Approximately 80 women engineers gathered for the first Women in Engineering (WIE) Elevator Pitch Event at IEEE IUS this year. Muyinatu Bell, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, locally organized and coordinated this event in her role as the UFFC WIE Representative for Ultrasonics. The event was financially sponsored and supported by UFFC-S.
Prof. Bell started by reminding attendees of the importance of elevator pitches and shared some key tips that she learned on her journey to professorship. Participants then paired up to share their prepared pitches with a 1 minute time limit, followed by 2 minutes of feedback from partners. The pitchers and listeners then switched roles in the next round. After this interactive warm-up exercise, six brave women volunteered to share their elevator pitches with all participants for judging and critique by the entire audience. The online voting polls then opened, and the winner of the People’s Choice Award (i.e., most votes by all participants) was graduate student Olivia Ngo from Drexel University. In addition to the People’s Choice Award, graduate student Alycen Wiacek from Johns Hopkins University emerged as the first-place winner, as determined by a panel of seven judges consisting of senior members, academics, industry representatives, and IEEE fellows within the the UFFC Society, including Lori Bridal (Laboratoire d’Imagerie Biomedicale), Jan Brown, (JB Consulting – retired), Estelle Camus (Siemens Healthineers), Margaret Lucas (University of Glasgow), Kathy Nightingale (Duke University), Matthew O’Donnell (University of Washington), and Susan Trolier-McKinstry (Penn State University). Olivia Ngo was the second place winner decided by this panel of seven judges.
An online survey was administered upon completion of this event in which participants were asked to assess their confidence level with delivering an elevator pitch. On a scale of 1 to 5 (where 5 is “very confident”), the mean confidence level rose from 2.6 before the event to 3.7 after the event. Overall, the feedback was extremely positive. One participant exclaimed, “Do this one again! It highlights the amazing women in this network at all levels.”
Content solicited by Erdal Oruklu, Newsletter Editor Ultrasonics.
Click here for more photos of the event.