Intern Insight: AnneMarie Kovach

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Within this untitledprogram, I first attended the Bioastronautics Institute and then interned with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Through my time with NASA I was able to figure out where biomedical engineers, such as myself, fit into the space program.

The Bioastronautics Institute was a whole week of presentations from post-doctoral students, chief scientists, and even astronauts. We heard all about cutting-edge research in the field of space life sciences, such as countermeasures for bone loss caused by spending long durations in microgravity. We heard about outreach efforts, happening through NASA, with the aim of getting kids excited about science and engineering. And although I personally cannot imagine going into space, we learned about what it takes to become an astronaut and the lifestyle they have during training and in space.

After the first week, I dove into my internship at the Johnson Space Center in building 37, home of the Biomedical Sciences. The first few days were filled with meetings to learn the objective behind the research with which I would be assisting: to find a possible countermeasure to the negative side effects caused by space radiation. Being a part of this project was exciting because space radiation is considered, by many at NASA, to be th
e number one road block on the mission to Mars.


Shown here are the rotating wall vessels used to simulate microgravity in our cell cultures.

In the midst of summer, my typical day started in the lab prepping white blood cellsamples for simulated microgravity culture. Once those cells were incubating, I would promptly start analyzing the previous day’s samples using a technique called polymerase chain reaction, which outputs the dysregulations seen in the cells’ gene expression. Furthermore, several days a week, we had guest speakers give presentations on topics related to NASA, i.e. how food science fits into an astronaut’s life.


My days were sometimes extremely busy and I was constantly running around, but it wasn’t hard to find motivation to keep working. Being able to play a role, no matter how small, in getting man on Mars was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

Mississippi State Outstanding Member: Penelope Dao


Penelope Dao is an active member in Mississippi State University’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She’s currently a junior in pursuit of getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and her minor in Chinese. Other than being the membership chair for SWE, Penelope is also an active member of Theta Tau, which is a professional engineering fraternity. Additionally, she is the recruitment officer for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and an honorary officer for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). Penelope first joined SWE during her freshman year of college as the Mechanical Engineering Departmental Officer and switched to being the membership chair after a semester. She’s recently received a scholarship from Southern Company through Mississippi State’s SWE chapter and plans on co-oping with them soon. Other than her academics and extra-curricular activities, she enjoys participating in theatre, spending time with friends and family, and playing recreational sports.

Region C Conference Announcements

A few announcements from Megan Bates, the Region C Conference PR Chair:
Early Bird Registration Reminder:
Reminder that Early Bird Registration for the Region C 2017 Conference closes on December 31st!  Visit to find out more information!
Scholarship Opportunity Reminder:
The WE Program at Texas A&M would like to remind you that applications travel grants for students interested in attending a graduate luncheon at the SWE Region C 2017 conference are due January 1st!  Please visit for more details!

Intern Insight: Alex Schussler

My name is Alex Schussler and I will be graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas this upcoming spring. This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with L’Oeral in an operations role. I learned so much from this experience and I hope all of you find an internship as fun as mine!intern

Showing my family the facility re-design I got to implement!

I had never been inside a manufacturing plant before, and it was crazy how many different robots are used in the production of make-up. My job was specifically working in the distribution center with one other intern. My days started at 7am, where I’d make sure to walk around the facility to check on the teams I was working with. Then, I would attend daily production meetings where we would figure out which customers were the priority for the day, what shipments would make it out on time, and discuss any recent incidents. After these meetings, I spent the rest of the day working on my projects. One of the key things I learned from this experience was to always ask questions. Almost everyone you meet wherever you work will most likely be willing to help. I had the chance to work with some amazing people, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish a whole lot without them.

On top of all of the amazing people, I also got exposed to a new industry that I hadn’t considered working in before. Figuring out what you want to do for a career is hard, and internships are there to help you figure things out. With L’Oreal I got the chance to make some great friends, network with different types of people, and most importantly get me closer to deciding what I want to do upon graduation. I highly encourage every college student to intern for a summer or two, and if you’re given the opportunity to co-op, do it! These opportunities truly help shape you to become the best engineer you can be.

Lamar University Outstanding Member: Kimberly West

cv-picLamar University’s section outstanding member is Kimberly West. Kimberly has done an amazing job as our Social Officer! She is not only our social media guru, but she has planned several fun social events where members can spend time together relaxing and building friendships. We are so thankful for all of her hard work in facilitating the growth of our section. She not only excels in SWE, though! Kimberly is a very active student on campus. She is also an officer in Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Lamar University College of Engineering Ambassadors. Kimberly has also had two internships – she was the Reliability Engineer Intern at Evergreen and the Power, Recovery, and Technical Sales Services Co-op at WestRock.
We are so lucky to call Kimberly one of our SWEesters!

FY17 Region C award nomination packets posted

FY17 Region C award nominations are due 12/20 at midnight. Award winners will be announced at Region C Conference! #SWERegionC2017
Click the following link for more information and for the award packets:
For quick reference I have listed the collegiate awards.
Section Awards:
1. Outstanding Section Award
2. Outstanding Section Participation Award
3. Outstanding/Innovative New SWE Program/Activity
4. Outstanding/Innovative Existing SWE Program/Activity
5. Most Creative Membership Campaign Award
Individual Member Awards:
1. Emerging Leader (Collegiate) Award
Joint Professional & Collegiate Award:
1. Joint Professional and Collegiate Activity Award (submitted jointly by Professional/MAL and Collegiate Sections)