Humanity Certificate)
Past Positions: Corporate Relations (1 year), WE Local Co-Chair (1/2 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: Since I love animals, my favorite memory with SWE was going to the Behind the Scenes Zoo Tour. I loved being able to pet a giraffe and getting to see the animals up close and personal. After the tour, I walked around the zoo with all of the friends I had made in SWE. This memory highlights the fun activities that SWE always made available, along with the friendships I formed over the years.

2014-2015 President:
Dhanu Thiyagarajan



Major: Bioengineering
Past Positions: Historian (1 year), Mentorship Chair (1 year), Secretary (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: The happiness that the kids have doing the activities and being amazed by how fun engineering can be at our outreach events.

2013-2014 President:
Christina O'Donnell



Major: Chemical Engineering
Past Positions: Service Chair (1 year), Treasurer (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: My favorite SWE memory was participating in SWEepover. I took part in the program as a high school senior, and it really helped with my decision to go to Pitt. It was exciting to volunteer as a member of SWE and hopefully encourage a high school senior to choose Pitt for college.

2012-2013 President:
Lisa Volpatti



Major: Chemical Engineering
Past Positions: Social Chair (1/2 year), Service Chair (1 year), Vice President (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: Getting to work with the students and talk to the parents during "Middle School Engineering Day." All of the hard work preparing to host 100 students and 70 parents at Benedum definitely paid off seeing the students have fun learning about engineering during the event.

2011-2012 President:
Mary Beth Biddle



Major: Mechanical Engineering
Past Positions: Publicity (1 year), Meeting Coordinator (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: Annual conference was always a highlight (and still is!). It's amazing to be surrounded by so many impressive engineers. Connection made at conference can become lifelong friends, job opportunities, resources for outreach events, and more. When Pitt SWE traveled together, we always came back a closer group!

2011-2012 President:
Sandy Liu



Major: Bioengineering
Past Positions: SWEepover Chair (1 year), Academic Chair (1 year), Secretary (1 year), President (1 year)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: I went to three National Conferences (Orlando, Chicago, and Houston) and each one was so fun! They are the best way to network with other SWE members across the country, see your friends that go to other schools, and get to know your fellow Pitt SWE members better!

2010-2011 President:
Jacklyn Wise (Conley)



Major: Chemical Engineering (Minor: Bioengineering Certificate: Nuclear Engineering)
Past Positions: Secretary (1 year) and Webmaster (3 years)
Favorite Pitt SWE Memory: I would probably have to say every Middle School Engineering Event or SWEepover Event that we did with incoming freshman. I really enjoyed reaching out to young girls to teach them about engineering and science.

WE Conference

WE18 - Minneapolis, MN




WE17 - Austin, TX


Please click here to view the Pitt Video submitted for the SWENext Competition!


WE16 - Philadelphia, PA




WE15 - Nashville, TN




WE14 - Los Angeles, CA




WE13 - Baltimore, MD




WE12 - Houston, TX




WE11 - Chicago, IL




WE10 - Orlando, FL




WE09 - Longbeach, CA