By Leah Lamunyon, COE
The College of Engineering at Wichita State University is hosting an Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) event, commonly known as Girl Day, for high school girls from Wichita and the surrounding area. The event will be from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 in the Shirley Beggs Ballroom on the third floor of the Rhatigan Student Center.
“The purpose of an annual Girl Day is to foster a positive connection between young women and STEM,” said Ana Lazarin, the director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for the College of Engineering. “Surveys after the event last year showed that out of 110 students who attended, 87.9% agreed or strongly agreed that they will pursue a degree in engineering or computing.”
WSU is planning for about 200 participants for the IGED event. The students will participate in hands-on STEM activities, listen to inspirational female speakers, and meet women from the engineering and computing industries, including professionals, WSU faculty and students. There will also be an industry fair featuring companies from STEM fields. Breakfast pastries and lunch will be provided.
The featured speakers will be Cindy Hoover and Melissa Rocha. Hoover is an electrical engineering alumna of WSU and recently held a global role as the vice president of Research and Technology at Spirit AeroSystems. Rocha is a recent graduate of the biomedical engineering program at WSU and now works as a clinical account specialist at Biosense Webster Inc., part of Johnson and Johnson Medtech.
“I’m so excited for the girls to hear the diverse perspectives of Cindy and Melissa,” said Lazarin. “While both women graduated from the WSU College of Engineering, Cindy has recently reached retirement after more than 30 years in the industry, whereas Melissa graduated less than two years ago, so she is just at the beginning of her career.”
WSU has coordinated with nearby school districts, including Wichita Public Schools, on student registration and bussing. There is still a need for women from the engineering and computing industries to volunteer to help at the event and for companies from STEM fields to participate in the industry fair. Interested women and companies should visit the IGED event webpage for more information and to register.
“It’s vital to the future of our country that we do everything possible to encourage more girls to pursue engineering and science careers,” said Anthony Muscat, the dean of the College of Engineering. “Engineers help society in many ways, and we need more women investing their creativity and energy to solve society’s toughest challenges.”
IGED is a national event that takes place during National Engineers Week, which will be observed Feb. 18-24 this year. The purpose of IGED events is to foster a positive connection between young women and STEM. The College of Engineering has other events planned for its students, staff and faculty to observe and celebrate Engineers Week, including a dean meet-and-greet, bowling night and 5k run/walk.
Wichita State University is Kansas’ only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.
Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.
The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.
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The College of Engineering was recently ranked by Forbes in the top 20 for research and development (R&D) and ranked No. 1 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in industry-funded aeronautical R&D expenditures.
© 2024 Wichita State University
By Leah Lamunyon, COE