Yet Another Fantastic Year!

We made it through another year!!! And it’s been quite a successful one for SWE here at Tech.

In past years, we would comprise a paper Newsletter to send out to all of our members and alumni, but in the past few years, we have shifted over to using this blog instead. We can reach more people, save more paper, and write so much more!

So below you will find…..

  • A farewell letter from our section president
  • A word about and from our advisers
  • Funfacts, stats, and info on new programs started from each of the executive board members
  • Quick summaries about the year from each of the committee heads
  • A brief bio on all of our graduating seniors (including some awesome advice from each of them)
  • And a peak into next year.


It’s that time of year again… we’ve made it through another long Houghton winter (almost) and the academic year is almost over. I want to take this opportunity to thank this year’s committee heads, executive board, and everyone else involved with SWE for an absolutely magnificent year! We’ve surpassed our goal of 115 societal members, had over 90 active members at last count, and ended up with an impressive representation of underclassmen and upperclassmen in the group. Our section has certainly experienced some fantastic growth – we are larger, stronger, and more involved than I’ve ever seen us, and I’m so grateful I had the chance to be a part of it.

The fall semester was a busy one, but successful and enjoyable and a great start to the year. It was so fun to see new faces at our meetings, and even more fun to continue to see them and start to get to know our new members. Evening with Industry, our annual professional development event on campus, was the largest it’s ever been. We had 19 students represent our section at WE13 in Baltimore, Maryland in October, the biggest group we’ve had at annual conference yet. We also had many fun social events, including one at the home of one of our advisors, Gretchen Hein.

Despite the fantastic fall semester we had, this spring certainly stole the show. We hosted the Region H Conference in February, and it went awesome, despite the typical Houghton weather. We’ve received plenty of positive feedback, and it looks like we might have put Houghton on the Region H map! Since the event was right here at home, we were able to have over 50 of our members attend, providing everyone with a fantastic opportunity for professional and personal development and networking. Aside from the conference, we also tried out a new Winter Carnival fundraiser, walking tacos, which will hopefully gain some momentum in future years as we work the kinks out. As usual, our Big Mac outreach program was popular and well-received, and we continued to have a wide variety of creative social events to help our members connect. We wrapped up business for the year at our spring banquet in mid-April, just before the hectic last few weeks of the semester.

I want to give a huge thank you to each and every one of you who helped plan or attended our events this year – you’re the reason this year was so successful! I was so thrilled to see so many people participating in events this year and getting involved, and I hope you all continue to do so. I’m so proud of how far this section has come, and I’m looking forward to seeing where next year’s leadership will take us – I’m sure it will only get better.

—Erika Poli




Thank you to our Counselor, Chris Anderson, and Advisers, Gretchen Hein, Julie Way and Mary Raber! We are lucky to have such great advisers and counselors here at Michigan Tech. These women are our connection to the University and Regional SWE and are always there for guidance. Whether they are attending conference with us or sitting in on our meetings, we couldn’t be more grateful for the time they take within their busy schedules.

  • I have worked closely with some of our graduating members in a variety of projects, and it has been a tremendous pleasure for me.  A highlight for me is experiencing 2 bid efforts to secure our successful Region H conference, and I was so proud to hear the accolades of so many distinguished SWE leaders, as they praised not only our incredibly strong conference bids, but also our incredibly strong section.  Our section is highly recognized and respected throughout the entire organization, and it is because of remarkably talented members…in your attitude, fortitude and success in all you do.  Congratulations on another hugely successful year.  —Julie Way 
  • Congratulations to the graduates! Keep in touch with our section, because many of your SWE colleagues might be calling on you for career and school advice. I will miss you next year. Many of you I have known through SWE, classes and research. I hope you have as much fun in your career and life as you have had at SWE and Tech. I hope to see you at future SWE conferences! I look forward to working with the rest of you next year. I know that Chris is going to miss you. It will be fun to get to work with Britta, Beth and Julie. New colleagues always bring energy to a group. We will have you out for cider pressing again in the fall. The sheep, alpacas, chickens and ducks are waiting to see you. —Gretchen Hein


A HUGE thanks to our E-Board this year! We have had a phenomenal increase in membership once again this year! You are all fantastic leaders and did such an amazing job. Each of them had a few words to share about new developments this year.

