‘Evidence of an Excellent New Editor’

Members wrote and edited the Journal of the Society of Women Engineers and the SWE Newsletter during the organization’s first 25 years, but the task became untenable for volunteers as the Society’s news — and newsletter — ballooned in the 1970s. Hired in 1976, Editor Barbara Krohn transformed the newsletter into U.S. Woman Engineer in 1980, a magazine with larger page counts and themed issues. With Krohn’s departure in late 1983, the newly formed editorial advisory board, volunteer guest editors, and several short-term managing editors worked to expand the magazine’s technical content, but the process created a lack of cohesion between issues and a steep learning curve for the rotating roster of volunteers.

Hoping to secure someone who could bring continuity, stimulating content, and visual appeal to the magazine, the Society hired Anne Perusek as a freelance managing editor in November 1987. After receiving the January/February 1988 issue in the mail, Past President BK Krenzer noted in a Jan. 29 letter that the issue “abounds with evidence of an excellent new editor.” Perusek retired at the conclusion of this Fall 2023 issue, after 35 years shepherding what has become the award-winning SWE Magazine. The Society welcomed its next “excellent new editor,” Laurie Shuster, in July.

Because of the cost, U.S. Woman Engineer (USWE) rarely used color photos to accompany articles inside the magazine in the mid-1980s. In a letter dated Jan. 28, 1988, Past President BK Krenzer commended Managing Editor Anne Perusek’s use of three color photos in an article about ICWES VIII (International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists) in the January/February 1988 issue, but noted, “I am keeping my fingers crossed that we could afford them.”
USWE transitioned to SWE: Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers in 1993, bringing more topical stories and an improved style. Thirty years later, the magazine continues to evolve. At press deadline, it was announced that the Spring 2023 issue, above, was a finalist in the FOLIO: Eddie and Ozzie awards.
Introduced in 2017 as the research issue of SWE Magazine, the now annual State of Women in Engineering issue includes the Society’s literature review of research related to women in STEM, findings from SWE’s own research, and updates on relevant public policy. The State of Women edition has received awards every year it has been published, beginning with a Grand Award from the APEX Awards competition for publication excellence for its inaugural issue, above. The 2022 issue earned a prestigious FOLIO: Eddie and Ozzie honorable mention and an APEX Award of Excellence, joining numerous other awards the magazine received under Perusek’s guidance.

– Troy Eller English, SWE Archivist