SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter - August 2021
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  SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter

Upcoming Events:


August Social Hour: August 12th

Coffee Hour & Hike: September 11th or September 18th

"Pick Your Own Webinar" - PD session:
September 21st

WE21: October 21st-23rd 

President Welcome


Hello Pittsburgh SWE members,


My name is Samantha Orlando and I am honored to be your SWE President for FY22! I have been involved with SWE since my freshman year of college at the Rochester Institute of Technology where I attended and coordinated the trips to the annual conference and served as the VP one semester.  

In 2016, I graduated with my B.S. and M. Eng. in mechanical engineering. Since graduation, I have worked as a process engineer, initially in plastic films and now in activated carbon at Calgon Carbon Corporation. I moved to Pittsburgh last summer and have tried to get involved with Pittsburgh SWE as much as I could. 

I would like to applaud and congratulate everyone for their efforts and contributions to SWE this past year. We were all challenged in new ways and been through a myriad of constant changes. The FY21 leaders were able to adapt and overcome to help everyone have a truly successful year.


Our new leadership board for FY22 is listed at the bottom of this newsletter, I am very excited to work with them in the coming year!   

I am looking forward to serving you and let’s have a great year together!


Thank you,


Are You Going to WE21?  Aspire to Inspire!

October 21 – 23, 2021

Indianapolis, IN





Register now and book your hotel room! 
SWE’s annual conference, WE21, will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana from October 21-23, 2021.  

Indianapolis is just a 6-hour drive from Pittsburgh so we hope many SWE Pittsburgh members will attend!

No sure how to approach your employer for potential funding assistance? SWE offers a number of resources to guide you through the process. They even have some sample language and tips on overcoming objections. Download the document at this link.


Register for WE21:

WE21 Hotel Reservations:

Professionals: Earn a $125 registration refund post-event by being a volunteer for WE21 or Invent It. Build It. (IIBI) STEM Outreach event. To be eligible for the volunteer refund, you must check-in for your shift at the WE21 volunteer room and complete your shift. Positions are limited, so please sign-up today! 


Sign up to Volunteer:


Read more about WE21 on the WE21 website:

Please let us know if you are planning to attend, either in-person or virtually!  Send an email to  So far, we know that Mary, Chuck, and Mary Ann are going.  Hope to see you there!

FY22 Hybrid Transition Meeting

On July 19th, we held a hybrid transition meeting for our officers and executive council. We kicked off Fy22 by reviewing our section's vitality agreement, mission award, and FY21 goals. We also brainstormed new goals for this upcoming year. We are very excited for what is to come!

Thank you to Mary Zeis and Chuck Bleil for hosting the transition meeting!


Volunteer Opportunity 

Volunteers Needed – August 21, 1:45 – 2:30 p.m.


Our section is hosting a virtual workshop for high school girls called:

“Mentorship 101 – Everything You Should Know about Finding and Having a Mentor”


We need 10 SWE members to volunteer for the Speed Mentoring segment of this workshop on Saturday, August 21st, ~1:45 - 2:30 p.m. 

This workshop actually starts at 1:00 p.m.  The first part of the workshop includes a presentation on what a mentor is and how a mentor can help. It also includes testimonials from high school girls who have mentors. 

Then, the high school students will be divided into breakout rooms for a Speed Mentoring session where they will be able to practice engaging with a professional and asking questions.   

We would do 5 rounds that are 8 minutes long.  No long-term mentoring commitment is required (although if you are open to it, we would add you to the list for future reference). 

If you are available and interested in helping, please reach out to  Thanks to Roxana, Anna, and Edugie for signing up already!



Upcoming Events!

August Virtual Social Hour

Thursday, August 12th at 6:00 PM

Join us for our first social hour of the fiscal year! We’ll do some group “Bingo” squares for conversation starters. If you’re new to SWE or interested in getting to know other members better, this is a great event to attend. Invitations will be sent via evite and Slack. 


