Society of Women Engineers Mission Awards

Pitt SWE has been awarded three Society of Women Engineers Mission Awards. The awards are Best Practice: Membership Retention & Engagement Collegiate, Best Practice: Communication Collegiate, and Gold Collegiate. The Mission Awards will be recognized at Celebrate SWE! on November 9th in Anaheim, CA.

2020-2021 Officers

Congratulations to our Pitt SWE Officers for July 2020 through June 2021!
President: Rachel Blum
Vice President: Alexis Zito
Secretary: Sarah Oldenburg
Treasurer: Emily Zuris
VP of Professional Development: Dana Emswiler
VPs of Outreach: Emily Richard and Kayla Ruslavage
Corporate Relations: Katie Harris and Isabella Steinley
Mentorship Chair: Melina Hudson
Social Chair: Annie Goodwin
Meeting Coordinator: Nicole Lipa
External Relations Chair: Emma Ahlgren
Graphic Designer: Kaitlyn Wintruba
Webmaster: Olivia Porcello
Fundraising Chair: Cambell France
Publicity Chair: Hannah Srock
Elementary Outreach: Minna Kuriakose
Middle School Outreach: Vincenia Vargo
High School Outreach: Vidhya Thiyagarajan
Girl Scout Engineering Day Chair: Bailey Jones
Historian: Reserved for a freshman next year!

WE Local

Twenty Pitt SWE members attended WE local 2019 in Baltimore February 8th-9th. Our section was awarded the Outstanding Outreach Award.


Sixteen Pitt SWE members attended WE18 in Minneapolis October 18th-20th. Our section was awarded the Gold Collegiate Section Award and Best Practice of SWE Resource Promotion. Dana Emswiler and Sabrina Helbig were honored for receiving SWE scholarships at the conference.

Black Undergraduate Women in Engineering Survey

Faun Rockcliffe, a doctoral candidate at Howard University, is conducting a study on Black undergraduate women in engineering’s achievement motivation, departmental experiences, and persistence in engineering. Participation in the study involves students who meet the criteria filling out a 15-minute online survey. Those who complete the study will receive a $10 Amazon gift card as well as become eligible to be entered into a random drawing, at the conclusion of data collection, for an opportunity to receive one of ten $100 Amazon gift cards.
View the flyer here.
Sign up to receive the survey here.

Treehouse Traning

Treehouse Trainings are happening this week and next week! Sign up for a training time to get access to laser cutters, cnc routers, and a community of people making stuff and sharing ideas! The page to sign up is here.
Are you interested in making cool stuff and joining an inclusive community where the music is always playing and people share things they like? Then come get trained in the Treehouse, Pitt’s newest makerspace! The Treehouse is a place where you can make boring computer files come to life! You can use laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers, and more to take your designs to the next level. It’s great for personal projects, class projects, and everything in between. The Treehouse is located in Benedum B02. We hope to see you there! Also if you have any questions or want to check out the space before you get trained, email, or stop by whenever someone’s in the space!

Diversity Dinnerview

Join PittSWE, NSBE, SASE, and SHPE along with companies like Uber, Deloitte, and ANSYS at Diversity Dinnerview, a premier industry networking event for internships, co-ops, and fulltime employment at 6 PM in Ballroom B. Space is limited so please rsvp here.
View the flier here.
If you have a 2.8 GPA or higher, you are invited to the VIP Reception prior to Dinnerview to network with companies at 5 PM in Conference Room A. Space is limited so please rsvp here.
View the reception flier here.

Women in STEM Conference Selected as Educational Program of the Year

PittSWE's Women in STEM Conference won Educational Program of the Year at the University of Pittsburgh's Blue Stars Red Carpet Awards!

Introducing SWENext, SWE's New Outreach Program for Girls K-12

To expand the SWE community, we've developed a new way for girls (ages 17 and under) to learn and participate in engineering-introducing SWENext! This unique program provides young girls, parents and educators with the tools they need to increase their understanding of the engineering field. SWENext is a great new way to establish engagement with engineering early on.

SWE launched the program after receiving hundreds of requests from parents seeking resources on how to educate their daughters about the transformational impact of engineering. For students ages 17 and under, SWENext provides a dynamic opportunity to learn, connect with peers and witness real women engineers in action. SWENext participants can also meet women role models, which is a critical step toward enabling them to visualize themselves in a STEM career.

"SWENext will introduce the next generation of women to the exciting world of engineering in a collaborative, fun environment," says SWE executive director and CEO, Karen Horting. "We want to provide girls with a network of mentors and girls like themselves who will support them throughout their journey."

When participants (including girls, parents, guardians and educators) sign up for SWENext, they will receive complimentary access to:
-Up-to-date information about outreach events such as camps, competitions and workshops hosted by SWE and its partners
-A catalog of available scholarships for engineering schools offered by SWE and partner organizations
-Tips and best practices for applying for scholarships and internships
-Advice from practicing engineers as they discuss the work they do in regular webinars
-Opportunities to shape the future of the program through participation in the SWENext council

To learn more about SWENext and sign a future engineer up, visit

PittSWE Crowdfunding Campaign

See the following news release from the University of Pittsburgh, and click here to read an article about EngagePitt in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review! Thanks to everyone who made this campaign a huge success!

