In appreciation for hard work, mutual support and value, UCLA’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has been honoured with the national organisation’s WE22 Gold Mission Award, a first for the UCLA student-led group.
It hosted more than 50 events each year, with many of them eclipsing triple digits in participant numbers. The award recognises the chapter’s efforts to incorporate into its programming SWE’s core values of integrity, inclusivity, mutual support, professional excellence and trust, as well as its continued growth to achieve the national organisation’s strategic goals.
Hannah Wang, the chapter president and a fourth-year materials engineering student at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, attended SWE’s national women in engineering conference WE22 last October in Houston, Texas, along with several of her board members to accept the award.
Wang first heard about SWE through UCLA’s Women in Engineering Stayover Program, which invited high school seniors admitted to UCLA Samueli to experience their new learning environment by staying on campus for a night, rooming with a current engineering student.
“That’s the reason why I decided to come to UCLA because they introduced me to such an amazing community,” Wang said. “I definitely would not be the same person without SWE. It has helped me gain a lot of confidence as a leader, as a person and as an engineer. Having a community of like-minded peers and people who are going through similar experiences helps me find my place in the school.”
With programming ranging from career-development workshops to outreach events at local schools, SWE at UCLA provides various opportunities for its members to learn and grow. The chapter’s events focus on several aspects of the SWE mission, such as improving access to education and jobs and advocating for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Before becoming president, Wang served as the club’s outreach director for two years, helping plan events such as “Wow, That’s Engineering Day!” More than 100 Girl Scouts are invited to UCLA for a day filled with presentations from women leaders in STEM fields, hands-on technology demonstrations and other scientific exercises to get young women excited about pursuing a career in engineering and computer science.
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