Some Thoughts on Bathrooms and Women in STEM (from a Woman in STEM)

I want to take you on a tour of the Physics Building on campus. Based on what I found in a brief search online, the current building was opened in 1941. It is still used frequently today for the physics courses all engineers are required to take.

To get to a women’s restroom, you have to follow signs like the one I’ve posted here. Half a dozen of these signs will lead you through numerous hallways, past most of the classrooms, past two men’s restrooms, until finally you reach a women’s room in a barely used hallway. Without the signs, you would probably never find it. Once you’re there, the bathroom itself appears to literally be a closet that was converted into a bathroom.

Here’s why I find this so compelling.

When this building was made over 70 years ago, women were pushed so far out of the picture of STEM fields, the original designer didn’t even need to consider that women would be there at all. There was no thought that a woman might need to be inside a Physics Building.

I want to make it clear that I am not offended by this. I understand that a whole building can’t be remodeled just to add a bathroom in a more convenient place. Rather, I find it somewhat inspiring, motivational even. It shows how far we have come, that women are now in these buildings and taking an active role in STEM fields. Obviously there is a long way to go given current statistics on women in the STEM workforce (an estimated 24% according to the most recent census), but it’s nice to look back and see what steps have been made.

I have also run into a similar bathroom problem in the old Mechanical Engineering Building (Built in 1932). However, it motivates me to know that I am studying in a field that 70 years ago, I would have been seen as unfit for. 70 years ago, the idea of me being in the Mechanical Engineering Building was so unthinkable, they didn’t even include women’s restrooms.

And it’s a comfort to know that when I leave thermodynamics and need to find the bathroom, I can go to the new wing of the Mechanical Engineering Building (Built in 2009) and easily find a women’s room right next to the men’s.

By Lexie Ziolkowski

Advertisements

PSWE Month in Review – September

Looking back on September, it has been quite a busy start to the year. As we get back into the swing of things, it seems all PSWE members – new and old – are looking forward to a fun-filled semester.

We kicked off the year with our annual Executive Board Retreat. Officers, Directors, and Chairs took on the Boiler Challenge Course – and won! We rewarded a successful day of bonding and team work with a spontaneous, late-night trip to IHOP!

Excited for recruiting new members, the Communications Committee hosted a Paint Party to make the sheet sign for callouts.

Callouts were a huge success and we are grateful for everyone who attended. We hope this opportunity provided you with the chance to learn more about what SWE does and how you can become more involved!

And there are so many ways to be involved – from yoga to scavenger hunts and more! Molly Wagner, Social Chair, organized SWoga (SWE Yoga) in the feature gym of the CoRec with a GroupX Yoga instructor as a de-stressor after Industrial Roundtable (IR). Here is a picture of us practicing our tree poses!

But we’re not all fun and games here at SWE – we work hard too!

Katie Atherton, All Member Meeting (AMM) Chair, hosted the first AMM of the year with over 100 participants. The meeting was paired with great food (thank you Noodles & Co.!) and an informative presentation from the Krannert Graduate Business School. Members also learned about each other through icebreakers and how to get the most out of their summers. We can already tell our members are going to do amazing things this year!

We also had the first professional event of the year Day with Industry, hosted by Megan Lim, Day with Industry Chair. It was the perfect way to kick off the IR week and begin networking with industry leaders. Additionally, Jordan Ganley, Networking Night Chair, hosted Networking Night that same week to give members the opportunity to speak with company representatives in a relaxed setting. Mock interviews were also conducted during the event, giving SWEeties a chance to refine their interviewing techniques.

SWE wrapped up the month with a bundle of volunteer and outreach activities. Abby Mitchell, TEAMS chair, hosted a successful Family Math Night where volunteers worked with kids in the West Lafayette community to better their math skills! Members also collaborated to design engineering-themed coloring pages for elementary students.

Congratulations to all of these ladies, and everyone else who was a part of these events (especially the volunteers!), for doing a great job kicking off the year with SWE! We hope you had the opportunity to attend some of these events and look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events!

 

Women CEOs

Its obvious when walking into an engineering class that women are the minority.  This doesn’t change when working in industry or even climbing the “corporate ladder”.  However, as of 2017, there are a record number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, totaling at 32.  This means less than 7% of the United States’ biggest companies, ranking by revenue, are women.  The highest ranked company is General Motors at number eight led by Mary Barra.  Barra obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Masters in Business from Stanford University.

Others on the list include:

  • IBM CEO and Computer Science and Electrical Engineer Ginni Rometty
  • PG&E CEO and Industrial Engineer Geisha Williams
  • Occidental Petroleum CEO and Mineral Engineer Vicki Hollub
  • Sempra Energy CEO and Civil Engineer Debra Reed
  • CMS Energy CEO and Purdue Industrial Engineer Patti Poppe
  • Graybar Electric CEO and Telecommunications Engineer Kathy Mazzarella
  • Avon Products CEO and Chemical Engineer Sheri McCoy
  • and CH2M Hill CEO and Environmental Engineer Jacqueline Hinman.

A full list of Fortune 500 women CEOs can be found using this link.  These women have broken barriers and paved the way for both men and women on their way up and show promise of a change for the future of business and engineering.

I hope these women and your fellow SWEople (SWE people!) help motivate you to start the semester off strong!

