Monday, October 15, 2018

FY18 SWE PNW Certificate of Merit Scholarship Recipients

Contributor: Elaine Reeves

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our FY18 SWE PNW Certificate of Merit (COM) Scholarship Program!

Our FY18 SWE PNW COM Scholarship Recipients are:

  • Aditi Kumar
  • Karen Benson
  • Anna Soper
  • Diane Haass
The COM Award program was established to honor high school women having high  achievement in science and mathematics and to encourage them to consider engineering as a career. To receive a certificate, the student should be someone whom you would like to encourage considering engineering as one of their career options.

To be eligible for a COM Scholarship, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
  1. Be a woman of Senior standing who will graduate from high school by June of the application year.
  2. Be a woman who has been accepted for enrollment in an ABET accredited engineering college or university.
  3. Be a Certificate of Merit (COM) Award recipient.

Thank you to all the students that applied and good luck to our recipients as they begin their college careers!


Elaine Reeves has over nine years of experience in EMC and Environmental Hardware Compliance in both commercial and medical equipment. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2017. She is an active in SWE PNW as is the current FY19 President.

FY18 SWE PNW Collegiate Scholarship Recipients

Contributor: Elaine Reeves

SWE PNW has the privilege of being able to offer several scholarship opportunities to students to support our SWE mission & vision:
Our MissionEmpower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.
Our VisionA world with gender parity and equality in engineering and technology.
SWE PNW college scholarships are targeted for both high school seniors that will be pursuing engineering as well as college freshman to juniors that are in an engineering program. We are therefore thrilled to announce the winners of our FY18 SWE PNW Collegiate Scholarship Program!

Lydia Pickup Memorial Scholarship

Lydia Pickup, a member of the Pacific Northwest Section of SWE, devoted her career to engineering and science and her life and energies to the benefit of SWE. Lydia served as chief petty officer in the Waves during World War II. She attended the University of Kentucky and worked as an engineer at Boeing. In addition to being an avid SWE member and supporter, Lydia was very active in the American Legion. The recipient must have achieved at least a college level junior standing. The Lydia Pickup Memorial Scholarship is a minimum of $1000.

FY18 Recipient: Alexis Brandon who is a Petroleum Engineering student at Montana Tech of the University of Montana.

Mary Ellen Russell Memorial Scholarship

Mary Ellen Russell, a charter member of the PNW section of SWE, devoted her career to engineering and science. She dedicated her life and energy to activities to the benefit of SWE, to geology, to outdoor activities and to the leadership of many young women and men who cherished their time with her. Mary Ellen earned degrees in Mathematics and Geology at the University of Washington. The recipient must have achieved at least a college level junior standing. The Mary Ellen Russell Memorial Scholarship is a minimum of $1000.

FY18 Recipient: Alissa Capuano who is a Civil Engineering student at Seattle University 

Shirley Holmgreen Memorial Scholarship

Shirley Holmgreen was a winner of Zonta International’s Amelia Earhart scholarship. She was a graduate of the University of Texas in Aero Engineering and completed post-graduate studies in Belgium. Professionally, Shirley was an expert in wind tunnels and worked as an engineer at Boeing. The recipient must have achieved at least a college level sophomore standing. The Shirley Holmgreen Memorial Scholarship is a minimum of $500.

FY18 Recipients:
Leticia Ndagang who is a Mechanical Engineering student at Seattle University.
Krista Brown who is a Biological Engineering student at the Montana State University in Bozeman.

Congratulations to our scholarship winners!

Elaine Reeves has over nine years of experience in EMC and Environmental Hardware Compliance in both commercial and medical equipment. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2017. She is an active in SWE PNW as is the current FY19 President.

Friday, October 12, 2018

WSU SWE Industry Mentor Program 2018/2019

Guest Contributor: Ayumi Manawadu

Hello SWE PNW,

My name is Ayumi Manawadu and I am a graduate student in structural engineering, at Washington State University. I am the new coordinator for the Industry Mentor Program, conducted by WSU Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Each year, students are paired with industry mentors, who provide one-to-one guidance to make students prepared for their professional careers ahead. We anticipate having many new mentees join the program this semester and looking forward to expand.  

