Women in Technology (WIT) Program Receives National Recognition!
2012 WEPAN Women in Engineering Program Award!
The Women in Technology (WIT) Program, which offers professional skills enrichment along with outreach and networking opportunities was awarded Program of the year from WEPAN (Women in Engineering ProActive Network). The program has been viewed as a model for other Women in Engineering (WIE) organizations and initiatives. (link to press release below)
News Release June 4, 2012
The Women in Technology (WIT) Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology Receives WEPAN Women in Engineering Program Award
The Women in Technology (WIT) Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology is a model for other Women in Engineering (WIE) organizations and initiatives.
Denver, Colorado May 31, 2012
WEPAN’s Women in Engineering Program Award recognizes an outstanding Women in Engineering program that serves as a model for other institutions. The award will be presented Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at the WEPAN National Conference in Columbus, Ohio. WEPAN awards serve to continuously raise the bar for extraordinary service, significant achievement, model programs, notable achievement in research, and exceptional work environments that augment the success of women engineers.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Women in Technology (WIT) program is dedicated to increasing the representation of women in the technical fields and programs offered in the College of Applied Science and Technology’s School of Engineering Technology at RIT. WIT programming involves outreach designed to inspire young women to explore and consider the possibility of a technical career through hands-on activities and events that peak curiosity, motivate creativity and emphasize the opportunities to enhance and improve the quality of life through world changing technologies. Professional development activities and focused academic support are offered to encourage the intellectual and professional growth of students. These initiatives help increase and retain the number of women enrolled in RIT’s programs. Social support is offered through community building activities that connect WIT students with other students, faculty, alumni and professionals in their disciplines to create an environment that fosters academic, professional and personal success.
Women in Technology has a proven track record in increasing girls’ interest in engineering through RIT’s Girls Technology Workshop and Operation Tech Squad activities. These workshops, led by female Engineering Technology students with support from female faculty members, introduce STEM concepts to 4th -7th grade girls through a series of interactive laboratory experiments. The day-long workshops are intended to increase the girls’ interest in engineering. In support of this goal, hands-on experiments are carefully designed to: 1) show girls that science can be both fun and creative 2) connect science and engineering to things in everyday life that they already know and care about 3) demonstrate that women can make a positive impact on the world with a career in engineering. Success of these programs has been presented at national conferences and in the American Journal of Engineering Education.
In 2009 and 2010, WIT at RIT was one of 12 colleges to be awarded a Campus Action project grant from the American Association of University Women to alleviate the barriers for young women entering and staying in the science, technology, and engineering and mathematics fields. These projects included numerous educational, professional development and mentoring activities, including Equal Pay Awareness events at the college. In 2011, WIT received NSF Scholarships for Science Technology Engineering and Math (S-STEM). This funding will provide over a half million dollars in scholarship support to build the representation of underrepresented groups in Engineering Technology.
Since its founding in 2005, RIT in WIT has seen the number of women in the Engineering Technology programs grow from 60 to 108 in 2011, an increase of 80%.
About the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN)
WEPAN is the nation's leading organization and catalyst for transforming culture in engineering education to promote the inclusion and success of diverse communities of women.
WEPAN is the nation’s leading organization focused on propelling higher education to increase the number and advance the prominence of diverse communities of women in engineering.
WEPAN’s 700 members are based in 140 engineering schools as well as corporations, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. WEPAN’s engineering school members reach 43,900 or 60% of U.S. women engineering students each year with a range of retention-focused programming. WEPAN Institutional Members average 15% higher enrollment of women in engineering than non-member schools.
WEPAN’s 2012 National Conference
This flagship event is the annual forum for ideas, training, research and best practices—all focused on advancing women in engineering. An important venue for learning and engaging new and expert women in engineering advocates in dialogue, the conference will June 25-27, 2012 in Columbus, OH: WEPAN conference information.