-Stephanie Godoshian

Meet the Board: Leann Demorest

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 1.24.47 PMAs the new school year begins I would like to take a moment and introduce to you our new president for SWE. Leann is a senior in Chemical Engineering and is super excited to share her passion for SWE with all of you!

Why did you choose Purdue?

I decided to come to Purdue after attending Senior Sleepover. During that weekend, I fell in love with Purdue, and I couldn’t imagine going to school anywhere else. I also wasn’t sure about what engineering discipline I wanted to study, so First Year Engineering was a big draw!

How did you learn about PSWE?

I learned about PSWE when I came for Senior Sleepover. Once I got to campus, I went to the SWE callouts, signed up to be an office assistant, and got as involved as possible. I haven’t looked back since!

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is teal! I have so many teal-colored things…

Do you have any hobbies?

I’ve been trying to learn how to sew for a while because I think it would be cool to make my own clothes. I’m also training for the Purdue Half Marathon in my spare time. Oh, and I love to read while drinking good coffee!

What is your favorite restaurant here on campus?

It’s not really on campus, but Monical’s Pizza! Pizza is my favorite food, and this is by far my all-time favorite pizza place. As for actually on campus, I really like Vienna and Greyhouse for coffee!

Have a great week!

-Audrey Conrad

Solar Eclipse

On Monday August 21, 2017 the Purdue University campus will be treated to a glimpse of a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun casting a shadow on the earth. While West Lafayette is not in the path of totality, meaning full coverage if the sun by the moon we will see 90 percent coverage. Looking directly at the solar eclipse can be extremely harmful to our eyes so a few groups around campus are hosting safe viewing events. Below you will find a list of the informational events happening around campus.

The College of Education and Center for Advancing the Teaching and Learning of STEM (CATALYST): 1-4 pm at the Loeb Fountain

The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Purdue Astronomy Club: 12 pm on the south end of Memorial Mall

David Sederberg a Physics and Astronomy Outreach Coordinator will be on hand at the College of Education viewing event to demonstrate how to properly view the solar eclipse through a telescope. Sanjay Rebello who is a professor of Science Education, Physics and Astronomy will be giving a brief talk on solar eclipses at 2:45 pm.

Have fun, be safe and enjoy this natural phenomenon!

-Audrey Conrad

MOWs: Beth Poppe, Ash Pujari, Abby Mitchell

For our final post of the school year, we bring you the final Members of the Week for this semester. Today, we feature Beth Poppe, Ash Pujari

thumbnail_IMG_4277Name: Beth Poppe
Major: Industrial Engineering
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Grass Lake, MI
Fun Fact: I have a twin sister in SWE at the University of Michigan!
Favorite part about SWE: I love doing outreach events at the local schools. I think it is so important to show kids how cool engineers are so that one day they can aspire to be an engineer in the way that people aspire to be doctors or lawyers. Also, everyone in SWE is so welcoming and fun, it really is an awesome community of super cool women on campus!

thumbnail_IMG_2666Name: Ash (Ashleysha) Pujari
Major: Electrical Engineering
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Fun Fact: I have watched all nine seasons of The Office 6 times.
Favorite part about SWE: All the members are wonderful and want you to feel welcomed into the organization.

thumbnail_IMG_0549Name: Abby Mitchell
Major: FYE, going into Materials Engineering
Year: Freshmen
Hometown: Valparaiso, IN
Fun Fact: I’m the oldest of 5 siblings!
Favorite part about SWE: My favorite part about being is SWE is all the great opportunities it creates for women of all ages.  I also love the supportive environment of the organization!

-Megan Hedges

Editor’s Note: On behalf of everyone on the 2016-2017 Executive Board, I hope you all have a great summer! For those of you graduating, good luck in all of your future endeavors! 

For FYEs’ Consideration: Materials Engineering

This is another installment of our “For FYEs’ Consideration” series, where we introduce first-year engineers to the different engineering disciplines at Purdue. Today, we feature Materials Engineering. 

thumbnail_materialsEngineeringMaterials engineers combine physics, chemistry, and engineering to develop new materials. Materials engineering at Purdue began as an option in metallurgy for students in the School of Chemical Engineering; in 1959 the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering split into two separate schools. The School of Metallurgical Engineering became what is today known as the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Graduates from Purdue’s materials program hathumbnail_material_engineering_small_picve gone on to work in industry, government, and other schools.

Many of the classes that materials science and engineering (MSE) students take focus on the properties and processing of materials. Students will take classes such as Structure and Properties of Materials Engineering, Materials Processing Laboratory, and Mechanical Response of Materials. Because chemistry plays a major role in MSE, students also take chemistry classes such as organic chemistry.
thumbnail_material-engineeringMSE students at Purdue have fantastic opportunities to get involved. They can join the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramic Society, and several other clubs specifically for students studying materials engineering. Study abroad is an amazing opportunity open to MSE students. Recently, MSE students have studied abroad in Spain, Japan, Germany, and Australia. MSE students also have the opportunity to participate in research, including research in areas such as microstructure and composition, mechanical and thermal properties, and physical properties.

After they graduate, most MSE students go on to work in industry. Materials engineers often work in areas such as research and development, where they study the properties of certain materials and develop new materials. Many materials engineers specialize in a certain type of material, such as metals, ceramics, or plastics. Students who wish to earn a graduate degree in MSE can do so at Purdue.

-Bailey Hayes