SWE Collegiate Leadership Forum FY10 Recap
Submitted by: Isabelle Roy-McMahon
“Uniting the Collegiate Leaders of Today…
Training the Collegiate Leaders of Tomorrow…
Shaping the Future of SWE!”
Having the opportunity to attend CLF in Chicago, IL from July 30th to August 2nd was truly an exciting and certainly inspirational experience. This was the first time I’ve ever visited Chicago and I truly enjoyed the city. My flight from Fort Lauderdale to Midway was smooth and I was very confused when my boarding pass did not have an assigned a seat on the flight. However, as this was my first time flying with Southwest, I quickly learned the open-seating policy (and the delicious peanuts!). I met up with Poojitha Ennamuri (RCNE from Region G). We took the Orange Line down to the Wabash/Adams exit and quickly found our hotel and CLF event location. We got to stay at the luxurious and historically significant Palmer House right in the downtown district. After checking into the hotel and headed to my room 11-245, I learned that I was rooming with Kristin Schmidt, Nahomi Merida Morales, and Joanna Fung (all from Texas) and great fun! After settling in and changing, we all headed downstairs to the Installation Dinner, (with a wonderful appetizer and cocktail reception). Malia Francisco (FY10 CLF Coordinator) impressed me greatly by knowing all of our names before she even met us! The reception was a great opportunity to mingle amongst the collegiate leaders (RCRs, RCNEs, SWEFLs & Senators), the Board of Directors (BOD), the Board of Trustees, and professional members. Moving to the Installation dinner, where Virginia Connoly, SWE President FY09, inducted Nora Lin, SWE President FY10, and the Board of Directors (BOD) & the Board of Trustees. Nora Lin spoke on her career path and was truly inspirational; I know more than a few girls had tears in their eyes. Martha Addison (last year’s RCR for Region D) is now on the BOD as the Collegiate Board Representative and she will be making all Region D-ivas proud & keeping it classy! During the dinner our Region D-ivas sat together & the decoration in the room was truly well put together, and my personal favorite, as well as Sarah Minich’s (SWEFL FY10 from UCF), were the glass water bottles.
Friday July 31st
Fast forward to Friday’s events: we had a delicious breakfast served in the Empire Room with all the regional governors (RGs), the Board of Directors (BOD), and the Board of Trustees (BOT). Afterwards, we split into our respective seminars and presentations given by our extremely patient and resourceful trainers; RCR/RCNE Trainers Jennifer Vallero & Wendy Jenkins, Senator Trainer Pam Snyder and CLF Coordinators Malia Francisco, Sarah Gentner, and Sharon Vuong. In the various sessions throughout the day, we established goals for the upcoming year, learned new changes to disseminate to the section presidents, and more about our role to the section presidents, the regional leaders, and on the societal level. Needless to say it was a lot of information to absorb all at once and we were all a little overwhelmed. Virginia Connolly presented us the Knowledge of SWE which was excellent since she is the personified encyclopedia of SWE Knowledge! Following the day’s activities we reconvened in the CLF Suite (which was HUGE!) and had Deep Dish Chicago pizza, try it if you haven’t yet! Following stuffing our faces with pizza (typical college life), we got a chance to speed mentor/network with our trainers and professionals, as well as recruiters from the Sponsoring Companies. To wrap up, we had a book exchange between the CLF participants. Now this was supposed to be a used book exchange, however many of us (me included) are book hoarders and hate to part with our favorite books. We all shared lots of laughs, especially since it was a “dirty Santa” or “white elephant” book exchange. For those of you that are not familiar with this, as I was not, it means that you can “steal” a book from another participant.
Saturday August 1st
On Saturday we hit the ground running. We had presentation after presentation, with tons of new information for everyone (don’t worry I’ll be sending all the info to you throughout the year!). We had a delicious lunch with our assigned mentors from the BOD, the pistachio canapé was spectacular! My mentor is Alyse Stofer, the Director of Regions. We had a great time getting to know each other, and she is very knowledgeable on SWE and the engineering industry. I am looking forward to having her as my mentor throughout this year.
Following lunch, we had a meeting with our Region D Team, Eileen Velez-Vega (Region D Governor), Johnnie Waid (Senator & FY09 RCR), Sarah Minich (SWEFL) and Lauren Bialoskurski (RCNE). Here we discussed our goals for Region D this upcoming year. The major ones being:
- Increase the number of collegiate section submissions for awards (regional and international)
- Publish 3 Regional Newsletters
- Increase the number of candidates for RCR/RCNE/Senator Elections
- Create a graduate student presence amongst the Regional Collegiate Team (RCT)
After lunch, we continued with our training sessions and learned valuable information during the Best Practices Sharing session. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and ready for our Saturday night activity. We enjoyed a delicious dinner from the Corner Bakery and chatted away with our new friends. As well all departed from the suite, we expressed our gratitude for all the effort our trainers and CLF coordinators put in (imagine if we were exhausted, how exhausted they must have been!).
Overall, CLF was a great learning experience about our role in SWE and just how important collegiate members are to the society as a whole. I am now driven to be a great resource for you all and to improve upon how great our region already is! If you have any feedback or would like to know more about my experience at CLF, I’d be glad to share.