Campbell University’s School of Engineering has established its first two national engineering student organizations since launching last fall.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the National Society of Professional Engineers/Professional Engineers of North Carolina (NSPE/PENC) respectively formally approved Campbell’s SWE Student Section and its NSPE/PENC Student Chapter, providing students access to a large community of professionals and colleagues.
“These organizations play an important role in the professional development of our engineering majors,” said founding Dean Jenna Carpenter. “They also provide avenues for mentoring and role models from professional members of these organizations both in our region and at the national level.”
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a nonprofit educational and service organization “that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders.”
Founded in 1950, SWE has approximately 35,000 members, both students and professionals, from 10 geographic regions. In 2015, SWE held its largest annual conference ever, attracting more than 8,000 participants in Nashville.
Student members of the organization are eligible for scholarships, internships, employment search assistance, networking opportunities and other support systems. Campbell Engineering major and SWE student section President Kristen Powell said she thinks SWE will have a huge impact on her and her classmates.
“It’s a place where the students can come together and work as one. They can talk, have fun and learn tips about how to get a job or internship,” she said. “SWE has helped me personally is so many ways. It has taught me professional skills that I would not about think otherwise. Little things like how to eat professionally, how to strike up a conversation in a group setting and how to make your resume more appealing. Sometimes the little things can be the deciding factor on whether or not you get the job or internship.”
The National Society of Professional Engineers was established in 1934 to create an inclusive, “nontechnical” organization dedicated to the interests of licensed professional engineers.
The group has since added “those who aspire to become licensed engineers,” paving the way for student organizations such as the NSPE/Professional Engineers of North Carolina Student Chapter.
“Our involvement with the NSPE will only increase the opportunities to interact with and learn from highly skilled engineers and other professionals,” said Campbell Engineering major and NSPE student chapter President Daniel Taylor. “I have learned invaluable information from the diverse speakers and programs we had this first year and cannot wait to learn more with every meeting and event. Leadership in a high caliber program is what I dreamed of in high school and I must say I was overjoyed that I could jump into a position in my first semester at Campbell.”
The NSPE serves as the recognized and authoritative expert in engineering licensure, ethics and professional practice. Members of student chapters have access to NSPE job boards, scholarship opportunities and free web seminars on topics such as ethics and professional development. They also have access to the NSPE annual conference and its Young Engineers’ Forum, designed to help students achieve their professional goals and meet colleagues from around the country.
Before its official addition to the program, Campbell students held events during Engineering Week, helped host a MathCounts program with local Professional Engineers of North Carolina members, held professional workshops and hosted numerous guest speakers.
There are currently 56 NSPE student chapters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and Campbell’s new chapter is the only North Carolina school in the group.