September Coffee Hour and Hike (in person!)

TBD either September 11th or September 18th

For our first in-person social event of the COVID era, we’ll have an hour “bring your own coffee/tea/morning beverage” social hour starting at 9 AM followed by a small hike in an area park starting at 10 AM. If you plan to attend, please follow all CDC guidelines related to masking. If you’re interested in attending this event, please vote on a date here:


Pick Your Own Webinar” Professional Development Session: 

Tuesday, September 21st at 7:00 PM

Pick a webinar of interest to you from the SWE Advance Learning Center (included for free in your SWE membership!), watch it in advance of the session, and share what you learned with others in the group. Not a webinar person? Find an article, book, or other medium of professional interest to you and share from it! Invitations will be sent via evite and Slack.


Other programming notes:

Want to interact with other SWE members in a more informal manner? Join our Slack channel via this link

Looking to volunteer with section events? Interested in leading a section book club? Please send an email to I’d love to have you on board!

STEM Outreach Recap

Our first STEM event of the new fiscal year was a virtual Build-a-Resume Workshop for high school girls on July 27th.  

During the workshop, the high school girls learned resume fundamentals and were able to follow along using a resume planning worksheet so that they could build their own resume during the workshop.  Then, they were divided into smaller groups in breakout rooms to discuss what experiences and accomplishments they could “feature” on their resumes.  A SWE member was in each breakout room to give them advice.  After the workshop, the girls were invited to send their resumes in for review by an engineering professional to get feedback on how to make their resumes even stronger.


27 girls and 9 SWE members participated in the workshop.  Thanks to SWE members Sierra Barner, Lindsay Bonn, Deepika Devarajan, Tashwin Khurana, Kylie Mazurek, Roxana Neophytou, Samantha Orlando, Rachel Upadhyay, and Mary Zeis for volunteering!



Stay in touch with SWE by renewing your membership by logging into the SWE member portal and clicking My Payment Notices or My Order Details on the left-hand side. When you renew, your membership will be active for all of FY22 ending on June 30, 2022. 


​​​​​Thank you renewing members!

In July, the following SWE Pittsburgh members paid and renewed their membership in SWE for FY22 : 

Elnora Balser, Ravyn Brown, Lisa Marie Carper, M. E. Countouris, Lily Currie, Julie Derence, Robin Hissam, Rhonda Johnston, Melina Katsiroumba, Lisa Morrison, Sydney Sandidge, Deborah Stine, Emily Sweeny, Laura Traczynski, Victoria Webster-Wood, Kimberly Williams, Ashley Zulueta, and Nancy Zupick.


So far, 56 percent of our members have renewed. Perhaps some more of you have already renewed, but it has not yet shown on our records. We urge you to please renew your membership for FY22 as soon as possible; we count on your support each year.

Looking for a Few Good 
STEM Outreach Leaders

Did you have a leadership role in your college SWE section?  Is the time right to get more involved with SWE?  We need you!

Given the complexity of the total SWE Pittsburgh STEM Outreach program, we would like to segment parts of the program into bite-sized pieces, with each piece being run by a “Chair”. This would be a good way for you to strengthen your leadership, planning, and communication skills while helping encourage the next generation of women engineers.

Here are the Chair positions available. 


- SWENext Programming Chair –

Would create programming for the SWENexters in Pittsburgh (at least one program every two months), both virtual and in-person. (Year round)

- SWENext Mentor/Advisor Program Chair –

Would match up high school students with mentors or one-time advisors from our section. (We have 200+ members to reach out to.)  Would also handle any requests we get for job shadowing or talking with an engineer, matching up a SWE member with a student. (Year round)

- Carnegie Science Center (CSC) Events Chair –

Would field “requests for participation” from CSC and find volunteers to participate in those events.  This year we participated in ChemFest, SciTech Days, Engineer Your Future (engineers' week), and STEM Adventure. (September – March)

