SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter - March 2022
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  SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter

Mark your Calendars!

General Body Meeting: March 10th
Congressional Outreach Days: March 30-31st

WE Local Buffalo: April 8-9th
Chennai India Roundtable Discussion: April 16th
Professional Development Day: May 14th


General Body Meeting

Thursday, March 10th from 7:00-8:30

Back in October, we held a General Body meeting to introduce our executive council members, share their roles and responsibilities, and have an opportunity to speak with all of you.

We would like to continue our discussions and plan to have another General Body Meeting on Thursday, March 10th from 7:00-8:30. During this meeting, we will share some highlights and goals from FY22, but we mostly want to hear from you! This meeting will have a large town hall Q&A portion where we would love to hear any questions or comments you have for us. 


For attending this meeting, we will be raffling a free SWE membership for this upcoming year! In order to qualify for the raffle, you must attend the entire meeting. We will announce the winner at the end of the session.  You must be present to win. 
Executive Council members and Life members are not eligible. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

Call for FY23 Officers for the Society of Women Engineers Pittsburgh Section

SWE Pittsburgh is successful because of you, our members.  We need five extraordinary members to help Pittsburgh SWE, by serving in an officer role.  Current officers may choose to run again!  All officers and committee chairs participate in a SWE Pittsburgh monthly phone call.  The officers of the section are:


The major responsibilities of the Section President are to administer the business of the section, call and preside over the monthly Pittsburgh board meetings, pass on membership information from SWE Headquarters (HQ), coordinate section activities, and represent the section before the public. The President must submit the leadership roster to SWE HQ. The President works with the Treasurer to prepare the budget and the annual financial report. She/he should assist the committee chairs in establishing goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals. She/he must motivate section members and encourage them to contribute their ideas and energy to the section. After completing her term(s), the President may stay on the board as “Past President” and acts as an advisor to the new President and Executive Committee.

The VP of Programming’s primary responsibilities are to plan and schedule membership meetings and special events and engage speakers or activities for those meetings or events. The VP of Programming is responsible for making room arrangements and promoting attendance by preparing announcements for the meetings or events. She/he writes thank‐you notes to speakers and writes or assigns someone to write summaries for the meetings or events. She/he will arrange joint meetings with other technical societies and also provides guidance to a programming committee. (Programs in 2021-22 have been virtual.)

 One of the primary goals of SWE is to encourage young women to consider careers in engineering and to educate the public on the merits of an engineering career. To that end, the VP of Outreach is responsible for coordinating volunteers to speak and participate in career seminars, judge science fairs, oversee the Certificate of Merit program, and other K-12 Outreach programs. She/he also ensures that the section’s Outreach activities are entered into SWE’s online Outreach Metric Tool.

 The Section Treasurer is responsible for section finances and must maintain an accurate accounting of all income and expenditures (deposits and payments). The Treasurer assists in grant applications, sets up and provides financial information for fundraising tools (Amazon Smile, Give Pittsburgh, GiveGab) and must prepare a summary budget for each Executive Board meeting. She/he prepares and submits the IRS form. She/he and the president must prepare the Section Financial Report at the end of each fiscal year, and send it to SWE HQ. The report summarizes the account activity and lists the sources of income.

 The Section Secretary records, publishes, and distributes meeting minutes from each monthly SWE Pittsburgh Executive Board meeting. If she/he cannot personally attend a meeting, she/he must assign someone to take the minutes instead. The Secretary also manages the Gmail account and Google Calendar with section events, and updates the Google Drive with key section documents for the year. She/he also maintains the participation records and the tracks the progress towards meeting the section goals.


Section officers serve for a term of one year. All officers and committee chairs participate in a SWE Pittsburgh monthly phone call and an annual face-to-face meeting.  We encourage all Pittsburgh members to consider submitting your nomination for an officer role or to recommend someone for an officer role.  

New officers will be mentored and guided, as desired, by the experienced members, so anyone who is willing to commit is capable of taking on a role.  We need our members to step forward to help us continue as a successful section.

Please email your nomination to  Please include your name, the officer position, and a short, couple of sentences on why you are interested and how you are qualified for the officer position.  A member of the nominating committee will reply.

Please submit nominations by March 25th, thank you and we look forward to hearing from at least five members!


SWE Pittsburgh Nominating Committee 2022

Dianne McMaster, Chair

Rika Carlsen

Mary Ann Walsh

SWE Pittsburgh



Slack Weekly Chat Schedule:

Monday, March 14th:
What is a new habit you are working on developing?

Tuesday, March 29th:
How have you gone about finding mentors in your professional life?


Link to join Slack

Secretary Role Open for FY22/FY23

Looking for a way to get more involved in SWE Pittsburgh?

Do you like writing notes and correspondence? We need you!