I wanted to reach out about joining the mentor program. Would you be willing to take part in the WSU SWE Mentor program during the 2018/2019 school year? Your expertise and knowledge will benefit the current WSU engineering students, to build their careers. The mentors are expected to provide guidance in areas such as;

·         Resume Critique
·         Improving networking circle
·         Enhancing interviewing skills
·         Providing general career advice
·         Building business etiquette skills

The mentor program is aimed to be primarily an email or phone relationship (not a huge time commitment), however meeting during breaks is always encouraged.

Attached is the mentor information sheet for the SWE mentor program 2018/2019. It has more details regarding the expectations and time commitment for the program. If you decide to be a part of this enriching program, please fill out the information sheet and email me back at at your earliest convenience.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ayumi Manawadu
Mentor Coordinator | Society of Women Engineers
Graduate Student| Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Washington State University

Industry Mentor Coordinator: Ayumi Manawadu

I joined WSU to pursue doctoral studies in Structural Engineering, soon after my bachelor's degree form Sri Lanka and this is my first year serving as a SWE officer. However, for years, I have volunteered as a President's Guide Awardee, an AIESECer, a Rotaractor and a youth leader, mentoring and empowering underprivileged communities. I joined SWE last semester, after volunteering for the Kids Science and Engineering Day (KSED-2018). I love basketball and played for my country, sometime ago. Currently, I am also a member of the Toastmasters Club. 

President: Rachel Johnson

This is my third year serving as a SWE officer and I am passionate about promoting diversity within STEM. I am from Santa Clara, CA and I'm majoring in mechanical engineering. I enjoy paddle boarding, hiking and baking during my free time.

This guest article is part of SWE PNW's Collegiate Section Spotlight series, where we ask the local collegiate sections to showcase their section so we can share information up at the professional section level.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

FY19 Election Guide: Candidate Bios & Statements

President-Elect Candidates:

  • Theresa Krack
  • Abstain 
  • Write-In 

Theresa Krack


I am excited to be running for FY19 President Elect!

I have over ten years as a professional member, having held leadership positions in the Wisconsin and Pacific Northwest professional sections. I am an accomplished session speaker and panelist at SWE Society, Joint Region, and WE Local conferences.

I have been an active member and leader in SWE PNW since 2013 and served as a SWE PNW Section Rep for the last three years, representing the section in SWE business meetings and governance change discussions at both Society and Region/WE Local conferences.

One of my accomplishments with SWE PNW has been leading the strategic effort to integrate and upgrade the section’s virtual footprint and communication platform. This has been an ongoing, multi-year project to continue improve the member-to-member engagement and communication of key SWE information.

I joined the SWE Leadership Coaching Committee (LCC) in FY18 as a coach and am thrilled to be expanding that role to include being Section Management & Operations SME for FY19.

Having been engaged as SWE evolve as an organization this past year, I believe I will bring key knowledge and connections to help the section align and grow under the new SWE structure.

Candidate Statement

As President Elect, one of my keys goals would be develop the coordination between the President and President Elect roles, driving to longer term strategic planning for the section. To accomplish this goal, it will not only take short- and long-term planning at the section leadership level, but also engaging connections and support from other areas of SWE.

I plan on leveraging the connections I have, as well as support from the Leadership Coaching Committee (LCC), to bring in materials, resources, and templates to help our section better adapt to the new governance model and continue to achieve strategic growth and success.

In additional to engaging the SWE resources, I also want to enable improved SWE business and topic dialog not only within our leadership team but also with our section members. We have many section members with a variety of SWE experiences that can help bring additional perspectives to the discussion and help develop both the short- and long-term direction we are heading as a section.


Treasurer Candidates:

  • Sherrie Rippe
  • Abstain
  • Write-In

Sherrie Rippe


Sherrie Rippe is a Tooling Stress Engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Everett, WA. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she earned her Masters and Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Her passion is helping others grow in their professional and personal lives, she serves as a Board member for the North Seattle College Education Fund and is a Professional Career and Life Coach. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, and playing with her two dogs and cats.

Candidate Statement

I am currently running for Treasurer of our section for FY19.  As the FY19 treasurer, I would like to finalize the sections Travel Fund Policy and work more closely with the Scholarship Chair to work to spread the word to area students about our scholarships. I have experience developing and revising policies and procedures, and would enjoy working with the executive board to ensure all of our procedures and policies are up to date. As a professional member, I have served as SWE PNW Membership Chair FY09 thru FY11, as SWE PNW Secretary FY12, SWE PNW Section Representative FY15, and SWE PNW FY18 Treasurer. I am eager   to apply my knowledge of how SWE operates to the role of treasurer.


