e s 2019 - ISSUE 1
Dr. Rachelle Heller, Director, WiE

Director's Note

Can it be? The Center has been in existence only since April 2019, though it was months in preparation thanks to Dean Dolling, the Center Advisory Boards, the SEAS Alumni office and Seas alumni. We have been quiet since April, but that doesn’t mean we have not been productive in moving the Center forward. We have a lot to share with you – new staff, new ‘digs’, expanded web presence, our workshops and of course, the initiation of the monthly newsletter.
I am delighted to introduce you all to Taly Walsh, our new assistant director of the Center. Taly began on October 7, and has been invaluable in setting up our new space, taking over the operation of the website, initiating systematic emails, and most importantly supporting our communication with the Advisory Boards and goal setting. We are fortunate to have Taly and I encourage you to read more about her in this newsletter. When you do, you will realise why we are fortunate to have her at the Center.
And, speaking of our new space – we are now happily ensconced in Tompkins 101 – the door is open, notices and handouts printed and the candy dish is full and ready for visitors. Stop by.
And, now it's your turn.
We plan to send a newsletter once a month as an augmentation to the news on our website. To continue to receive this newsletter, please OPT-IN by clicking on this link and entering your information. We will only use that information for sending you the WiE Center newsletter.
Please let us know your reactions to the newsletter. What would you like to have us focus on in our newsletters? What would you like to see the Center undertake in this academic year, next year, long term? You can send us your comments at scwie@gwu.edu.
And, please forward the newsletter to your network and get them to sign up for their very own copy!
Shelly Heller
WiE Center Director
Taly Walsh, Assistant Director, WiE

Introducing Taly Walsh

Hi Everyone! As the new Assistant Director of the WiE Center, I am truly honored and so energized about all the important work envisioned. Just a few words about me - my career has focused on non-profit organizations in the technology arena, and I'm now passionate about helping women advance  in STEAM careers (including art in the traditional STEM fields - since my creative drive seeks expression in art!). 
About a year-and-a-half ago, I led the development as Executive Director of the new Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) non-profit organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining and advancing women in the field of cybersecurity. I'm proud to say that within a year, the organization grew to include 5,000 new members, 70 new student chapters around the country, and ten U.S. and Canadian affiliates. Among the many initiatives created were an online community forum, a mentor match program, a strategic partnership model, and a speakers bureau - all valuable experience to bring to the WiE efforts! 
Prior to WiCyS, I held leadership positions at the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA); InfoComm International (the trade organization for the audiovisual industry); the first U.S. biometrics conference; and Public Technology, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing technology R&D in state and local governments.
I love to paint, exercise, learn new things, and read. My husband and I hike frequently at Shenandoah National Park with our boxer and mastiff. I have grown twin sons (who already have small kids of their own) and I live in Springfield, VA. Feel free to reach me with your ideas and suggestions at talywalsh@gwu.edu or 571-289-6602. Also connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/talywalsh/.
WiE Center Entrance, Tompkins 101

Introducing our Tompkins Home

Many of you have fond memories of labs and classrooms in Tompkins, so coming to visit our new Center in Tompkins 101 will be a walk down memory lane (make that memory hall!). We are fortunate to have space for both the director and assistant director, as well as space for small meetings. We share the larger space with Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI), making for a lively space. We look forward to having you visit when on campus. 

Introducing our Website

Thanks to excellent design and implementation from Pete Minelli, we launched the Center with only a website: womenengineers.seas.gwu.edu in April 2019. The site has been enriched and will continue to be the virtual go-to place for information about the Center and resources for your success. Please add this url: womenengineers.seas.gwu.edu to your list of favorites! Share it with your network.
Generic - woman meeting with a man. Source: Marcelo Dias, Pexels

Understanding Unconscious Bias and Micro-Aggressions

A Workshop Series

When we encounter such unconscious bias and the microaggressions that often find their origin in these biases in our SEAS environment, it can impact our students in one way, while impacting our faculty in another, our staff in another way, and our alumni in yet another. Each encounter has a limiting effect on our progress as engineers. For students, it might be the impact of team work in a classroom project or club; for faculty, it might be relevant to a search committee; for staff it can mean the difference between a great and not great place to work; and for an alumna it might affect one’s success in the workplace.
While studies show that such bias is not changed overnight, bringing issues of such bias to light over the course of a year should permit the SEAS community to recognize our biases and, most importantly, change our actions to mitigate the impact of the bias.
For the 2019-2020 year, the Center launched a series of programs for student leaders, incoming students, faculty and staff. We hope to expand to session for alumni during e-week.
How will this be different from existing GW programming? GW has a prepared presentation on diversity training and unconscious bias. Additionally, the website for the GW Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (https://diversity.gwu.edu) has many links faculty, as well as students, can follow. 
The Center programming is based on active learning. We have chosen two activities developed under NSF grants, the Buffalo card game and Micro-aggression activities as a basis for learning and discussion about unconscious bias. These two activities will enable participants to experience their own unconscious biases, to reflect on how to continue to be aware of them and to develop a personal toolkit to help them deal with real situations where unconscious biases or microaggressions appear.
So far, two student groups and two faculty departments have participated in the training. Other sessions are planned for November.
During e-week on February 12, 2020, the Center plans to coordinate “Why Engineering Needs Many Voices” during the newly expanded e-week. We will have a few opportunities for SEAS community, including alumni, to engage in activities such as Buffalo or Micro-aggression (if they have not yet done so).  The staff of the GW Office of Diversity and Inclusion has offered to present a few workshops during the day as well.  We will end the day with a major speaker on the topic – speaker to be identified.

WiE Workshops and Events

Women in Engineering Career Toolkit Series: The SEAS Center for Women in Engineering is presenting sessions to help SEAS students and recent alumnae gain the skills they need to launch their career. The one-hour sessions are open to all SEAS students, but are geared particularly to women students. The remaining workshops will be held in SEH, 2000 and will begin at 4:45 pm. Visit the Center for Women in Engineering site for more details.
  • Wednesday, October 16: Finding a Job or Internship (View the Video)
  • Wednesday, October 23: Entrepreneurship (View the Video)
  • Wednesday, November 6: Resume Writing
  • Wednesday, November 13: Cover Letter & Professional References
  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020: Negotiation
  • TBD, February: Mock Interviews

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