By Mark Kobzik
The University of New Hampshire’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) held a fundraiser at FroZone Saturday. The frozen yogurt shop donated 20 percent of its earnings that day to SWE.
SWE was raising money for its yearly national conference where student engineers are able to network with companies and browse options for internships. According to UNH student Angela Zukas, one hundred fifty of the largest engineering companies attend this conference. This conference is held all over the country in cities like Baltimore, Los Angeles, Nashville, Houston and many others. SWE sends eight to 10 female engineers from UNH to this conference every year for about $1,000 each. The Dean’s Office at the College of Engineers helps pay for this, but it is also up to the students to raise the appropriate funds.
Zukas, a senior electrical engineering major, was able to secure an internship after attending the conference. She interned at John Deere this past summer and will start working there full-time after she graduates.
“I got my internship through the SWE conference,” Zukas said. “I owe a lot to SWE. I have been very lucky.”
The money raised Saturday night will also go to SWE’s outreach program and engineering speakers who come to UNH. SWE works with Oyster River Middle School and Dover Middle School, as the organization wants to encourage young girls to take interest in science, and more specifically, engineering. The speakers who come to UNH talk about what the industry is like for women and how it has allowed them to grow on a personal level.
“Our main focus outside of our own personal development is outreach to the community,” Zukas said. “We feel that it is really important to get young girls engaged in engineering. There are a lot less women engineers so we try to encourage younger girls to be interested in math and science and push them on into engineering . . . This time in SWE has also helped me develop relationships with those in the Dean’s Office. If I need help with something, there’s someone I can go to.”
“All of these connections I have made through SWE have been helpful,” Heather Zukas, a senior mechanical engineering major said. “I’ve met many professors and those in the Dean’s Office, and it has been a very valuable thing that has come from being a part of this organization.”
“So far as president, I have learned a lot not only about the organization SWE, but also about myself,” Jordan Farren, UNH student and president of SWE said. “I am a junior civil engineer and I have found that SWE has helped me grow as a person through increasing my leadership skills, public speaking skills and planning.”
SWE is open to students that are not only engineers, but those within the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) as well. Meetings are Wednesday nights in Kingsbury Room N113 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be a Grilled Cheese Fundraiser near the wildcat statue on Friday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Society of Women Engineers holds frozen yogurt fundraiser
By Mark Kobzik