Poly's Society of Women Engineers hosts forum, celebrates 45th anniversary

Poly SWE Leadership Team (left to right): Frances Vicioso, Sabine Blair, Irina Igel, Lawrenberg Hanson, Lamia Iftekhar and Jose Garcia

Poly’s Society of Women Engineers (Poly SWE) celebrated its 45th anniversary in outstanding style on Friday evening, April 11, with its first annual Women's Forum. The Forum brought together Poly students, Poly alumni, faculty, administrators and distinguished women from the business community.

Christine Ianuzzi, senior vice president of broadcasting technology, engineering and operations for Citadel and a Poly alumnus, gave one of two keynote addresses.  Ms. Ianuzzi spoke about her Poly experience and her career in a field dominated largely by men.

“You are all very impressive women,” she said after meeting members of Poly SWE. “As you become experienced professionals, [I have] no doubt you will all take your proven success as leaders and participants in Poly SWE to your careers and other organizations.”

Janis Peck, a business development analyst for Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and a recent Poly alumnus, gave the second keynote address in which she also shared memories of her experience at Poly. While Ms. Peck didn’t go on to become an engineer, she found the discipline, teamwork, and communication skills she developed as an engineering student to be very important as an analyst in a field also largely dominated by men.

Following the keynote addresses and a wonderful dinner, Poly SWE members Frances Vicioso, events chair, and Stefan Henry gave a presentation titled "Women Making Strides in Science, Engineering and Technology."

Lamia Iftekhar, Poly SWE’s secretary, then posed five questions to frame a lively group discussion.

“It felt really good to have women and men alike discuss issues on campus in ‘the real world,’” said Ms. Vicioso. “I learned so many things from the diverse group of attendees on culture, work ethic and interview skills. The meeting between women and men of different backgrounds, culturally and professionally, helped me to gain a better understanding of the workplace, college and interpersonal relationships.”

The discussion “really showed the caliber of students at Poly,” said Patricia Colef, a financial planning and analysis manager for Verizon.

Attendees and organizers all agreed that the Forum was an overwhelming success. “The balance of presentation and discussions made for a very engaging evening and left people looking forward to next year’s event,” said Ann Lubrano, Polytechnic’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff.

For information about Poly SWE membership and activities, visit the Student Cultural Center in Rogers Hall room 005 on Poly's Brooklyn Campus