Our current FY22 Secretary, Lindsay Bonn, is relocating to Michigan for work in January.
We are hoping to find a replacement who can work virtually with Lindsay over the next several months to train in the role and take over for the remainder of FY22 (and ideally FY23).
This is a great role to strengthen your organizational and communication skills!


The main responsibilities of the Secretary include:

  1. Maintain the records of the section by recording meeting minutes for monthly E-board meetings
  2. Organizes and oversees Gmail account and outside communication with Pittsburgh SWE
  3. Tracks member participation and section goals for Mission Awards

The time commitment is concentrated around monthly E-board meetings and varies with the amount of Gmail correspondence required, but is very easy to manage around your schedule.  

If you are interested in being the Secretary please reach out to We look forward to you joining the E-Board team of Samantha Orlando, Mary Zeis, Elizabeth Foster, and Kim Daloise!

WE Local Buffalo – Start Planning Now!



Are you going to WE Local Buffalo?  If so, let us know!  So far, we have Mary, Mary Ann, Laura, Chuck, Deepika, and Lucero.  We would love to take a group picture of all the SWE Pittsburgh section members who attend.  Please let us know if you are going by sending an email to


WE Local Buffalo will take place in person at the Buffalo Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel on April 8 and 9, 2022.

Volunteer to receive a one-time 20% registration discount when you sign up and show up for a volunteer shift at WE Local Buffalo. To view current volunteer needs and sign up to volunteer, please visit this website.


Then, register.  Registration is now open!


Registration includes two full days of conference admission, including keynotes, educational sessions, workshops, breakfasts, lunches, and social events.  It also includes access to the career fair on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

Early Bird Member Pricing ends March 25, 2022.

Professionals Early Bird Member Pricing: $175.00

Collegiates Early Bird Member Pricing: $75.00

Many organizations provide financial support to their employees to attend professional development conferences like WE Local.  Use this sample request letter to help you approach your employer to ask for their support and demonstrate how attending WE Local will benefit you and them!  Template Request Letter

Click here to learn more about WE Local Buffalo:

Buffalo is just 4 hours away from Pittsburgh, so we hope to see many Pittsburgh SWEesters there!

We’re Back In-Person!
SWE Activity Table at the Carnegie Science Center

SWE volunteers engaged and encouraged future engineers at Carnegie Science Center’s Engineer the Future, in celebration of Engineers Week, on February 24 and 25, 2022.

At the SWE table, future engineers made a paper airplane, fastened it to a balloon, and then launched their balloon rocket along a fishing line, demonstrating Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion.  (“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”)

Over 185 girls and boys flew balloon rockets at our table over the two days.  We also had 17 girls sign up for the SWENext Program, a free program for students to be a part of the SWE community before college.  And we had 4 teachers subscribe to the SWENextEd newsletter for educators.

Thanks to all the volunteers who staffed the SWE table on Thursday and Friday!

Pittsburgh SWE Members: Mary Ann Walsh, Mary Zeis, Fern DoVale, Joie Marhefka, Julie Derence, Kim Williams, and Chuck Bleil

Friend of SWE: MJ Shaw

Thanks, also, to Laura Traczynski and Kylie Mazurek for making Career Chat videos which we submitted to the science center for their virtual program.  (The event was a hybrid event this year.)


Pitt SWE FiERCE Forum Recap

On Saturday, February 5th, University of Pittsburgh SWE held their 2nd Annual Fierce Forum (Females in Engineering Reaching Career Empowerment). The FiERCE Forum is a conference geared towards women pursuing careers in STEM including high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as professionals in industry and academia.  


This year, the session tracks included Finding Your Voice, Innovating Up, Evolving Education, Revitalize & Refresh, and Collaborative Communication. Members of the Pittsburgh SWE section volunteered as speakers and panelists for the event. Those speakers included Anna Borenstein, Lindsay Bonn, Reneicia Frazier, Jayashree Iyengar, Tashwin Khurana, Edugie Niepa, Laura Traczynski, Mary Ann Walsh, and Nancy Zupick. Thank you all for participating!



SWE Members see Hamilton!

SWE members Cassandra Solarczyk and Mary Ann Walsh were “seen” attending Hamilton at the Benedum.
(pictured: from left is Cassandra and her mother-Jackie; from right is Mary Ann and her sister-Beverly)


Help us Recruit Girls to Join SWENext!

The society-level SWENext Programming Committee is sponsoring a SWENext Recruitment Challenge.  And SWE Pittsburgh is participating!  The sections who recruit the most SWENexters by May 31st will win money to be used for STEM Outreach events.  

As of December 31st, our section had 385 SWENexters “aligned” to our SWE Pittsburgh section, the most of any other professional section!  (SWENexters are aligned to a professional section based on their zip code, just like professional SWE members are.)