Pitt Launches Crowdfunding Platform
EngagePitt is an additional channel for supporting student activities, community outreach, and research projects

PITTSBURGH-New boating equipment for the crew team. Sepsis alert systems for ambulances. Larger engineering fairs for K-12 students. These are some of the initiatives that are being funded through a new crowdfunding platform for University of Pittsburgh projects.

The University has launched EngagePitt, a Web site where donors can contribute to fundraising campaigns created and run by leaders of student organizations or faculty engaged in community outreach and research projects. Managed by Pitt's Office of Institutional Advancement with the support of a dedicated group of University partners across campus, the crowdfunding platform at keeps donors up to date on the progress of campaigns, which typically run for four to eight weeks. All donations are tax deductible and considered gifts to the University.

EngagePitt pilot campaigns began in December, and applications from the Pitt community for new campaigns are now being accepted.

"The EngagePitt crowdfunding site has quickly proven to be an effective way to engage donors who wish to support the University. Our development team is thrilled to be able to support the outstanding efforts of Pitt students and faculty who are leading meaningful service projects and scholarly activities," said Albert J. Novak Jr., vice chancellor for institutional advancement. "While students and faculty will continue to raise funds for their worthy causes by traditional means, the EngagePitt site will serve as another tool to enhance support."

EngagePitt's pilot projects have quickly demonstrated the popularity and effectiveness of crowdfunding. The "Float Our Boat" campaign for the Pitt Rowing Club, also known as Pitt Crew, was the first to successfully conclude. The crew team initially set out to raise $5,000 to purchase equipment to outfit a new racing shell. It ultimately exceeded its goal by 21 percent by raising $6,090 between Dec. 3 and Jan. 7. Seventy-five donors made gifts ranging from $5 to $500 that will enable the team to purchase seats, mounted racing shoes, riggers, and oar locks for the new boat.

Pitt's Society of Women Engineers completed its campaign Jan. 31 by raising $2,351-exceeding its goal by 17 percent. The society will use the funds to improve a series of outreach events it hosts each year, including Girl Scout Engineering Day, Elementary Engineering Extravaganza, Middle School Engineering Day, and High School Engineering Day. The society plans to engage more participants and incorporate more technology-focused activities at the events.

Campaigns currently under way on EngagePitt include a campaign for the ThinkSepsis project, which is seeking $4,000 to equip six ambulances in the Pittsburgh area with a first-of-a-kind sepsis alert system. ThinkSepsis, led by Christopher Seymour, assistant professor of critical care and emergency medicine in Pitt's School of Medicine, is a project to improve care for patients with sepsis, a relatively unknown condition that is the leading cause of death among hospital patients nationwide. Sepsis arises when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs; early diagnosis and treatment of the condition is critical to patient survival. Seymour and his team will test the impact of equipping ambulances with the alert system on reducing sepsis-related deaths in the Pittsburgh area, and the team hopes that the project will serve as a model for health care systems nationwide.

"The ThinkSepsis campaign is an outstanding example of how a crowdfunding campaign with a relatively modest fundraising goal can have a positive impact on medical science research that traditionally relies on financial support from much larger institutions," said Clyde B. Jones III, vice chancellor for health sciences development and president of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation.

In addition to the ThinkSepsis campaign on the EngagePitt site, the Pitt Men's Glee Club is running a "Support Our Sound" campaign, the Black Action Society is raising funds to host a speaker series, the Pitt Global Public Health Brigade is seeking contributions for a service trip to Honduras, Panther Racing is fundraising to compete at a collegiate racecar engineering competition in Germany, and medical students are seeking support for the 60th annual Scope and Scalpel musical. Several other groups will be launching campaigns soon, too.

"Donors have responded very well to both the ease of giving through the EngagePitt site and the features that allow them to watch the progress and outcomes of the campaigns," said Danielle Atkins, annual programs associate in the Office of Institutional Advancement who coordinates the campaigns. "We're really excited that so many Pitt students and faculty want to use the platform, and we look forward to adding new campaigns."

EngagePitt campaigns are being selected on a rolling basis. Unlike some crowdfunding services, groups receive all amounts donated to them, even if groups do not attain their desired levels of funding. Pitt's Office of Institutional Advancement provides training and guidance to all groups running campaigns.

Students and faculty who are interested in applying to launch an EngagePitt campaign should submit an application at

Visit to view ongoing campaigns and learn more about crowdfunding at Pitt.

PittSWE has a new look!

We hope you like our new website! If you have any comments or concerns, please send them to the webmaster, Olivia Porcello, at

Graduate Women in Engineering Network (GWEN) is now partnering with PittSWE!

GWEN is partnering with the University of Pittsburgh Society of Women Engineers on mentoring efforts and additional joint events. GWEN helps female graduate students connect with one another and aims to retain these women in STEM fields with events including coffee hours, a book club, and speaker sessions. For more information on GWEN, read the Swanson School of Engineering news release by clicking here.