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Society of Women A S P I R I N G T H E L E G A C Y O F A F U T U R E G E N E R AT I O N


The Society of Women Engineers helps foster professional, organizational, and networking skills that aid students in their quest of pursuing their various goals no matter what they may be by apsiring, advancing & achieving.

Interactive Engagement and progessing forward Evening with Industry 2014 was a phenomenal success. The event is designed to allow students of all levels to mingle and interact with recruiters from various companies. Whether it is a freshman testing the waters for the first time, sophomores or juniors looking for a part-time job/internship or a senior looking for a full-time job post graduation, everyone benefited from attending the prestigous

event that was held by the Society of Women Engineers on January 22nd from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Ustler Hall. Some of the companies that attended were Siemens, Johnson and Johnson, Norfolk Southern, and Recsolu. The event become innovative and more efficient by integrating Recpass. “It was really cool to have the recruiters to pull up our resumes right away on an Ipad mini,” student Sahar Kausar said. SWE’S Evening with Industry proved to have yet another exciting year.

SWE’S Upcoming Events

-SWE’S Serve you Spaghetti Dinner March 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Weil 270 -St. Augustine Beach Social March 15 at 10 a.m. at St.Augustine! -SWE Game Night March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in RNK 220 -Relay for Life *Be sure to donate and sign up online! March 28 in the O’Connell Center

The inside scoop from Dr. Christine Schmidt Dr. Christine Schmidt is the new chair for the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. She started at UF in January 2013, and has been reshaping the department of Biomedical Engineering ever since, as well as continuing her research into novel biomaterials that interact with the nervous system to help regenerate damaged tissue. Basically internal wound healing with a focus on spinal cord injuries. She graduated from high school with no idea of what she wanted to do. She started at the University of Texas at Austin as an undecided major. When asked why she went into engineering, she told me of a mentoring program that the University of Texas offered to students who were undecided. She randomly got paired with DR. Bill Koros, who just happened to be a professor in the department of Chemical Engineering. He got to know her and realized her potential and saw that she would make a wonderful engineer. She ended up graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, in 1988. Before she graduated, Dr. Schmidt started undergrad research and helping other students succeed in engineering by tutoring them. She found that she loved her research which made her want to pursue her graduate degree, but she also loved the feeling that tutoring gave her while she helped other students learn, and she felt she could give back to those people who helped her succeed by helping the people after her succeed. She ended up going to the University of Illinois and received her PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1995. Before coming to UF Dr. Schmidt worked at UT Austin as a professor. She helped build the Biomedical Program up at UT Austin during her 16 years there, working her way from an Assistant Professor to a Professor by the time she left. Dr. Schmidt decided to come to UF because she felt things had stale mated during her last couple years at UT Austin and she got too comfortable in her environment. She said she had heard about UF’s new undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, and she felt that it was highly underrated. “The University of Florida is a large school, with the tools to have their Biomed Program amongst the top 10 in the nation. We have the physical proximity to everything from Pharmaceuticals to Dentistry to Medical to even a strong background in entrepreneurship for start up companies. There was no reason our program wasn’t in the top 10 of the nation, except the lack of a strong leader to bring it there.” When things stated slowing at UT and the opportunity to come to UF and be the chair of the Biomed program presented itself, she said it was just the right move for her. “Everything fit into place. UF already had a program, so I wouldn’t be starting form the bottom, she could continue her research, and she could build the Biomed Program to what she thought it should be.” Thus starting her career at UF in January 2013. Dr. Schmidt is really enjoying her new role as a chair. She never expected the amount of trust people would put in her, and the amount of people interactions she has on a daily basis. She has learned a lot about herself as well as the actions of other people. Which has shaped her into an even better leader. She said a good leader is one who has confidence in their decisions, and the confidence to put themselves out there and not be bashful. To be a good leader one must be able to communicate their ideas and their views clearly to another person as well as be able to take the time to listen to what other people have to say. “Leadership is all about having the skills to problem solve, but not just normal problem solving, people problem solving.”

As our conversation was coming to an end, Dr. Schmidt shared some last advice about being a woman in a male dominated world. Being a woman in a male dominated world she has spotted differences in how women and men react to situations. Women tend to internalize their feelings and blame themselves, where men tend to blame everyone but themselves for things that go wrong. Women need to learn that what they feel is just as important as what a man feels, and that most everyone is thinking the same thing. In order to succeed you need three things, the first being excellent communication skills. There isn’t a job in the world that doesn’t require the ability to communicate a task or idea clearly to another person, and a persons ability to communicate how they are feeling is crucial, because if you internalize it no one knows how you feel, and no one will ever know. The second thing being, persistence. The difference between someone successful and someone unsuccessful is the successful one had the resilience to continue what they were doing when things got tough. “I remember a couple times in my undergrad years, where I couldn’t get through the day without caffeine. I would take a no doze followed by a diet coke, just to stay awake.” The third thing to success is humility. Everyone is going to make mistakes, you must be able to take them with stride, learn from them, but be able to move on from them. To contact Dr. Schmidt, send her an email at


President Kathleen Hencke Vice President of Internal Affairs Elizabeth Volpe Vice President of External Affairs Jessica Poulsen Corresponding Secretary Kelsey Gardner Recording Secretary Erin Winick Treasurer Emily Jacobus UF Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

UF SWE February Newsletter  

University of Florida Society of Women Engineers Chapter's February Newsletter

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