This year’s Recruitment Challenge started on February 1st and runs until May 31st. We need your help to recruit girls to join SWENext!


If you know of any girls in middle school and high school who enjoy STEM, please encourage them to sign up for SWENext using our Event Code PGHPRO.  😊  (We only get credit if they use our Event Code!)


Also, please reach out to any science and math teachers that you know in middle school and high school and ask them to encourage their students to sign up for SWENext.  Information can be found on our SWE Pittsburgh website:


And note, for this challenge, it actually doesn’t matter where the girl lives!  We’ll get credit no matter where they live as long as they use the Event Code PGHPRO.  So, if you have nieces or cousins in another state, please recruit them and ask them to use Event Code PGHPRO.


Here are the links to join SWENext:

13 years or older - students sign up here. 

Under age 13 - parents sign up the student here. 


SWENext is a free program where girls can become a part of the SWE community before college.  SWE provides resources, content, and programming for “SWENexters”, such as scholarship tips, advice on how to prepare for college success, leadership training, awards, mentors, newsletters, contests, and advice columns.  Check out the SWENext website at


Questions about the SWENext program?  Please reach out to  She is on the society-level SWENext Programs Committee that is responsible for the SWENext program.  (And so is SWE Pittsburgh member Laura Traczynski!)


Thanks for your help in encouraging the (SWE) Next Generation of women engineers!



Volunteers Needed! - 2022 SWE Certificate of Merit Program

Are you interested in volunteering with SWE but not quite sure where to start? Well, look no further! Certificate of Merit is an extremely rewarding program to be involved with (see background info below), and I would love to have a few more volunteers to work with me to manage this program. Most of the work will occur in April/May, and most of it can be done from the comfort of your own home! If you are interested, please contact me at


The SWE Certificate of Merit Program is kicking off this month! This program is a way for our section to recognize and reward local high school girls who excel in math and science and are interested in engineering or technology as a career. Each participating school can nominate a senior, a junior, and a sophomore. The senior receives $100. All students receive a certificate and a personal note written by a member of our section. 😊


In 2021, we had a record high of 45 schools participate which resulted in recognition of 133 high school girls! Over 75% of the girls plan to study engineering or computer science in college. Another 15% plan to pursue another STEM field.


This year, we are inviting the 45 schools who participated in 2021, 9 schools who participated in 2020 or a prior year, and a few new schools who have never participated! Invitations to participate will be sent to schools in early March. If you would like a school to be added to the list, please reach out to


SWE Pittsburgh has Expanded!


Did you know?  SWE professional sections are defined by zip codes.  The SWE Pittsburgh section boundaries included these zip codes:

Pennsylvania – zip codes starting with 150-157, 159-162

West Virginia – zip codes starting with 260 (Wheeling, Weirton, and other towns in the western WV panhandle)

Ohio – zip codes starting with 439 (a strip just to the west of the WV panhandle including Steubenville, St. Clairsville, East Liverpool, etc.)


SWE Pittsburgh has now expanded to include West Virginia zip codes starting with 265!  This is Morgantown, WV and surrounding areas.  The SWE Board of Directors approved our expansion motion on February 17, 2022.

Why expand? 

  • We have had a relationship with West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown over the years, inviting them to our collegiate Leadership Summits, having them help us with STEM Outreach, and being a resource for them on SWE matters.  Adding the Morgantown zip codes to SWE Pittsburgh’s Section boundaries will serve to formalize this relationship and help encourage the transition to professional membership when WVU students graduate.

  • Morgantown is only an hour away from downtown Pittsburgh, which is actually closer than some of the towns in our zip code range in Pennsylvania (such as the towns in zip codes starting with 162, which are 1 1/2 hours away from downtown Pittsburgh). 

  • We've learned a lot about going virtual with our SWE Pittsburgh networking meetings and professional development meetings because of the pandemic.  It showed us that we can interact with a lot more of our professional members when we are virtual.  Even as the pandemic eases, we will keep some of our events virtual.

Before the motion was approved, professional SWE members living in zips starting with "265" (Morgantown WV and surroundings) were considered SWE Members at Large (MALs).  We look forward to having them be a part of our Pittsburgh section!


SWE Congressional Outreach Days

Save the date for the SWE Congressional Outreach Days!  SWE has hosted these congressional outreach days over the past few years with the purpose of convening SWE members and partners virtually to advocate for policies that support the full inclusion of women engineers in the workforce. 

This event can be used to let federal and state officials know that you are committed to strengthening the United States workforce by increasing the number of women in engineering and technology. Congressional Outreach Days this year are March 30-31st. Registration will begin February 28th and run until March 7th on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Log into your SWE Account and search for “SWE Congressional Outreach Days” under events to register. If you are not sure who your elected officials are, you can search by your state or address. SWE will also have a draft letter ready for you to send as well if desired.