Secretary Candidates:

  • Ashley White
  • Marina Dannecker
  • Abstain
  • Write-In

Ashley White


Ashley joined SWE at Seattle University where she attended engineering school for electrical engineering. While at SU she served as the Treasurer her junior year and then President her senior year. As president she collaborated with a team of nine to organize social and professional development events and outreach opportunities. As well as coordinating fundraisers like bake sales in which she created SWE themed cookies to sell. After graduation she continued to help SU’s section by serving as their professional liaison. She assisted them on numerous occasions throughout the year and kept them informed about things happening in the professional sector. Ashley is currently working for Honeywell Aerospace as a system engineer. She works on communication and navigational radio equipment for airplanes. In her free time Ashley loves to visit new places and attend various conventions.

Candidate Statement

In her life, Ashley has had the privilege of having a family that supported her decision to pursue engineering. She attended a university which has women as the department heads for most of the STEM majors. Ashley also has had many great female mentors who have careers in engineering fields. However, not all women have this kind of support, and SWE is one of the best organizations at making sure that women and young girls have the aid they need to succeed in careers that are still male-dominated. Ashley wants to continue showing women that they can have jobs in engineering fields and that SWE can provide the extra support they need. Her goal for Secretary is to have an active role in supporting current and future women engineers. While also mentoring recent college graduates to stay involved with the society, and to promote the growth of women in engineering.

Marina Dannecker


I first joined SWE while studying Materials Science and Engineering in at UCLA. I immediately got involved with the collegiate section, joining several committies, coordinating our annual Evening With Industry event, and eventually serving as President my senior year. I moved to Seattle about 2 years ago to start my career as a Materials and Processes Engineer at Blue Origin. I joined SWE PNW and helped plan events as a member of the Professional Development committee and then served as Secretary for FY18. I have gained so much from SWE – mentors, a network, close friends, leadership opportunities, chances to try new things – and I want to do what I can to give back to SWE and help create opportunities for other women engineers. When I’m not busy with work and SWE, I enjoy reading, hiking, yoga, improv, and checking out random coffee shops.

Candidate Statement

I am running for Secretary because I am passionate about making the SWE PNW section operate smoothly. I want to help the other SWE PNW officer’s roles be as easy as possible by providing organized and detailed documentation of meeting minutes, voting records, contacts, event information, and all other information we need to track. I have really enjoyed serving as secretary in FY18.  Over the past year, I implemented many new things for secretary, basing little on what was done previously. In FY19, I want to get all of these tools, documents, and systems running efficiently and to a timely schedule. I plan to establish regular monthly dates that communications are sent out to officers/members, to better track action items and ensure that tasks are followed up on, and to create templates that are stored in a single location that make it easy for officers to document lessons learned after events. I hope that by establishing a schedule and routine, it will empower future SWE PNW leaders to develop long-term strategic plans. I also intend to create templates and standard operating procedures so that new leaders do not have to start from scratch.


Vice President of Professional Development Candidates:

  • Sonia Hingorany
  • Abstain
  • Write-In

Sonia Hingorany


Sonia Hingorany currently serves on the SWE PNW Executive Committee as one the VP of Professional Development. This year, she has organized several social events including the Escape Room Event, Blue Origin Tour, Annual Holiday Part at the Living Computer Museum, Reinvent Speaker Panel Event, Pie-Making Class, Amazon Prime Now Tour, Self-Defense Seminar, Annual Spring Banquet Brunch, Boeing P-8 Tour, and the Professional Development Committee Monthly Meetings. Sonia looks forward to continuing her involvement with SWE and leading the professional development mission again this coming year.

Sonia moved to Seattle almost three years ago for her full-time job. She currently works at Amazon in the North America Transportation and Logistics organization. Sonia earned her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University where she focused on concentrations in Information Systems and Operations Management. Before earning her MBA at CMU, Sonia previously worked at Accenture for five years in a technology consulting capacity. She earned her BS in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Cognitive Science from UCLA where she initially got involved with SWE. Sonia held a position on the SWE board for three years. She played several key roles in SWE at UCLA as the Internal VP, responsible for handling funding for the organization, as well as the Evening With Industry chair. 

Sonia likes to play soccer and tennis and enjoy the outdoors including running, hiking, and skiing. She loves to travel; Sonia has been to more than 30 countries and visited 40 states in the US. 

