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Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

  • 1.  Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

    Posted 12-13-2017 13:20
    Support from a faculty member is crucial to success in starting and maintain a SAMPE student chapter.  What have you found useful in persuading faculty to act as a sponsor for a student chapter (or what persuaded you to become a faculty sponsor?)

    Elizabeth Cates
    Chair - Student Chapter Support Committee
    Greenville SC

  • 2.  RE: Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

    Posted 12-17-2017 21:25
    I helped to recruit sponsors for two chapters. The first case was at a school that had not had a chapter before. The second was a school whose successful chapter advisor had moved elsewhere and the school showed no sign of finding another advisor. In both cases, two of us from the BW Chapter called ahead to make appointments with appropriate Deans at the schools.

    In the first case, at our meeting we elaborated on the strengths of SAMPE and the programs supporting students. We highlighted the BW Chapter’s subsidizing student dinner costs at our meetings and our chapter’s student symposium that gave local participants cash prizes ranging from $200 to $500, with the winner going on to compete at SAMPE’s (then) Spring conference for cash prizes up to $1000 or trips to present at SAMPE Europe or SAMPE Japan conferences. Students also could make useful contacts as they neared graduation and looked for jobs. We also argued the benefits to the faculty advisor for these and other student activities. The advisor gains local visibility by hosting the chapter’s competition and/or tours of the department’s facilities. He also gets a new set of professional contacts for advice or product samples for student research.

    Indeed, when we visited the Dean at the second school, we dwelt on what the student chapter had already accomplished. This included students from the chapter who had actually gotten to go to Europe! Besides the symposium, students from aerospace engineering had participated in the wing design/building/testing program and were regular attendees at chapter meetings. These proven opportunities would be lost if no new advisor came forward. We were pleased that the Dean saw how much the student chapter members had benefited, and found (appointed?) a new chapter advisor. After about a year, the Department Head actually stepped up to take over as chapter advisor and was quick to announce in the Engineering School news that another student member had won the trip to Europe. He also dove in himself and served as the BW Chapter Chair.

    To summarize:
    1. Two members of the chapter should meet personally with the appropriate Dean or Department Head.
    2. Describe past accomplishments of the chapter members that could be lost if a new, active and engaged chapter sponsor wasn’t found, or tell what students in a new chapter could experience. Describe benefits for the students, advisor and school.

  • 3.  RE: Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

    Posted 01-03-2018 17:13
    Thanks for the great examples!  It sounds like the BW chapter does a lot to support students, and maybe this question warrants it's own thread, but can you elaborate on what activities the chapter has for students?  For example, you reference a student symposium.

    Elizabeth Cates
    Innegra Technologies
    Greenville SC

  • 4.  RE: Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

    Posted 01-04-2018 11:41

    We are fortunate in sponsoring four student chapters, at West Virginia University, University of Delaware, University of Maryland (College Park), and University of Maryland (Baltimore County). The last three (“local") almost always have multiple students at our chapter meetings and tours. WVU has the big hills and about a 5 hour drive, so we usually only see them once a year when we have our BW SAMPE Student Symposium. Our dinners normally run about $25 per person. We charge professional SAMPE members just $15…and the students just $5!

    This symposium is patterned after the ones held each year by NA SAMPE at CAMX, but we have a second category of poster presentations. Each school can have one participant in each category (total of 8 students). We have local professional chapter members judge their presentations. The winner in the oral presentation is an automatic qualifier for the NA SAMPE Symposium. The winner of the poster presentation is a semi-finalist qualifier for the NA SAMPE Symposium. The participants in each category go home with $500, $400, $300, or $200 depending on their place of finishing. The student chapter sponsors definitely work with their students on the presentations and bask in the limelight if they win. And food? Usually pizza, salad and beverages are free for all.

    The professional chapter usually has a student group from the “local” schools give a presentation or a tour every few years. Most recently, we heard from UMCP about their maglev program that has won some design awards.

    When the BW Chapter has hosted Spring international conferences in Baltimore, we have subsidized our student chapter members' parking and, in some cases, rooms while they served as volunteers. We have also helped to subsidize some student member costs as they compete in NA SAMPE’s bridge or wing contests.

    I hope this is helpful. I know there are other professional chapters that have their own symposia and go even further than ours in discounting meals. Depends on what each chapter can afford. BW is partnering with Carolinas as sponsors for SAMPE Charlotte 2019. This is how we have built our treasury in the past and we can expect more funds in 2019!

  • 5.  RE: Recruiting faculty sponsors for student chapters

    Posted 01-07-2018 14:27
    ​Hi Elizabeth,

    Here are some of the ways that the Seattle SAMPE Chapter engages with our student members:

    Each year we host a SAMPE Student Night in the Spring as one of our regular chapter meetings. This provides a great opportunity for the students to network with local professionals. We used to have students from each local student chapter give a short presentation, but last year we had so many interested students that we decided to have a poster competition instead so that more students could participate. For the first hour of the event, the students stood at their posters and answered questions. Then we had dinner and a single student presentation. Everyone in attendance voted on the best poster and we offered prizes for first, second, and third place. Winners were announced after dinner.

    We also now have a student relations committee, which has allowed us to focus more on students without taking away from some of the other responsibilities of the Board. Our First Vice Chair is the liaison between the Board and the Committee. The Committee is responsible for engaging with students, organizing student night, and handling our yearly student scholarship. Last year the Committee also held a student event in the fall, which was also very successful. This event was more of an informal meet and greet between students and local professionals. We plan to make this a yearly event as well.

    Students are of course always welcome at regular Chapter meetings and we offer reimbursement for students who need to travel to attend meetings. This has helped us improve student attendance at our events. We often provide funding for students to attend SAMPE conferences as well. We also have a blend of both young and experienced professionals on our Board, which I think has been helpful in establishing strong relations with our local student chapters.

    Kelsi Hays
    SAMPE Seattle Director
    The Boeing Company
    Tukwila WA