SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter - May 2021
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  SWE Pittsburgh Newsletter

Upcoming Events:

SWE Professional Development Day: May 22nd, 8:30 am

Virtual Social Hour: June 1st, 7:00 pm

Professional Talk -- Debbie Stine: June 17th, 7:00 pm

Professional Development Day
May 22nd, 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Professional Development Day is almost here! We have an incredible lineup of speakers giving sessions related to keeping up with industry trends, pivoting careers, strategic planning, and good management.

Register through our event website and find more details on speakers, sessions, and event logistics. Want to come but have a conflict?

Since the event is virtual, if you register in advance we will record the sessions and you can view them up to a month after Professional Development Day at your convenience! Don’t forget to register before May 7th to receive the early bird discount. 


We also want to thank two of our event sponsors, SoftWriters and Eaton, for their support of our SWE section and being a generous sponsor for Professional Development Day!




SWE Pittsburgh Elections


The slate was announced on 4/16/2021 and is presented here for your information.

If you are a current SWE member, then you have received an email with instructions to vote by May 22nd.
Please contact with any questions.



President – Samantha Orlando

Vice-President Outreach – Mary Zeis

Vice-President Programming – Elizabeth Foster OR Amrutha Ramesh

Secretary – Lindsay Bonn (Fricano)

Treasurer – Kim Daloise

FY22 Early Membership Renewals Have Begun!​​​

The FY22 early membership renewal cycle has started! If you haven't already, renew your commitment to the SWE community today by logging into the SWE member portal and clicking My Payment Notices or My Order Details on the left hand side. ​​​​​

Professional, retired, unemployed, and graduates can receive $5 off membership through 6/30/2021 by using the code EBIRDFY22. 

All global members eligible for global discounts will receive automatic discounts at the time of checkout.


Life members and C2C members (with a graduation date past 7/1/2021) do not need to renew as they are automatically renewed for the next fiscal year. Please remember to keep your profile up to date.

When you renew, your membership will be active for all of FY22, ending on June 30, 2022. 

Saint Francis University SWE members plan to become a SWE Collegiate Affiliate


Saint Francis University (SFU) has several students and faculty who have joined SWE.  The collegiate members are: Annabelle McCullough (president), Vittoria LaRosa (vice president), Kendra Zaruba (secretary/treasurer), Kaitlyn Maxwell, Skye Eicher, Rachel Gibson, Lily Currie, Marlena Jacobs, Jenna Beitel, Kari Lagan, Laryssa Bauer, and Teresa Reid. They are being advised by Dr. Rachel Wagner (Chair of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science), assisted by faculty members Dr. Tim Miller and Dr. Qin He. Several of the SWE members at SFU are presently assigned to the Pittsburgh SWE section.C:\Users\rcw001\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Square Red_Engineering.jpg

The SFU members have applied to SWE headquarters to become a Collegiate Affiliate (formerly called Collegiate Interest Group). An Affiliate allows the collegiate members to utilize the name of the Society for group functions, without the need to fulfill all the requirements of a collegiate section (i.e., 10 paid members, annual financial reporting, etc.) The requirements for affiliate are at least one collegiate member, letter of support from Faculty Advisor, and letter of support from SWE sponsor. 

Saint Francis University offers three engineering B.S. degrees: General Engineering (with five concentrations to choose from), Environmental Engineering, and Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. From field measurements to hydrology, from geology to advanced thermodynamics, SFU engineering students are offered hands-on opportunities and collaborations with professional engineers to learn how to become successful engineers and good community members.  

Saint Francis University was founded in 1847, when six Franciscan friars came to Loretto, Pennsylvania, from Ireland to found what was then known as Saint Francis Academy.  From such humble beginnings, Saint Francis University has become the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States.  Their sports teams’ nickname is the Red Flash.C:\Users\rcw001\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\SFU Logo Horizontal RGB.PNG

Please join us in welcoming SFU to SWE! 

Indian Cooking Class Fund Raiser - Postponed


The Indian Cooking Class fundraiser is postponed until a further date. Keep an eye out for future notifications about a rescheduled date. Thank you for understanding. 

If you are still interested in donating to SWE Pittsburgh consider adding us as your Amazon Smile charity. You can find instructions here. For any questions, please email

SWE Pittsburgh Has a YouTube Channel!
YouTube Thumbnail Size Guide | May 2021

We made so many videos for the various virtual STEM events this year that we started a YouTube Channel!

Check it out here!

Please subscribe!

We have playlists of Career Chats, Hands-on Challenges, and other videos.

Stay tuned!  We’ll be adding videos for SWE members in the future, too.