President-Erika Poli

Vice President-Jillian Broadbent

2nd VP for Membership-Samantha Kallman

Treasurer-Kerstin Cleveland

Secretary-Rose Greene

Some Great Changes Thanks to the VP

  •  This year as Vice-President the biggest change that I made was probably implementing a buddy/mentor program. This program paired upperclassmen CHEB members with underclassmen to help guide them through the SWE process. They offered guidance to the younger girls by being a contact for them that they could talk to about SWE, school, or just life. It was a great way to help get the newer members more involved SWE. This year it was still smaller with not too many activities and it was very much a “make it what you want” type of program. It will be interesting to see how it changes over the next few years and becomes more structured. Hopefully it lasts!

2nd VP for membership…some stats

  • There has been a huge increase in membership over the past four years. But in conclusion our Section grew by 33% from the Spring of 2013 to the Spring of 2014 with the average number of members attending a general meeting being 61. This is a result from host the Region H conference and encouraging member involvement outside of meetings, as well as have meeting that fit the Section as a whole.
  • Fun Fact: In the Springs of 2010 and 2013 there were only 19 and 69 active members, respectively.
  • Below are some stats about the goals we set for membership this year and where we actually ended up. The results are fantastic!
    • Goal: Increase active membership to at least 75 members
      • Result: 92 members
    • Goal: Increase society-level membership to 115 members
      • Result: 109 memberships as recorded from the SWE directory for H064
    • Goal: Have at least 50% of active members be 1st or 2nd year students
      • Result: 60% are underclassmen and 40% are upperclassmen
    • Goal: Have 50% of active members earn at least 4 activity points per semester
      • Result: 51% of members earned min of 4 activity points
    • Goal: Have all active members participate in Regional Conference
      • Result: all active SWE members either attended or volunteered for the Region H Conference.

Treasurer…on our standing

  • 2013-2014 was a very strong year for our SWE section financially, and we ended well in the black. This year we had many corporate sponsors donate to our SWE sections, including GM, Nucor, Slumberger ($4,000 from Stilettos to Steeltoes), and Kimberly-Clark. Evening with Industry profited the most money so far, over $10,000. Looking to next year we got full funding, $4,000, from USG to send members to the Societal Conference and there will be the overage from 2014 Region H Conference coming in.

Secretary…and handing such a quickly growing section 

  • This year I got to tackle the challenge of finding a new room to accommodate our growing SWE section. Traditionally, our meetings have been in the Chemical Sciences building in room 101, but this year we found the room to finally be too small for all our members. With the growing section, next year we may have to move to the Memorial Union Building ballroom to fit everyone!