- STEM Outreach for Schools Chair –

Would field requests from schools for participation in their STEM nights, virtual classroom visits, science fairs, etc.  Would find volunteers from among our members to participate and decide on hands-on activities to do. (September – May)

- SWE-Sponsored Competitions Chair –

Would handle the details for the three competitions where we sponsor awards: Future City, PJAS, and PRSEF.  Would interact with the hosting organization, advertise for volunteers, find judges, etc. (December – March)

If you are interested in being a Chair, or just getting more involved, please reach out to  We can create a “bite-sized” volunteer leader role for you!


More Appreciation for
SWE Pittsburgh’s Certificate of Merit Program


We received a few more letters from students who thanked us for their SWE Certificate of Merit.

Recall the SWE Certificate of Merit Program is a way for our section to recognize local high school girls who excel in math and science and are interested in engineering or technology as a career.  


“Dear SWE Pittsburgh Section: Thank you so much for the monetary gift and well wishes alongside my SWE Certificate of Merit Award!  I am very grateful for the well wishes for my college experience.  I am very excited to enter the engineering field alongside other powerful women!  I plan to use part of the check to purchase my SWE memberships.  I cannot wait to see where it takes me, from RIT and beyond.  Thank you!”  -- Makaela K., North Catholic High School (going to Rochester Institute of Technology to study Industrial Engineering)


“Dear SWE: Thank you very much for choosing me to be a recipient of the SWE Certificate of Merit Award and $100.  I appreciate the honor and the money will be very helpful as college approaches.  Your generosity means a lot.  Thank you.” – Karissa D., Grove City Area Sr. High School (going to Carnegie Mellon to study Information Systems

“To SWE Members: Thank you for awarding me with the Certificate of Merit award and the monetary gift.  I truly appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.  I will put the money to good use when majoring in bioengineering at Lehigh University.  Thanks again.” – Maura L., Norwin High School (going to Lehigh University to study Bioengineering

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

National Robotic Engineer Center:
User Interface Software Engineer

Kopp Glass, Inc:

Process Engineer
Automation Engineer
Controls Engineer

The Energy Network (TEN) (Duquense Light Holdings):  
Senior Energy Engineer

Multiple Positions

Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc.:  
Multiple Positions

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


Please welcome the following members to our Pittsburgh SWE Section:


Lisa Beers | Professional Member; B.S. Electrical Engineering, Ohio Northern University; employed as Quality Engineer II, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

Justin Lawrence Cook | Professional Member, graduated from Duquesne University, B.S. Biomedical Engineering, May 2021

Megan Henriksen | Professional Member; B.S. Civil Engineering, Additional Major in Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; employed as Engineer, KeyLogic Systems

Nisha Mariam Johnson | Professional Member; B.S. Electronics and Communications Engineering, College of Engineering, Trivandrum; M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; employed as Senior Corporate Applications Engineer, Synopsys Inc

Tashwin Khurana | Professional Member; M.S. Computer Science, Lehigh University; B.S. Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management; employed as Senior Software Engineer, Aurora

Kristine Nutter | Professional Member; B.S. Computer Engineering, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; employed as Lead Control Systems Engineer, Thermo Systems

Yevgeniya Updyke | Professional Member; Doctor of Medicine (MD), Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University; Public Health Graduate Certificate, Kansas State University; employed as Evidence Evaluation Specialist, Smith & Nephew


SWE Pittsburgh presently has 207 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!

Other Interesting Engineering Activities in Pittsburgh

The Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) keeps an up-to-date events list for people interested in learning more about the Steel city and engineering throughout the area.

Please visit their website at:


If you know of interesting engineering events, please let us know and we will publicize it! 
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

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= 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 
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Step 4: Search for the Pittsburgh, PA Location

Machine generated alternative text:
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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
Amrutha Ramesh - Professional Development Day Planning Chair
Meaghan Shea - 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
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