All of the videos so far are for SWENexters. 
(SWENext is a free program for middle school and high school girls who are considering a STEM career.  It is a way for them to be a part of the SWE community before college.  Check out SWENext info on our SWE Pittsburgh website at this link:

Thanks to Deepika Devarajan for her guidance in setting up the channel and thanks especially to Mikayla Ferchaw who did the actual uploading, naming, and adding descriptions for the videos.

SWENext Speed Mentoring Recap

SWE Pittsburgh continues our efforts to reach out to students virtually to encourage them to consider engineering as a career and to help them feel a part of the SWE community.

Our latest event was “Speed Mentoring for High School SWENexters”, a fast-paced, interactive session.  Speed Mentoring is just like Speed Dating.  The students spent 5 minutes each with 10 different women engineers.  It was their chance to get advice on STEM careers, college preparation, college choices, funding college, etc.  The engineers shared their background, their college choice, why they chose the type of engineer they are, and what they do at work.

We had 26 girls participate and used 10 breakout rooms to allow smaller group interaction.

Post-event survey results were excellent: 

Overall Satisfaction: 4.75 out of 5

Satisfaction with the Engineer Mentors you talked with: 4.75 out of 5

My confidence in pursuing engineering or computer science improved as a result of this event:  4.1 out of 5

How likely is it that you would recommend an event like this to a friend: 4.5 out of 5


Thanks to SWE Pittsburgh members Deepika Devarajan, Deborah Mort, Mary Hall, Anita Jain, Erica Stevens, Sydney Sandidge, Mikayla Fershaw, Samantha Orlando, Paula Baker, Meaghan Shea, Rebecca Rugh, Karen Levin, and Mary Zeis for volunteering at this event!




SWE Pittsburgh and SWENext


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, and advice columns.  Check out the SWENext website at


If you know girls in middle school or high school that enjoy STEM, please encourage them to sign up for SWENext.  It’s free!

13 years or older - sign up here. 

Under age 13 - sign up here. 


Please ask them to use Event Code PGHPRO when they sign up so SWE Pittsburgh gets credit for recruiting them.  😊


Questions about the SWENext program?  Please reach out to  She is on the society-level Student Programs Committee that is responsible for the SWENext program.

Check out Job Postings in the Newsletter and on the SWE Website
Are you an Employer looking to post a job?  Contact

SWE Pittsburgh Membership Updates

SWE has a new database for members – every member should have received an email from SWE headquarters with new login information. Please do create a new profile for yourself and 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). We appreciate your patience with the new system. As we become aware of changes to our membership roster, we will do our best to keep you, our members, informed.

Please welcome the following members to our Pittsburgh SWE Section:

Saint Francis University | Collegiate to Career (C2C) members: Laryssa Bauer, Jenna Beital, Lily Currie, Skye Eicher, Rachel Gibson, Kaitlyn Maxwell, and Vittoria LaRosa

Timothy Miller, Ph.D. | Professional member, B.S. and M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University; working as Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering at Saint Francis University and volunteering as faculty advisor to the St. Francis collegiate SWE members 

           David (Dave) Guttendorf | Professional Life member; B.S. and M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; Principal Robotics Engineer at National Robotics Engineering Center, CMU

Kristen Weis | Professional member; B.S. Civil Engineering, sustainability minor, Villanova University 2017; employed as Assistant Project Manager, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. 

Ursula (Tess) Zangrilli | Professional member; B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Villanova University, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh; employed as Visiting Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh


SWE Pittsburgh presently has 175 members. We’re very glad you’ve joined us. We look forward to seeing you via our virtual events.

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

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 FY21 Leadership
President: Ashley Zulueta
Vice President-Programming: Elizabeth Foster
Vice President-STEM Outreach and Data Officer: Mary Zeis
Secretary:  Jackie Walsh
Treasurer: Kim Daloise
Membership Chair: Mary Ann Walsh
Webmaster: Erica Stevens
Newsletter Editor: Cassandra Solarczyk
Job Bank Coordinator: Dorothy Measures
Social Media Chair: Katie Gates
Fundraising Chair: Jay Iyengar and Meaghan Shea
Outreach Committee: Deepika Devarajan - Co-Chair;
Claire Bradshaw (Certificate of Merit program), Mikayla Ferchaw (YouTube Channel) 
Collegiate Section Liaison: Laura Traczynski
Nominating Committtee: Meaghan Shea-Chair, Mary Ann Walsh, Diane McMaster, and Rika Wright Carlsen
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?

Williams Companies | We Make Clean Energy Happen®

If you would like your company to be a local sponsor, contact
Copyright © 2021 Society of Women Engineers - Pittsburgh Section, All rights reserved.

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