  • Publicity Chair, Melissa Mack: This year publicity posted flyers and table tents around campus to advertise general meetings and special SWE events. I enjoyed spreading the word about SWE!
  • Conference Chairs, Britta Anderson and Kerstin Cleveland: 
    • Conference Committee Leaders: Maggie Urben, Patricia THompson, Cassandra Bobart, Hannah Lyons, Kaitlyn Bunker, Melisa Galant, Kate Boyles, Hannah Altscheffel, Lacey Kaare, Rachel Altscheffel, Mercedes Bohr, Brittany Frost, Megan Doulette, Adrienne Piron, and Elizabeth Wohlford.
    • The 2014 Region H Conference Planning Committee successfully executed hosting the 2014 Region H Conference at Michigan Tech. The conference was Feb. 14 – 16th, with the theme “Extracting the Elements”. This was the first time Michigan Tech hosted the SWE conference and was the largest conference to be hosted on Michigan Tech’s campus. The conference had over 50 corporate sponsors, totaling $142,000 in sponsorship. 648 professional and collegiate members were in attendance. The Planning Committee was thankful the conference went according to our plans, and people enjoyed their visits! We were glad our hard work paid off! Also we like to thank all of the Michigan Tech SWE alumnae that came back to attend the conference!
  • Historian, Anna Marchesano: This year the historian collected photos from many events and compiled them into a digital yearbook, that was shown at the banquet and potluck. It is now on the facebook page, so that it can be shared and we can look back upon the memories from the year!
  • Newsletter, Ericka Sheeran: Had a great time and posted about all the great events we had like Winter Carnival and Hosting Region H. The blog is coming together and we are spreading word more effectively. We also started a new alumni emailing list to stay in better contact with graduates. 
  • Rep to MESAC, Lily Williams: The MESAC committee made the voting for the ME teacher of the year award. We also learned about the IT updates when they put most of the computers into the library.
  • Webmaster, Elizabeth Wohlford and Kaitlyn Bunker: Enjoyed a successful year of maintaining our section’s website.  Many member photos and resumes have been added to the site this year – feel free to send yours at any time and it can be added!  All of our section events including meetings, socials, outreach activities, and professional development opportunities are included on the website with their date, time, and location.  You can also find minutes from each of the general meetings!  (
  • Certificate of Merit, Patricia Thompson: Put together awards for female high school Juniors and Seniors who displayed an excellence in science and math. 
  • Community and Campus, Elizabeth Sickles and Megan Doulette: Community and Campus was able to complete various outreach activities within the community and campus. The Big Mac outreach program was a great success being completed in two schools this year. Through campus we participated in the Girl Scout Stem Badge Day, the Science Festival,  the reverse career fair, and much more! 
  • Evening with Industry, Sophia Bainbridge and Brittany Frost: Successfully organized a fantastic Evening with Industry, once again! They are in the process of planning and switching over for next year as well. This is always a great event for SWE and provides a wonderful opportunity for all students on campus. 
  • Fundraising, Hannah Lyons: For fundraising chair this year I decided to change it up we sold  walking tacos instead of swe-kabobs. The new fundraiser went well and I am excited to see how it grows.
  • Social, Kathleen Bussell and Cassandra Bobart: For the social committee,  we did the apple cider pressing, corn maze, animal shelter, bowling, and the photo scavenger hunt, the winter carnival statue and games, IM Sports (tried to at least), and the snacks for the general meetings.



Congratulations to all of our seniors! We are saying goodbye to quite a few SWE girls this May. We wish you all well on your future endeavors and hope to see you returning to visit soon. Below is a brief bio of each graduating senior.

Lauren Bodeis

  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Minor: Mathematical Sciences
  • Plans: Moving to Wisconsin to work in research and development at Coveris. 

Jillian Broadbent

  • Hometown: Grand Haven, MI
  • Major: Civil Engineer, Certificate in Sustainable Development Engineering
  • I joined SWE as a Sophmore. I wasn’t very involved my first year but my junior year I took on the role of Evening with Industry Co-Chair. I learned a lot more about SWE and met a lot of great people through this role. The next year, my final year on SWE, I was the Vice-President. I loved being more involved in the organization and I got to meet a lot more of the girls which was really neat. I think the activities were my favorite part of SWE. Not only the fun ones but also the professional development activities. I learned so much about myself and what I could do in my career. SWE is full of inspirational ladies, and men, and I am so glad I got to be a part of it. My advice to underclassmen is that even if you don’t want to hold a leadership position or don’t have time, I would highly suggest attending activities. Many of them provide opportunities and connections that will last a lifetime. After graduation I plan to carry my “SWE training” with me and join the professional section in Detroit where I will be working as a full time Civil/Structural Engineer for HDR, Inc.

