Outstanding Collegiate Member

Alyssa Liu

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

For effective outreach initiatives that attract diverse membership; for designing programs that support women’s personal and professional well-being; and for enthusiastic engagement in SWE at the collegiate and Society levels.

In the five years that Alyssa Liu has been involved in the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Collegiate Section of the Society of Women Engineers (Cal Poly SWE), she has volunteered in a range of capacities, from organizing officer retreats to hosting registration workshops to serving as a Big/Little Mentor to being a presenter at general meetings and SWE conferences.

She began serving in Cal Poly SWE as a membership assistant. She outlined a process for registering new members that included membership workshops and themed social events to stir interest in the organization. Liu has volunteered and served her way up the leadership ranks through roles that included professional development chair, vice president of member relations, and president. At each level, Liu organized programs promoting professional and leadership development to ensure members remained abreast of opportunities in SWE and prepared to take advantage of them while on campus and beyond.

Her tenure as president took place during the waning of the global pandemic and loosening of restrictions. She collaborated with a team of 35 student officers to develop goals and agendas to be conducted during the year and to rethink how to carefully transition virtual programs to in person. She organized trips for section officers and members, including WE Local Buffalo in 2022 and the WE21 annual conference, to broaden their exposure to the organization and encourage their continued involvement at the professional level.

Liu has had five summer internships working in systems and software engineering at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, California. Her most recent assignment involved system testbed engineering. She contributed to the testing of fault management procedures for the instruments of the Europa Clipper Project. For her strong and consistent academic performance, in 2022 Liu was one of five women engineering students to receive the Cal Poly Outstanding Women in Engineering award.

She is building a startup company focusing on her progressive web application, Foveo, which strives to provide 24/7 real-time support with positive note sharing and encouraging messages for university students coping with anxiety and other mental health disorders. Foveo was accepted by Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hatchery program, which offers resources and mentoring for students seeking to launch companies.

Liu, of Concord, California, holds a B.S. in computer engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship. She expects to complete coursework for an M.S. in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in computer science in fall 2022. She enjoys 3D printing and crocheting. Liu also likes to play video games and design stories with her sister.