Our Collegiate Liaison, Sarah Guza, welcomed her new baby, Hannah, on September 3rd, 2021. The family is healthy and happy and has been enjoying getting to know their little one.

Congratulations Sarah!



Do You Support the Sports Industry in Some Way?


SWE Pittsburgh plans to participate in SciTech Day – Sports at the Carnegie Science Center in May.  

We are looking for women engineers who work for companies that support the Sports Industry in some way.  Maybe your company make the aluminum for baseball bats.  Or perhaps your company makes the helmets used in football or the coating on a hockey puck.

If you are or know someone who fits this description, please reach out to  We’d like to interview you to make a video to submit to the science center for this sports-related SciTech day event.

We also plan to host an activity table where students will make a “ball blaster” (really a sling shot from a paper towel core) and try to send their aluminum foil “ball” into a target to score.  We’ll be looking for volunteers to help staff the table, so stay tuned for that request in April.  (No need to work in the sports industry to volunteer.)

Check out Job Postings in the Newsletter and on the SWE Website

Multiple Positions 

Multiple Positions

Senior Service Inside Sales Engineer 

Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc.:  
Multiple Positions

Are you an Employer looking to post a job?  Contact
SWE Pittsburgh Membership Updates

Please welcome the following new members to our Pittsburgh SWE


Carey Eugene | Professional Member; B.Sc, Electrical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology and Budapest University of Technology and Economics; M.Sc, Engineering Management, Robert Morris University; employed as Project Engineer, Resco Products, Inc. 


Lucero Lopez | JSHPE Professional Member; MS, Material Science, Carnegie Mellon University; BS, Chemical Engineering, UC San Diego


Mara McFadden | Professional Member; BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; MBA, Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business; CEO of Endolumik


SWE Pittsburgh presently has 196 members. We’re very glad you’ve joined us. We look forward to seeing you at our future events!


Please remember to keep your SWE profile up-to-date - please include your employment, education, and address; also remember to check to opt-in for SWE to send you emails (email is the main method of SWE Pittsburgh communication to our members). Members’ information is how we keep in touch with you and it is not shared outside of SWE

Click Here to add us to your Google Calendar! Stay up to date on Events with SWE!
Amazon Smile!

Did you know that by simply shopping on and selecting Society of Women Engineers as your supported charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to our Section? How awesome is that! 

If you want to put your Amazon shopping to good use, follow these steps:

Option 1: Click here:

Option 2: Follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Select Choose your charity -OR- change the charity your supporting

Machine generated alternative text:
= amazons 
Search hr Societyof 
Women E ngineers 
Pitsburgh, PA 
Supporting: Society of Women Engineers 
up Location Browsing History 
Today's Deals 

Step 3: Search for Society of Women Engineers 

Machine generated alternative text:
Your Account Change Your Charity 
Choose one of our spotlight charities 
The Nature Conservancy 
The Nature Conservancy is a global organization dedicated to conserving 
the lands and waters on which all life depends. 
Select The Nature Conservancy 
Or pick your own charita 
Society of Women Engineerß 
Susan G. Komen 
Best Friends Animal Society 
American Red Cross 
Alzheimer's Association 
The Nature Conservancy 

Step 4: Search for the Pittsburgh, PA Location

Machine generated alternative text:
Society of Women Engineers 
About v 
Women's Rights 
Pittsburgh PA 


Step 5: Shop shop shop! Well, remember to shop at!

SWE Pittsburgh FY22 Leadership
Samantha Orlando - President
Elizabeth Foster - Vice President – Programming
Mary Zeis - Vice President – Outreach & STEM Outreach Co-Chair
Lindsay Bonn - Secretary
Kimberly Daloise - Treasurer
Mary Ann Walsh - Membership Co-Chair
Carol Pan - Membership Co-Chair
Jayashree Iyengar - Fundraising Chair
Veronica Jaime-Lara - Social Media Chair
Deepika Devarajan - STEM Outreach Co-Chair
Dorothy Measures - Job Bank Coordinator
Erica Stevens - Webmaster
Cassandra Solarczyk - Newsletter Editor
Laura Traczynski - Collegiate Section Liaison
Sara Guza - Collegiate Section Liaison
Chuck Bleil - Data Officer
Claire Bradshaw - Certificate of Merit Program Chair
Mikayla Ferchaw - YouTube Manager
Sharon Thomas - Carnegie Science Center (CSC) Event Chair
Dianne McMaster - Nominating Committee Chair
Look for us on the SWE Pittsburgh website and contact any of us by sending an email to
Would you like to sponsor SWE Pittsburgh?

If you would like your company to be a local sponsor, contact
Copyright © 2022 Society of Women Engineers - Pittsburgh Section, All rights reserved.

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