SWE offers engineers social learning situations
New Mexico Tech’s Society of Women Engineers is dedicated to teaching members to be successful and develop skills.
SWE members learn professional, public speaking and communication skills by attending conferences, said President Victoria Ramirez. Ramirez said skills learned can carry over into working in design teams, internships and jobs.
SWE is an on-campus club involved in many outreach projects. The “SWEet Future at Tech Day” is an event SWE organizes each fall for middle or high school students to tour New Mexico Tech’s campus. Throughout the day, students are introduced to the different departments around campus and participate in demonstrations and activities, she said.
Demonstrations include presentations from the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center and chemistry, biology, chemical engineering, materials engineering, physics and civil engineering departments, she said.
The goal of SWE is to get students, especially women, interested in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, she said. Any student can participate in SWE, and participants don’t have to be women, she said.
“We also have a number of male students who participate in events and are very involved in the club,” Ramirez said.
There is no fee to be in SWE and Ramirez encourages current members to be national members as well. As a national member, students can apply for jobs on SWE’s career website, attend regional and national conference and apply for scholarships to be used toward tuition and fees, she said. SWE is involved in include the Science Olympiad and other community projects.
One of the major projects SWE participates in is the international 10×10 movement to raise awareness for educating women, especially those in underdeveloped nations. The goal is to deliver the message that educating women in underdeveloped nations will change the world, said Ramirez.
Another event SWE organized was the W82Text movement, which was sponsored by KRQE Channel 13 News and FOX News. This event took place last year and encouraged students to sign a pledge to not text and drive at the same time, she said.
SWE participates in the “mud mission” at San Miguel Catholic Church with the St. Patrick Newman Center to help with church renovations. Other students from different clubs, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, chemistry club, physics club, Society of Petroleum Engineers and Society of Economic Geologists, also participate in the event.
Students and community members come together for this annual event to help re-mud the walls of the church. Through the project, participants learn early engineering techniques and the mission building style, she said.
This spring, the mud mission will take on a new task of cleaning up and restoring the San Acacia Mission in April, she said.
“SWE at New Mexico Tech is the most active section out of the three collegiate sections in New Mexico,” Ramirez said.
SWE also hosts a collegiate leadership day in April, where they work with professional members of the SWE Central New Mexico group in Albuquerque. Last year, SWE won a New Mexico Tech Student Appreciation award for its contribution to the school through volunteering, community service, leadership and mentoring.
Ramirez said members of SWE use networking skills to connect with professionals in industry and academia.
“I try to make it worthwhile,” Ramirez said. “If it isn’t worthwhile, it isn’t worth having.”