The Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering 

Recruit  • Retain • Advance  Women in Engineering  cawe_logo

Our Mission

Improve the economy by utilizing human resources to a fuller potential through the active engagement in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in engineering.

 

Need for CAWE

There is a shortage of engineers in this country and the gap between available engineering jobs and the number of engineering graduates is expected to grow. That is why there is a strong effort by the federal as well as state governments to encourage students to pursue STEM fields, including engineering. One way to increase the number of students pursuing engineering is to recruit among women and girls, as women are severely underrepresented in the engineering workforce, at a meager 14%. Research indicates that females do not pursue engineering as a viable profession at the same rate as males, partially because there is an identity conflict between being a female and an engineer and because girls interpret engineering as a masculine profession without a strong humanitarian component. Moreover, women who earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering are more likely to leave the profession than men. Women leave the profession during and after their college education at a higher rate than men due to poor organizational climate including feeling marginalized, group dynamics, a lack of a sense of belonging, and work-life balance difficulties. In efforts to increase women’s participation in engineering, The Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering will focus on the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in engineering.

Dr. Alexandra Schönning and Civil Engineering student, Taylor Broussard interviewd on The Chat - First Coast News

Faculty

 

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Alexandra Schönning, Ph.D. 

(University of Central Florida, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Systems)

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of North Florida

Mechanical Engineering Program Coordinator

Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering (CAWE)

 

Dr. Schönning is a professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering. She joined the University of North Florida in 2003, after earning her doctorate of philosophy from the University of Central Florida in 2001. She serves as the Mechanical Engineering Program coordinator and as the faculty advisor for the UNF chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She teaches courses in mechanical systems design and analysis including Finite Element Modeling and Analysis, Machine Design, Strength of Materials, CAD, Integrated Design and Manufacture, Dynamics, and a technical elective called Professional Issues in Engineering. She performs research in mechanical systems analysis with a focus in biomechanical applications. Dr. Schönning serves as the Director for the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering (CAWE). Because the classes she teachers are severely underrepresented by women, she began studying what may be the underlying cause for low female engagement in Engineering and what can be done to recruit and retain more females to Engineering. This spurred her interest to develop CAWE.   
     
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Susan M. Perez, Ph.D. 

(University of California, Riverside, Developmental Psychology)

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of North Florida

Associate Director of Research, Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering (CAWE)

Assistant Director, Center for Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development (CARCAD)

 

Susan Perez is a Developmental Psychologist in the Department of Psychology and joined the University of North Florida in 2004, after earning her doctorate of philosophy from the University of California, Riverside in 2004. She regularly offers courses in child and adolescent psychology, lifespan developmental psychology and advanced child psychology and has offered a graduate seminar in cognitive development in the social and cultural context. Her research interests include cognitive development with a specific focus on the development of complex skills like problem solving and planning. She is interested in children’s opportunities to develop these skills while interacting with more skilled others, like parents, teachers, and more skilled peers, and in how these skills contribute to school success. Dr. Perez serves as the Associate Director of Research for the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering (CAWE). Research in the center will evaluate programs focusing on the early recruitment of girls to engineering. The center will engage in outreach to children in various settings to involve them in engineering activities meant to inspire interest in and accessibility to engineering as a long term educational and career possibility.

 

Contact

Email:   cawe@unf.edu
Web:   http://www.unf.edu/cawe
Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/TheCAWE