U of A Society of Women Engineers to Host Regional Conference

 The University of Arkansas chapter of the Society of Women Engineers was selected to host the 2016 Society of Women Engineers Annual Region C Conference. Region C, also known as the gulf region, includes universities in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The three-day conference will take place Feb. 5-7, 2016, at the Embassy Suites in Fayetteville.

Lexi LaMott, a junior in electrical engineering and physics and public relations officer of the Society of Women Engineers campus chapter, explained the group's vision for the conference. "Our theme is 'inspiring people, products and possibilities,'" she said. "People don't always realize that Northwest Arkansas is home to some industry revolutionaries. We want to inspire engineers to look at their possibilities. Engineering in Northwest Arkansas is more than big power and oil companies, and we hope to show students how many options they have as an engineer."

The conference will potentially bring in from 300 to 400 students and professionals from the region in an effort to form relationships and start conversations. "Being a woman in engineering, you do tend to be the minority," LaMott said. "It's nice to have a place where we can talk with female professionals about issues in the workplace."

On the first day of the conference, the participants will work together on a large outreach project. There will also be a career fair the next day with companies from all over the region attending.

The U of A Society of Women Engineers seeks to develop collegiate women into professional engineers. The group offers a lecture series to bring in professionals to talk about everything from interview and resume skills to intergenerational gaps in the workplace.

The group also puts a big emphasis on outreach. "We work with the Boys and Girls Club every Wednesday to create interest in STEM careers with high school girls," LaMott said. "It's really important to introduce girls to engineering when they're young. We just started a water filtration project, and we also did a project where they calculated the efficiency of their dream homes. We try to touch on all types of engineering and show the girls all their possibilities."

More information about the U of A Society of Women Engineers can be found on its website.


Katie Chevrier, communications intern
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, engrcomm@uark.edu

Camilla Shumaker, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, camillas@uark.edu