Mid-Atlantic

Society of Women Engineers - Region E Conference


Professional and Personal

Development Track Workshops




Humanitarian Engineering Compared to Engineering in the US

Engineering projects in underdeveloped countries around the globe tend to require a different process to successfully complete relief and development efforts.  Major distinctions and considerations will be identified as well as discussed in comparison with similar projects in the United States.  Example projects in a variety of engineering disciplines (infrastructure, water, wastewater, energy, etc) will be described. A case study will be presented and used to highlight what aspects of the project allowed it to be successful.  If interested in pursuing humanitarian engineering relief or development work, a number of different volunteer and employment opportunities will be mentioned with an emphasis on the Peace Corps. Lastly, the influence of working on a humanitarian engineering project can benefit your resume and you will learn how!

Allison Muehe , PE, LEED AP, ENV SP grew up in Canandaigua, NY and earned a BS in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.  After starting a Masters in Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Ms. Muehe served in PC Uganda as a primary teacher trainer.  After finishing the master’s program, she joined a civil/environmental engineering consulting firm prior to working at the Antares Group Inc. on energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Ms. Muehe and her husband live in Syracuse with their 7-month old son, cats, dog, fish, honeybees, and chickens. She enjoys playing soccer, kickball, and volleyball.


The Realities of Working Remotely

Remote jobs have been described as the "holy grail" for working mothers yet are sometime referred to as "working from home" implying that there is not a lot of work being done. Having gone from a job that did not allow any remote work, to working full time from a kitchen table, to a hybrid job, I'll share the good, bad, and surprising parts of being a remote employee and managing other remote employees.

Amanda Weissman is a Customer Experience Product Manager at Comcast. She identifies and designs features in Comcast's big data platform, Customer Timeline, to visualize the customer journey and empower customer facing employees with information. Amanda has an BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MS in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Amanda is the FY17 SWE Region E Lt Governor and a 2016 recipient of SWE's Distinguished New Engineer award. Amanda resides in the Philadelphia area her husband, Adam, and toddler, Amelia.


Improvisation Workshop

Life is improvised.   We were not born with a script.  Improvisation workshops provide a safe, positive and consequence-free environment in which to hone skills that will make you a more dynamic, interactive and adaptable leader.  This session is a hands-on introduction to the skills and techniques used by comedic improvisers.  Via group activities, collaborative games and role play, participants will realize key lessons and coping strategies that are relevant and applicable to real-life leadership roles and communication scenarios.  This session provides a basic understanding of four fundamental improvisational concepts (listening, acceptance, teamwork and trust) and provides illustrations of how to leverage these concepts to improve one's professional leadership, team-building and collaboration skills.  An interactive learn-by-doing session - this is not a lecture!

Deanna Berger works for IBM z Systems as a team leader in the field of hardware design.  She holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Clarkson University and a MBA in International Business from SUNY New Paltz.  Deanna was a founding member of the Valley Improv Group (VIG) which performed comedic improv throughout the Hudson Valley and was selected to perform at the Del Close Marathon at UCB Theater in New York City.  She has studied improvisation at the Basement Theater in Atlanta, GA and the Annoyance Theater in Chicago, Illinois.   Also, she loves dogs and the beach.

Andria Spengler-Colon has worked 18 years in the finance industry, 14 with the same institution.  Her current management position leverages her abilities to build cohesive teams while maintaining accountability and engagement.  She graduated from SUNY Dutchess with honors while working at a local credit union.  Her team building and comedic talents resulted in her becoming a cast member of the Valley Improv Group in 2010. Andria is a lifelong resident of New York who's lived in Dutchess County most of her life.  She is married with a four legged child and hopes to have ones with two in the future.


Outside In: How Your Work-Life Balance Can Build Your Career

Are you looking for the next role or assignment in your career? Your activities, leadership roles, and relationships outside of the workplace are a huge part of who you are and can be the deciding factor in your next career move. By developing your resume, personal network, and everyday interview skills, you can demonstrate an expertise not available to you in your current role, find opportunities outside of your typical career path, and become more comfortable at those stressful job interviews. Focusing on these three key areas can help you achieve your career goals.

Beth Mellott received her B.S. in Computer Engineering and her Master’s in Education with an emphasis on Instructional Technology, both from Virginia Tech. Beth’s career at Booz Allen Hamilton has included positions in Systems Engineering, Instructional Design, and Human Resources. In her years involved with SWE, Beth has served as the SWE MAL Secretary, SWE Region E Secretary, SWE Region E MAL Representative, SWE Region E MAL Alternative Representative, and various Region E Conference Planning Committee positions.



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