A Season of Transitions

I look forward to guiding SWE Magazine to further the Society’s goals of empowering women in engineering and technology to lead and succeed.

On July 1, SWE welcomed a new set of board members and officers, including President Alexis McKittrick, Ph.D., thus ushering in a new era of leadership for this prestigious, ambitious, and critically vital organization. On episode 219 of the SWE podcast Diverse, outgoing President Dayna Johnson, P.E., asked Dr. McKittrick about her plans for the organization going forward.

First and foremost, Dr. McKittrick said, she wanted to build on Johnson’s accomplishments. She specifically named Johnson’s work expanding SWE’s reach to women engineers all over the globe; establishing a culture study within SWE; and expanding the SWE affinity groups to foster a true sense of belonging for everyone in the Society.

Dr. McKittrick added that her goals as incoming president would include acting on the results of the culture study to ensure SWE’s actions match its goals; continuing to foster a strong sense of inclusion and belonging among members; and identifying and overcoming barriers to the success of women engineers.

Likewise, I will be stepping fully into my role as editor-in-chief of SWE Magazine with the next issue, hoping to build on an astounding legacy.

When Director of Editorial and Publications Anne Perusek, who retires with this issue, began working on this magazine 35 years ago, the publication was struggling to move beyond its past iteration as a newsletter. Under her leadership, the publication has grown to a full-fledged, multidepartmental print and digital magazine that has won national and international awards for editorial and design excellence. More importantly, the magazine is highly regarded by the women in engineering and STEM it seeks to serve. Under Perusek’s guidance, SWE Magazine has enabled women engineers to obtain the respect, acknowledgment, and accolades they deserve.

I aspire to build on Perusek’s and her team’s outstanding accomplishments. I come to SWE Magazine with more than 30 years of experience in the production of high-quality magazines for targeted audiences. I have written and edited print and online publications on subjects ranging from jewelry to hardware, convenience stores to landscape architecture. But I spent the longest period of my career with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where I served as managing editor for 19 years and editor-in-chief for five years, steering Civil Engineering magazine to win dozens of editorial and design awards and to high acclaim from its readers.

It did not take me long after joining ASCE to realize how much I admired and appreciated engineers — the logic of their minds, the giving nature of their spirits, and the expertise they bring to solving problems for the betterment of society. I look forward to guiding SWE Magazine to further the Society’s goals of empowering women in engineering and technology to lead and succeed.

And I look forward to learning more about SWE members, hearing your ideas and your challenges, and determining how the editorial team can help you achieve your own goals. Whether you seek to begin a successful STEM career, take your career to the next professional level, educate the incoming generation of women engineers, use your engineering experiences to inform public policy, or transition into a post-career endeavor, SWE Magazine will be here to inform, support, enlighten — and maybe even delight you.

Questions? Concerns? Ideas for topics you’d like to see in the magazine? Reach out anytime to swemag@swe.org.

And if you have not already made plans to attend WE23, Oct. 26 to 28 in Los Angeles, check out the inspiring array of speakers, sessions, and activities that await you at we23.swe.org. And while you are in Los Angeles, be sure to say hello. I look forward to meeting you!

Laurie A. Shuster
Society of Women Engineers