Kelsey Buchholz

  • Hometown: Lake Orion, MI
  • Major: Environmental Engineering
  • Minor: Geological Engineering
  • Plans: Working for Pescador LLC in Petoskey, MI
  • SWE Involvement: I was an active member my freshmen and senior years.  
  • Advice: College goes by fast, so make the most of what time you have left and get involved!!
  • Future Involvement: I plan on being a SWE member throughout my career =) 

Kaitlyn Bunker

  • Hometown: Canton, MI
  • Major: PhD ELectrical Engineering
  • Plans: Finishing dissertation and holding her defense this summer
  • SWE Involvement: Member for 8 years, Section President in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, and various committee chair positions like Evening with Industry and Webmaster throughout the years.  At the Region level, I was Corporate Relations Chair for this year’s Region H Conference.  At the Society level, I’ve been involved with the Collegiate Leadership Coaching Committee, and am now chairing the Curriculum Committee. Last year, I was on the Society’s Board of Directors as the Collegiate Director.
  • Advice: Be open to new things!  I never planned to run for Section President or to be leading SWE’s Curriculum Committee, but since I was open to these and other opportunities, I have had some great experiences.  Make the most of your SWE membership!  Our SWE section at Michigan Tech is truly awesome, and you can gain so much by being an active and participating member.  But SWE really extends way beyond our school, and you can continue to benefit from your membership by listening in on webinars, attending conferences, and finding mentors from all around the world.
  • Future Involvement: I’m very excited to continue in SWE as a professional member.  Since I’m finishing my degree during the summer semester, I’m still not sure where I will end up starting in the fall.  I’m excited to jump into a new section and maybe even a new SWE Region!  I’m also excited to watch the Michigan Tech SWE section continue to do great things next year! 

Kathleen Bussel

  • Hometown:  Philippines and Hawaii
  • Major: Civil Engineering
  • Plans: Traveling back to my hometown (Hawaii and Philippines) to visit my family for a little bit and come back to Michigan Tech to get my Masters Degree in Civil Engineering focusing on Structural. 
  • SWE Involvement: Member Spring 2013-Present, Social Chair from Fall 2014-present.I first joined SWE because of our former President, Kodi. I am glad she talked me into it. I love being with my fellow SWEsters. I is also a great opportunity for networking and getting to know other students. I made great friends through SWE, as well.

Kerstin Cleveland

  • Hometown: Northbrook, IL
  • Major: Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Plans: Moving to Houston, TX working as a Production Engineer at Dow Chemical. I plan on joining the Houston Michigan Tech Alumni Chapter and getting my very first puppy!
  • SWE Involvement: Campus and COmmunity (2011-2012), Conference Bid Co-Chair (2011-2012, 2012-2013), Treasurer (2012-2013, 2013-2014), COnference Planning Co-Chair (2013-2014). 
  • Advice: Find a mentor in a position that you aspire to be in. 
  • Future Involvement: I plan on joining the Houston SWE professional section. 

Megan Doulette

  • Hometown: Livonia, MI
  • Major: Biological Sciences
  • Minor: Psychology
  • Plans: Applying for PHysician Assistant Schools
  • SWE Involvement: Campus and Community Co-Chair (2 years) and University relations Chair for Region H Conference. 
  • Advice: Learn and grow as a person and always strive for the best!
  • Future Involvement: I plan to be a professional member. 

Rose Greene

  • Hometown: Ludington, Michigan
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Minor: Polymer Engineering
  • Plans: Working in Marysville, MI with Flint HIlls Resources Polymer Division. 
  • SWE Involvement: I’ve been involved with SWE for the past 2 years. 2 years ago I was on the committee that helped Kerstin and Becca bid for the conference, last year I was one of the Campus and Community co-chairs, and this year I was the secretary and also the entertainment chair for the SWE conference. My favorite position has been secretary, as sitting on the eboard has helped me to better see how SWE runs. 
  • Advice: My advice to younger members would be to keep coming to meetings and try to meet new people! I know it’s hard when you come to a meeting and you don’t really know anyone, but the more you come to the more people you get to know, and soon you get a bunch of SWE friends.