Candidate Statement

This year as I enter into the VP of Professional Development position, I would like to expand more on the mentorship aspect of Professional Development through resume and cover letter building workshops coupled with conducting mock interviews. I feel there is a large gap in SWE providing the resources and support for folks looking to make a career move and that require assistance in that process, and I would like to bridge that gap. I would also like to host workshops that include having open conversations about various issues, such as diversity, this year. I think we experienced a good start to this through the Reinvent Speaker Panel and I’d like to do more types of these events that will hopefully surface topics we can then have more intimate dialogues on with smaller groups. 


Vice President of Career Guidance (Outreach) Candidates:

  • Heather Alvarez
  • Abstain
  • Write-In

Heather Alvarez


Heather Alvarez first joined SWE events while pursuing her engineering degree and discovered her love for outreach. She joined SWE professionally in 2012. She began as the Outreach Chair, and worked her way through various positions including treasurer, Section Rep, and ultimately to President of the SWE Antelope Valley Section. However, her first passion was always in outreach. She wants to make a difference in her community by teaching others about STEM and real world engineering applications.

Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Chico. She then joined the USAF as a civilian and has worked as a test engineer on various aircraft platforms such as the B-1 Bomber and C-17 Cargo in California, and more recently the KC-46 tanker here in Seattle. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Science for Engineering Management at George Washington University.

Candidate Statement

Hello! My name is Heather and I am excited to be running for the VP of Outreach position. I am truly passionate about STEM and believe that many of the STEM fields are misjudged and underrepresented by women and people of color. In my previous positions in SWE, Antelope Valley Section, I designed annual events with the Girl Scouts, spoke at middle schools, and went to career nights at community colleges. I helped out at high school science fairs and worked booths to demonstrate Bernoulli’s principle. In the Seattle area, I have volunteered with Techbridge, I have helped teach young girls how to solder circuit boards, and learn software coding through on-line games. I love getting involved in the community and believe that by joining the PNW SWE board, I will have the opportunity to make a difference. I hope to build on the ground work that has been laid out and continue to make great connections in the local area. Thank you for considering me for VP of Outreach!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Region J Scholarship Fundraiser by SWE PNW

As we bid a fond farewell to Region J, we'd like to do one last thing to solidify the region's legacy. Region J plans to use its remaining region funds to endow a second scholarship. They are currently a little short on the necessary $25,000 required to endow a new scholarship. SWE PNW voted as an EC on April 22, 2018 to commit to a fundraising goal of $1,500 to help Region J close the gap to reach $25,000.

Endowing this scholarship will be Region J's final act. We hope you will join us in enabling the region to empower women to succeed one more time! If you are able, please make contributions through the link below by  Friday, May 25, 2018.
Margaret "Pritch" Pritchard

The new scholarship would be named for Margaret (Pritch) Pritchard, aka the “Godmother of Region J.” The new scholarship, if endowed, would have the following criteria:
  • Renewable for 5 years
  • Scholarship Recipient Class Status: Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate
  • SWE collegiate membership required
  • Any engineering major
  • Geographic location preference: Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho
  • Geographic selection based on College location, not home address
Statement from Daria Wightman, who co-chaired the 1996 SWE National Convention:
I would love to have an endowed scholarship in Margaret Pritchard (Pritch)’s name. Pritch was the godmother of the Section and Region J. She helped with the 1996 Convention in Portland and used her connections to provide local native American entertainment. 

She also mentored many of us in the Region as well as had SWE friends throughout the US. Since she traveled for her consulting engineering work, she was more comfortable being a member at large. However, she attended the Region conferences and Section activities when she was in town.

Pritch was a pioneer in the engineering field as one of the first SWE members in the Region. She solved engineering problems in water, wastewater, manufacturing, laundries, and energy around the world as well as in the United States.

She was quite a character and inspiration. She lived in Milwaukie and Oak Lodge, Oregon all her life and has been interviewed by local historians and SWE. As a pioneer in the field of engineering and consulting, she would be a great role model for young students applying for the scholarship. Her life would have so much more power to inspire and motivate and it would keep her memory alive.

To learn more about Pritch, check out these links:

Have questions about this SWE PNW Fundraiser?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Region J Senator Write-in Candidate Campaign

As a part of the transition to the new SWE Governance structure, Region J will be voting on the first 3-year term Senator. With the nomination and petition period for Region Senators now closed, this means that Region J does not have any slated/petitioned candidates for our ballot.

