SWE chapter receives national award

For the third year in a row, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter at Texas A&M University received a SWE Outstanding Collegiate Section Gold Award at WE16, the largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology. The conference, hosted by SWE, was held in Philadelphia in October.

The award was the seventh Gold Award the chapter has won since 2008, said SWE-TAMU president Bailey Bauman.

“This award is given based on the section’s ability to meet SWE’s strategic goals throughout the year,” Bauman said. “This includes meeting specific goals in topics such as strategic planning, communication, member recruitment and retention, society participation and region participation.”

“I’m proud of our Texas A&M chapter for its work to win a national SWE Gold Award,” said Shawna Fletcher, director of the Women in Engineering Program at Texas A&M who serves as adviser to SWE-TAMU. “Our students who are involved in SWE have worked hard on their programs and serve as a model to other SWE chapters across the nation. It’s exciting to see that they were recognized at the national conference for their good work.”

In addition to the Gold Award, Rachel Unruh was awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Member Award. Unruh is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M.

Unruh serves as the graduate programming coordinator for the national SWE Graduate Committee, and has been actively involved in the organization since she was a freshman at Baylor University. 


“Receiving this award was a great privilege, and I felt very humbled and honored to be recognized nationally for my efforts to expand opportunities for graduate student participation throughout SWE and my local networking, mentoring and youth outreach efforts,” Unruh said. “Through this award, I hope people become aware of the variety of personal and professional development opportunities SWE offers for students regardless of their stage in their academic pursuits.”

The SWE-TAMU chapter is the largest in the Gulf Coast Region with more than 500 registered members and about 200 active members each semester.

“SWE-TAMU aims at growing the engineering profession and providing women engineering students with mentorship opportunities and several other resources to succeed,” Bauman said. “We offer members a variety of events to accomplish these goals, including professional development events, corporate networking events, mentorship opportunities with females in industry, socials and get-togethers and K-12 outreach to introduce young girls to engineering.”

Bauman said SWE events help female engineering students network with each other while also providing access to corporate representatives who can help students succeed in their collegiate and professional engineering careers.

IN February, SWE at Texas A&M will be hosting the SWE Region C Conference for collegiate members and professionals. It will be the final Region C Conference that is hosted. More than 600 students and professionals from four states — Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi — are expected to attend.