About 150 incoming female engineering students made a trip to Lake Wauburg for UF’s Society of Women Engineers eSwamp Day.
The 11th annual event was held to encourage women to stay in the engineering field.
A series of speeches on succeeding in engineering took place on campus before the students headed to Lake Wauburg. Students took part in canoe races, discussions with corporate sponsors, an engineering fair and SWE’s Big Gator Little Gator Mentoring Program.
Tania Jarquin, the eSwamp Day director and SWE recording secretary, said she wanted to encourage female attendees to not “let tough and male dominated classes” stop them from pursuing the field.
“SWE is just like a support system to make sure that you accomplish your goals or find your dreams,” the 22-year-old UF chemical engineering senior, said.
More than 230 students registered for the UF organization this year.
Erin Winick, SWE president and a 20-year-old UF mechanical engineering junior, was the only female during her summer internship working on turbine engines at Solar Turbines in California. She said the SWE mentoring program helped her find her niche in the engineering field.
“When I came into SWE as an exploratory engineer, it really helped me solidify my path and be more confident in what I was going into,” she said.
Corporate sponsors like Harris Co., the international communications and information technology company, spoke to engineering students at the event.
Christine Chern, an 18-year-old UF chemical engineering sophomore, said the event was a great way to make connections and meet engineering majors.
“It really gives women a chance to feel like they can make a difference in the engineering world,” she said.
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 9/2/2014 under the headline "Female engineers gather"]