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BEST PRACTICES. Eastern Washington Section Celebrating 30 Years 1976-2006. Acknowledgements. This presentation is based on interviews Joan Young did with Wanda Munn, a SWE-EWS Charter Member, and input from section members. Photos are from Wanda’s scrapbook. SWE-EWS Members in the Audience.

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best practices


Eastern Washington Section

Celebrating 30 Years


  • This presentation is based on interviews Joan Young did with Wanda Munn, a SWE-EWS Charter Member, and input from section members.
  • Photos are from Wanda’s scrapbook
swe ews members in the audience
SWE-EWS Members in the Audience
  • Alicia Boyd - Vice President
  • Wanda Munn - Section Historian & Go-To Woman
  • Pam Ankrum - Section Co-Rep
  • Chryssie Nigl - Secretary
  • Joan Young - President
discussion topics
Discussion Topics
  • History & Background of SWE-EWS
  • Best Practices
  • Audience Discussion & Questions
the beginning
The Eastern Washington Section of the Society of Engineers


June 23,1976

SWE National Conference

Denver, Colorado

The Beginning
the beginning1
The Beginning
  • SWE-EWS was chartered by National President of SWE, Arminta Harness in 1976.
  • Arminta was technical advisor to Westinghouse Hanford. Former Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.
  • View video clips from Arminta Harness's oral history interview on SWE website.

“Dream what you dare to dream,

go where you want to go, and be

what you want to be. And I think that

kind of sums up my life.”

early goals
Early Goals
  • Two goals at time of chartering:
    • To establish a legitimate place in the technical world for female engineers; and,
    • To encourage more women to become engineers

These goals still inspire what we do

today and are the sources of our Best Practices...

best practice 1 target your audience
Best Practice #1Target your Audience
  • Success required learning basic marketing.
  • Hosted many different conferences and events open to all local women.
  • Conferences raised money and awareness of new SWE section.

Women in Engineering Conference 1978

best practice 2 raise awareness
Best Practice #2Raise Awareness

Example #1: Expanding Your Horizons

expanding your horizons1
Expanding Your Horizons

best practice 2 raise awareness1
Best Practice #2Raise Awareness

Example #2

"Science Expedition Day" for Junior Girl Scouts (ages 8 to 11)

When: Saturday, March 4, 20069:30 am to 3:00 pm

Where: Kiwanis Building at Columbia

Why: ExxonMobil program development grant

best practice 2 raise awareness2
Best Practice #2Raise Awareness

Example #3: Judging the Local Science Fair

Special Awards 2006Corporate and Professional Society Awards51st Mid-Columbia Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Society of Women Engineers

Taylor Vance Best 6th Grade Female Science Fair Project

Sarah Smith Best 7th Grade Female Science Fair Project

Danielle Bright Best 8th Grade Female Science Fair Project

Elvira Chiprez Best 9th Grade Female Science Fair Project

Morgen Anyan Best Senior Female Science Fair Project

Honorable Mentions: Tensie Petersen, Jordan Kerslake, Mariya Afonina, Marisol Garza, Catalina Alverez, Haydee Navarro, Noemi Correa, Mayra Serna, Ashley Talbert, Jacqlyn Brown, Megan Loroche, Brittney Schuler, Monica Freshley

best practice 3 creation of scholarships
Best Practice #3Creation of Scholarships
  • In the early years, scholarships were granted whenever funds permitted.
  • Current Scholarships:
    • Wanda Munn Scholarship
    • New in 2006: EWS-AREVA Scholarship
best practice 4 recognize members
Best Practice #4 Recognize Members
  • Nominating members for awards raises awareness of SWE and female engineers.
  • Tri-City Engineer of the Year Winners:
    • Wanda Munn
    • Pam Ankrum
    • Barbara Philipp
  • SWE’s Distinguished New Engineer Award: Cherri DeFigh-Price.
1983 distinguished new engineer
1983 - Distinguished New Engineer

Cherri DeFigh-Price

She is currently the Director of Engineering Standards

with CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc.

best practice 5 have a strong core group
Best Practice #5Have a Strong Core Group
  • Wanda – the Historian
  • Pam – the Brain
  • Sandy – the Scholarship Queen
  • Nguyen – the C of M Guru
  • Jenny – the Web Goddess
best practice 6 match tasks to personalities this helps keep turnover low
Best Practice #6Match Tasks to PersonalitiesThis Helps Keep Turnover Low
  • Section Co-Representatives
  • Certificates of Merit
    • Needed new approach to fundraising in early 1980s.
    • At first, no one was assigned responsibility for the certificates.
    • Now: one constant, contact name on webpage, one person in charge of mailing, and Treasurer acts as liaison and handles money.
best practice 7 find a niche
Best Practice #7Find a Niche
  • Certificates of Merit
  • Clothing Sales at National Conferences
    • We identified a niche that was not being met, and made items that appealed to all members.
    • Selling at National Conferences resulted in some money, and gave EWS a larger presence at the conferences.
best practice 8 provide leadership opportunities
Best Practice #8Provide Leadership Opportunities
  • SWE-EWS gave its members lots of leadership opportunities at a time when they weren’t available professionally. These opportunities are still important for younger members today.
  • Many members have gone on to significant leadership positions professionally and within SWE.

Edna Bowman

Danell Friar, Charter Member

Elizabeth Bowers,

Charter Member

Wendy Moore

Fran Berting,

Charter Member

Charlene Watson,

Charter Member

Patricia Eng, another founding member, Program Executive and Risk Management Officer for Advanced Capabilities and Exploration at NASA

best practice 9 don t be afraid of big events
Best Practice #9Don’t be Afraid of Big Events
  • Having a large, long-term goal that requires lots of planning can motivate current members, attract new ones, and gives everyone something important to rally around.
    • 1988 “The Dream Begins with You”
    • 1996 National Conference
    • 2004 Region J Conference
    • 2006 Engineers’ Week Banquet
1996 national conference in portland oregon
1996 National Conference in Portland, Oregon
  • In the 1990s, National Conferences were hosted by individual sections. Our section was too small to undertake one alone, so we introduced the idea of a Region hosting the Conference.
  • Portland, Seattle, and EWS worked together to produce the 1996 National Conference in Portland, Oregon.
connecting educators to engineering
ConnectingEducators to Engineering
  • Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, President & CEO of The Museum of Flight and former NASA astronaut was our keynote speaker.
  • Dr. Dunbar is originally from Outlook, WA.
society of women engineers
Society of Women Engineers
  • Advance
  • Aspire
  • Achieve
  • And We Do!

We Believe!