After dialog between Society and Region leaders, Region J is going forward with a Write-In Candidates Only via Society Ballot option.

This will allow the Society ballot to determine the outcome of the Region J Senator elections, but write-in candidates will be the only option. The member with the most votes who meets the qualifications for the position per the bylaws and consents to take the position would be the new Senator.

On behalf of the Region J leaders, I am happy to present our write-in candidate, Linda Thomas. I have personally known Linda for many years - and I think she is a great candidate for the first 3-year term Senator. I encourage you to read her candidate statement below and write her in on the society ballot that will be coming to you within in the next couple of weeks.

If you have any questions on the write-in campaign, the Senate, or the SWE governance chances, please email me at

Kind Regards,
Theresa Krack
FY18 Section Representative

Linda Thomas, F. SWE, Write in Candidate

I am asking my fellow SWE Region J members consider me as a write in for a Senator candidate for the next three years.  I am willing to represent you as Senator.  What I bring to the position was representing you as a past president in SWE PNW, a lieutenant governor, governor, Director of Regions, and also as a Member at Large representative.  My accomplishments in these positions resulted in my recognition as SWE Fellow and Woman Engineer You Should Know.

My passion is providing SWE members a voice in deciding the direction of the Society. It is our organization, and incumbent we understand the society’s strategy and direction , communicate this to the membership, so we can effectively participate in the society, and continue its mission and vision.

SWE is about to enter a new governance model in July 2018. At the same time, we want SWE to continue serving as an organization crucial to the development females in STEM, from grade school to seasoned engineers of all types. We need to understand and communicate how this change will enable us to participate in SWE fully as members and stakeholders.  Also, we need to understand the Society’s strategic plans so we can help shape its direction.

My experiences in SWE Leadership from the ground up gave me perspective on how to ensure we all have a voice in SWE governance.  And I want to continue ensuring we all have a voice in SWE governance.  I want to be that voice to help communicate the Society’s strategies. When you receive that ballot in April, please consider writing me in as a candidate. Please contact me at for any questions.

Thank you for your support! And thank you for supporting SWE!
Linda Thomas

SWE Election Timeline

On March 30, 2018, the mailed letter will go to any members that do not have an email in their membership record.

On April 1, 2018, an election email will go out to all members with an email in their membership records.

On April 27, 2018, a reminder email is sent to all members with an email in their records.

Both communication types (email and mailed letter) indicate that voting can be done either online or a paper ballot can be requested.

All online voting must be completed by May 1, 2018.

All paper ballots must be returned to the contracted teller by May 4, 2018.

Senate & Governance Links

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Purchase SWE PNW Gear

We are now offering two clothing options, a black jacket and grey cardigan, both pictured below, for you to represent and promote SWE PNW! Below you will find information on option selections, survey link, cost information, and sizing options. Please pay the deposit by April 16 to ensure delivery by May 6th, our annual SWE PNW banquet.

  1. Review items, sizing options below.
  2. Go to the Google Forms Survey to select which item you want
  3. Either send the $30 deposit to via paypal, or visit
  4. Dana will send invoices if you have not paid your deposit by the following Friday.
  5. All surveys need to be completed by April 15th, and deposit paid by April 16th.

Option A) Shown on left. Black Jacket with white embroidery.
Made for movement, this sophisticated stretch twill fleece jacket has a smooth face and brushed fleece backing. Tonal welding details at the pockets and streamlined tailoring give it a refined look for indoor and outdoor uses. Beautifully shaped, feminine collar. Reverse coil zippers. Front zippered pockets. Contrast Eddie Bauer logo heat transfer on the right hem. Made of 13.8-ounce, 94/6 poly/spandex fleece with an anti-pill finish
Care Instructions: Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Cool iron if needed. Do not use softeners
Ladies Sizes: XS-4XL
Final cost approximately $65


Option B) Shown on right, Grey cardigan sweater with white embroidery.
Modern, two-toned cardigan. 60/40 ring spun combed cotton/acrylic. Patch pockets. Rib knit cuffs and hem.
Care Instructions: Machine wash cold. Lay flat to dry. Cool iron if necessary.
Ladies Sizes: XS-4XL
Final cost approximately $45


Option A (Jacket) on left, Option B (Cardigan) on right

Please fill out the survey and pay the non-refundable deposit by April 16. Final payment will be due upon receiving item.