ENGR 19400: Women in Engineering Seminar

Programming components may have changed to comply with the Protect Purdue Plan. Participants receive detailed information via email.

Tell me more about ENGR 19400

First-year students can choose to take this one-credit course which utilizes dynamic engineering alumnae to inspire, motivate, and reinforce the student's career choices!

Students hear presentations from a variety of engineering alumnae who talk about their career choices, their daily routines on the job, and their challenges and successes in their professions as well as in their personal lives. Speakers range from recent graduates to well established corporate executives. 

This class will help you get answers to many questions - questions that don't get answered in calculus or chemistry or physics. This is a class where you hear it "like it is" from women who have graduated from Purdue Engineering and are working as Engineers, Analysts, Consultants, Doctors, Lawyers, Managers, and Professors. These exceptional alumnae come back to talk to you because they care. By sharing their experiences with you, they can provide an additional dimension to your college education. Additionally, this course provides the support of being in a class with many other women who have the same questions that you have.

Scheduling ENGR 19400

ENGR 19400 is a 1 credit hour, 1 weekly meeting seminar course for incoming students in engineering, offered each fall. 

What are the advantages to taking ENGR 19400?
  • Hear experiences from working women engineers as they relay stories of their careers and personal successes
  • Have your decision to choose engineering or to choose a particular major in engineering reinforced by interaction with speakers and peers
  • Discover various career paths in engineering 
  • Learn about different opportunities and resources provided by Purdue that will assist with your transition from high school to college
  • Meet other women in First-Year Engineering (FYE)
  • Experience a unique opportunity for FYE students to network with engineering professionals in a seminar class:
    • We create and maintain strong relationships with our female alumni and many serve as speakers in the ENGR 19400 seminar and are eager to connect with current students
    • ENGR 19400 students can talk to our guest speakers after class, exchange contact information and may also go to lunch with the speaker, if your class schedule allows
How well does ENGR 19400 meet student expectations?
Quotes from students previously enrolled in ENGR 19400:
"My expectations were very high... and my expectations were passed. This was my most inspiring class and I learned a broader scope of information"

"I expected interesting presentations. The women that came in went above and beyond my expectations and helped keep me excited about engineering."

"I was encouraged every week to keep going, which was awesome! I enjoyed true stories of women who were once in my shoes."

"I expected this seminar to be more about the types of careers you could get as an engineer. I was pleasantly surprised that this was covered but also the different paths the women took to get where they are now were also covered." 
How will my grade be decided in ENGR 19400?
Grades in ENGR 19400 are based on attendance, assignments, and short reflection papers (e.g., impact of course on your career plans; interviews with upperclassmen in engineering).
Meet the Instructors
Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director
Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director
Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer is the Associate Director of WIEP and teaches the ENGR 19400 seminar. Here is her bio.

Why ENGR 19400 is great
"The Women in Engineering Seminar is a unique opportunity for FYE students to meet some of Purdue's amazing alumnae. Students not only learn what being an engineer is all about, they also get valuable tips for perseverance and strategies for success from women who were once in their seats. Plus, they get to know their classmates and start building their community. What's not to love?!"
Mairead Kennedy | Sophomore | Chemical Engineering | Teaching Assistant
Mairead Kennedy | Sophomore | Chemical Engineering | Teaching Assistant
Mairead is a sophomore in Chemical Engineering pursuing minors in both Global Engineering and Business Management. She is in the GEARE (Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education) program, an active member of the WIEP Recruitment Project Committee, the alumnae relations chair for the Delta Zeta Sorority, and the communications officer for the DCES Robotics EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) team.

Why ENGR 19400 is great
"ENGR 194 is great because it provides you with the resources and people that Purdue's campus has to offer. You are able to learn from a wide variety of engineers in various parts of their career path while simultaneously collaborating with other female FYEs. The course is set up to encourage you and teach you how to succeed, and ultimately provides you with valuable advice and academic tactics to boost the beginning of your undergraduate studies."
Alanna Nash | Sophomore | Mechanical Engineering | Teaching Assistant
Alanna Nash | Sophomore | Mechanical Engineering | Teaching Assistant
Outside of the WIEP program, Alanna is involved with undergraduate recruitment at the Office of Future Engineers where she loves talking about the opportunities that Purdue Engineering provides! Additionally, she is part of the Honors College and took part in the Goss Scholars FYE track (ENGR 161/162). During the summer of 2021, Alanna was on her first rotation of a 5-session Co-Op with Closure Systems International. When it comes to outside of academics, Alanna loves to cook, be outside, and take naps!

Why ENGR 19400 is great
"ENGR 194 allowed me to not only build up connections with other female engineers, but it gave me confidence. The class and hearing from the alums provided me with support in knowing that I made the right decision to not only come to Purdue but be an engineer whose voice and opinion matters."

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