Women in Engineering Fall Career Day

November 4, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-It certainly was a women's world, at least as far as engineering goes, this past Monday, Oct. 27 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Female students, interested in exploring engineering opportunities, in grades eight through 12 gathered in the Ullsvik Center for the UWP Fall Career Day.

About 172 girls and another 30 chaperones participated in the event which drew in students from as far as the Twin Cities. The career day was specifically designed to provide encouragement and information for young women interested in professions in engineering.

Tammy Salmon-Stephens, the director of the women in engineering program and organizer of the event, had much to say about encouraging young women to enter into what in the past has been a male dominated profession.

"Research shows that one of the reasons young women do not pursue careers in technical fields is because they are unaware of what careers in engineering and technology entail," Salmon-Stephens said. "Most young women have a perception, but their perception is not accurate. The program helps to educate them on what engineering is and what types of jobs are available in engineering."

Students were involved in many hands on activities throughout the day. Two keynote speakers, Crystal Imhoff and Amy Neuendorf, both seniors at UWP, spoke to the students about engineering as a profession. Both have been active participants in the women in engineering program in the past as mentors, ambassadors and counselors.

While on campus, visiting students were also allowed the chance to participate in a virtual campus tour, engineering discipline presentations, team problem solving and small group discussions.

There should be no doubt that the career day and all of its events provide valuable encouragement and information for young women with interests in the field of engineering.

"The program does provide encouragement," Salmon-Stephens said. "I know this because we have several female students in engineering and frankly across campus who had participated in the program while they were in eighth through12th grades. Many of the college students volunteer to help with the program because the program provided them with valuable information and want to give that same type of encouragement to other females."

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