Who Won the Edible Car Contest - Read to find out
Who Won the Edible Car Contest - Read to find out
WiE Newsletter - March 2020 - ISSUE 4
Dr. Rachelle Heller

Front and Center 

News from the Director

Our first e-week ‘extravaganza’ is over, and it was great. The alumni panel on what life after college as a female engineer is really like – was full of good advice, good humor and good snacks (especially the dessert). The excellent panelists, Ann Kim (Deputy CIO of the U.S. Department of Education); and Demi Ladipo-Obasa (PhD Candidate with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering), along with moderator Kristy Ortiz (Director, U.S. Marketing at CGI) led us through a lively and frank discussion. I am sure that everyone had some takeaways from the panel – here are mine:
  • Maintain and nurture your network. The message was, don’t let your network get stale – like any good relationship it needs attention – check in with people in your network from time to time, and be sure to expand your network as you grow. The advice reminded me of my Girl Scout days when the byword was “Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver and the other gold."
  • You do have a seat at the table. This discussion revolved about how you present your ideas. Come prepared. Know your material inside and out. Take your seat and own it. When making a presentation that might be asking for a new direction, consider who the influencers are and speak to them.
  • At the same time, and perhaps counter-intuitively, don't be afraid to take on even administrative projects at the beginning. They will give you context, open doors and new opportunities, and make you even more well rounded.
We’ve asked all of our attendees to send us their impressions of the panel and for their advice going forward. Almost all the attendees responded and gave a resounding YES on whether the event met their expectations. 
What is an edible car? Our e-week challenge, which was a combination of Iron Chef meets Engineering, found seven teams choosing food options from a table display and engineering an edible, aesthetic car capable of “rolling” down an incline plane. Our guest judges – executive chef Jonathan Santos of Sage Dining Services; Roger Kaufman, professor emeritus of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Dr. Claire Silverstein, assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering – conscientiously assigned points for meeting the engineering requirements. Edible cars must resemble a car and must not exceed 4 inches wide (including wheels and hub caps), 4 inches tall (including windshield, car roof, people, etc), and 12 inches long (including front and rear bumpers and any other extensions). Additional points were given for numbers of edible ingredients and for creativity. And, just in case you are wondering, the teams did not have to demonstrate by eating their project!
Shelly Heller
WiE Center Director

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WiE Edible Car Contestants
Here are the seven teams and their completed edible cars! Teams were: The SWEet Tooth; Lightning McQueen: KaCHEW; Actually Monday (Winning Team); Soy Bois; Compressed Air; Precision Pliers; and Tombolo. Watch for release photos and videos!
WiE Women Engineers Panel
At the February 19 Women Engineers Panel held by WiE in collaboration with SWE, moderator Kristy Ortiz (Director, U.S. Marketing at CGI), Ann Kim (Deputy CIO of the U.S. Department of Education); and Demi Ladipo-Obasa (PhD Candidate with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering), led the engaged audience through a lively and frank discussion of what it takes to succeed as a female engineer in the professional arena.
WiE Mock Interviews
At the February 25 WiE Mock Interviews, students received guidance on how best to present themselves in seeking internships or jobs. Thanks to all the interviewers who contributed to the future sucdess of these students! They were: Doreen Walters-Brooks, Gene Colabatistto, Laura Stephanie Gonzalez Llamas, Fatima Senghore Hutchings, Barbara Fleming and Deena Disraelly. 
Download the handy guide to interviewing here.
Apply to join the George Hacks Team

George Hacks is Recruiting Students - Join the Team! Deadline March 5

Students, apply to join the 2020-2021 George Hacks Team! Positions offer an opportunity for GW students of all majors to apply their creativity, strong initiative, and work ethic to help us cultivate an innovation-driven, entrepreneurial mindset on campus. Becoming a leader of George Hacks is also an excellent outlet to develop both the soft and technical skills that are highly sought out in today's workplace. As a team member, students can expect to:
  • Build strong relationships with our partner healthcare organizations
  • Work and communicate across disciplines in a startup-like environment
  • Plan events that have a meaningful, long-term impact on the local community
George Hacks is a student-led organization that catalyzes innovation in healthcare by empowering the next generation of changemakers. George Hacks provides a platform for problem-based, interdisciplinary healthcare innovation for social impact. Each year, the organization hosts innovation competitions that facilitate early application of classroom knowledge to real-world issues, develop teamwork skills, and improve communication of ideas across disciplines.
Interested candidates can submit an application via this link by Thursday, March 5th, at 11:59pm. Feel free to reach out to georgehacks@gwu.edu with any questions.

WiE Workshops and Events

Women in Engineering Career Toolkit Series: See below for excellent tools, resources and videos to add to your own career search toolkit. The SEAS Center for Women in Engineering, in conjunction with GW Career Services, presented one-hour sessions geared particularly to women students. Visit the Center for Women in Engineering website for links to the Resources available.


What We are Reading

...by WiE Director Shelly Heller
"Historical comparison of gender inequality in scientific careers across countries and disciplines," published in the February 18, 2020 issue of the  proceedings of the National Academy of Science, challenges the thought that gender differences in STEM were related to a ‘fact’ that men and women produced at different rates the number of papers per year; and since men produced more papers, it made sense that there was a greater impact on their careers.
Based on a longitudinal study of “gender differences in performance through a bibliometric analysis of academic publishing careers by reconstructing the complete publication history of over 1.5 million gender-identified authors whose publishing career ended between 1955 and 2010, covering 83 countries and 13 disciplines,” the authors noted that there was both an increase in the participation of women in STEM, and an increase in publication and career impact.
Where then, since men outnumber women at least 2 to 1 in academic STEM careers, do the gender differences come from?
The authors note that the career productivity is related to career length and “that the academic system is losing women at a higher rate at every stage of their careers, suggesting that focusing on junior scientists alone may not be sufficient to reduce the observed career-wise gender imbalance. The cumulative impact of this career-wide effect dramatically increases the gender disparity for senior mentors in academia, perpetuating the cycle of lower retention and advancement of female faculty."
The onus then is on the academic community to address retention of women and the sustainability of their careers.

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