Jennifer Hoffman

  • Hometown: River Falls, WI
  • Major: BS Civil Engineering
  • Plans: Civil Engineer at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in Rhinelander
  • SWE Involvement: I’ve been involved with SWE for 2 years and have loved it! I’ve met so many awesome friends through SWE.  I’ve played intramurals with SWE, both softball and floor hockey, and Winter Carnival events.  In case you weren’t aware, SWE is the 2014 Women’s Winter Carnival broomball champions! I attended WE13 and the 2014 Region H conference and learned a lot from both of these experiences.
  • Advice: Get involved with SWE and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, those CHEB members/upperclassmen are anything but mean! Join our SWE sections mentor program, and ask your mentor questions and spend time with them, they were in your shoes not too long ago! Get to know professors in your major, one of mine recommended me for a job! Take a couple summer classes to get your HASS classes out of the way and lighter your course load during the year. Enjoy the Keweenaw, it has a lot to offer and try something new (rock climbing, fishing, winter camping, mine exploration…opportunities are endless)
  • Future Involvement: I plan to stay involved with SWE and join the Wisconsin professional section.  And if an opportunity presents itself, with Tech’s SWE section.

Jordanna Kero

  • Hometown: Hancock, MI
  • Major: Civil Engineering
  • Minor: Art
  • Plans: Going to Europe for 6 weeks to study abroad and finish my art minor and then I’ve accepted a job near Detroit as a Civil Airfield Engineer at RS&H.  
  • SWE Involvement: 3 years
  • Advice: I joined SWE as a freshman and loved being involved in all of the activities and meeting new people. I wasn’t able to be as involved as I would have liked to with volleyball over the past few years but I recommend taking part in as many different activities as you can in SWE. The experiences and the memories will last forever. 
  • Future Involvement: I’ll be looking to stay involved as I move downstate and start my career. 

Ericka Sheeran

  • Hometown: Dearborn, MI
  • Major: Civil Engineer
  • Plans: Staying here at Michigan Tech to pursue my Masters in Civil Engineering.  
  • SWE Involvement: I joined SWE as a freshman, I still remember the ice cream social (probably 1/8th the size of the one for this year). I attended most meetings and some socials for my first and second year, but decided to get more involved my third year. I worked with Alicia Walby as a Newsletter co-chair. She had worked on the Newsletter in previous years and was a great mentor to then pass it off to me my senior year. 
  • Advice: I’m very glad I got involved more with SWE. There were so many great opportunities, whether it was painting pottery with the ladies or networking at the Evening with Industry. There was so much variety, it always kept me on my toes and definitely prepared me for the next steps in life. My advice to underclassmen would be attend the meetings!! Even if you don’t want to be super involved, there are some great opportunities in each meeting. There are so many professionals who return and talk with us and give us fantastic, priceless advice!
  • Future Involvement: Since I will be here for grad school, I plan to stay involved with SWE. Next fall I will be the Newletter/Blog chair again and the Communications Director.



We have had our elections and our new E-board and Committee Heads are decided. Welcome to all of you and good luck next year! Whether you are just starting to be a part of SWE leadership or are moving up the ranks, this years leadership has proved as great role models for all of you, as they have done a fantastic job. We cannot wait to see what next year will bring!

2014-2015 E-Board

President: Sam Kallman

President Elect: Brittany Frost

Vice President for Membership: Hannah Lyons

Treasurer: Anna Marchesano

Secretary: Molli Andor

Counselor: Britta Jost

2014-2015 Committee Heads 

Communication Committees Director: Ericka Sheeran

Historian: Lily Wiliams

Publicity: Colette Boileau

Webmaster: Elizabeth Wohlford and Alex Roche

Newsletter: Ericka Sheeran

Outreach Committees Director: Britta Anderson

Awards: Maggie Urben

Certificate of Merit: Patty Thompson and Jessica Geroux

Community and Campus: Kate Boyles and Katherine Fletcher

Evening with Industry: Britta Anderson and Erika Poli

Fundraising: Janelle Rupkalvis

Social: Michael D’Angelo and Baileigh Zimmerman

One thought on “Yet Another Fantastic Year!

  1. Anne Dancy says:

    What a fantastic blog! Congrats to all the SWE members on another very successful year with landmark achievements like hosting the Region H Conference! It has been a pleasure and joy to watch the section grow over the years, and I am so grateful to call so many of you close friends- even sisters. Best of luck to all of the graduating members, and I hope to see y’all again soon!
    – Anne Dancy (2008-2012)


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