2019 Election Candidate Bios


Congratulations to Georgia Tech SWE’s 2019-2020 Executive Board!
President: Toral Kadakia
VP of Administration: Alex Johnson
VP of Industry Relations: Salmata Barrie
VP of Membership: Tina Lu
VP of Campus Relations: Gabby Gershon
VP of Technical Development: Hannah Lin
VP of Community Outreach: Rebekah Travis
VP of Youth Programs: Katie Zhu
VP of Finance: C’lee Kornegay
VP of Communications: Katie Weatherwax
Each winning candidate’s bios below were provided to our members prior to Elections Night.

President

Toral Kadakia- 1st

VP of Administration

Alex Johnson-1st

VP of Industry Relations

Salmata Barrie-1st

VP of Membership

Tina Lu- 2nd

VP of Campus Relations

Gabby Gershon-1st

VP of Technical Development

Hannah Lin-1st

VP of Community Outreach

Rebekah Travis-1st

VP of Youth Programs

Katie Zhu-1st

VP of Finance

C’lee Kornegay-1st

VP of Communications

Katie Weatherwax-1st

President

Toral Kadakia-1st

Hey y’all! My name is Toral Kadakia and I am a third year Industrial Engineering major from Duluth, GA. I am super excited to be running for President as my first choice and VP of Campus Relations as my second choice! I’ve been apart of SWE since my freshman year when I was the Engineer’s Ball Chair and I continued the position into my sophomore year. This past semester, I stepped up to be apart of the executive board as the VP of Campus Relations. Through my experiences, I have learned how SWE is run and how the organization can improve, so I hope that as your President, I can refine the organization to impact you and become a vital part of your college experience, just as it did me.

As President, I hope to continue to create a more diverse and inclusive environment by increasing collaboration and one-on-one interactions such as a “Lunch with Exec” and coffee chat program. I want to support my exec board members in every way I can and encourage them to think bigger and bolder with their events. I also want to restructure our company sponsored GBMs to create a more learning environment with small groups and discussions.

As VP of Campus Relations, I want to expand the number of organizations that SWE works with to include more cultural and professional groups that SWE has not had the opportunity to interact with before. I want to create a slack channel that allows students to post about other opportunities and events to increase SWE’s connection and presence across campus. I also hope to partner with SHPE for the Engineer’s Ball to increase attendance so we can raise more money for our charity.

Apart from SWE, I am also the President of the Honor Advisory Council and was the manager for an all girls Bollywood dance team. These experiences have taught me the right skills to be a leader and manage conflicts, and I hope that I can implement those skills as your President. SWE has become an integral part of my life and I couldn’t imagine college without it and any of y’all. I would honored to be on the executive board again this year as either your President or Vice President of Campus Relations!

VP of Administration

Alex Johnson-1st choice

Hey everyone, my name is Alex Johnson and I would be honored to serve as your next VP Admin or Membership! I am a sixth year at GT, who will be able to call myself a snowman when I graduate in two years (because “8” looks like a snowman). I have been involved with SWE for three years and served as an Elections Chair and am currently one of the Holiday and Awards Banquet Chairs. In both positions I had the pleasure of working with other motivated and ambitious women to help facilitate the great environment that SWE provides to all of us. I have also spent many hours volunteering at all types of events within SWE, and am extremely passionate and driven towards continuing our organization’s great history of excellence and success, by enriching the lives of the women who come together under the banner of SWE, especially at Georgia Tech where networking and fitting in can be particularly difficult.

My goals as one of the Officers in SWE would be to seek out new ways to connect our members, both on campus and at Professional conferences. As the VP of Administration, I would seek to take what I have learned already as a chair under the role for a year, to make our conference presence even more impactful than it already is by showcasing all of your accomplishments and hard work within various fields to our society at large, and continuing our strong tradition of bring home awards for our chapter when we take our dedicated members to the world. As VP Membership I would strive to inspire our members to continue in SWE for their entire collegiate career, by promoting all of our benefits so that people do not just think of us as a “social club”. Regardless which position I am in I will fulfill all of my obligations to each and every one of you, ensuring we continue to grow and achieve higher standards as professionals, as well as keeping our network a closely knit community where we can all relax and be ourselves, for the betterment of each other.

VP of Industry Relations

Salmata Barrie-1st

My name is Salmata Barrie and I’m a rising second-year Environmental Engineering student running for Vice President of Industry Relations and Vice President of Communications. I’m qualified for these positions because I’ve built communication skills through my Chair position and gained marketing experience through our industry events. Ideas I bring to these roles are joint campus-organization events for smaller companies to allow for more connections and better turnout; also, pushing outlets like Slack to students who want to get involved but don’t have space in their schedule to do so. As an Industry Events Chair for GT-SWE, I help the VP of Industry Relations run company events, send logistics, and correspond with representatives for events that give corporate sponsors an outlet to SWE members. My co-chair and I make sure these events are marketed to the company’s needs by interacting with executive board members, and we guarantee that they run smoothly by attending early and staying for cleanup. I’m currently a Peer Leader(RA) for fellow first-years. I’m also involved in the African Student Association, Muslim Student Association, and committed to the International Plan. I love SWE because I know with anything our organization is involved in, I’m guaranteed the opportunity to learn something new!

VP of Membership

Tina Lu -2nd

Hello SWEesters! My name is Tina Lu and I am a 3rd year ISyE major from Edison, NJ. As the SWE Treasurer for the past two years, I’ve worked closely with the executive board from a financial perspective, which has provided me a thorough overview of GT-SWE operations. I hope to bring my experiences and ideas to grow GT-SWE through President (1st choice) or VP of Membership (2nd choice). With my interest in analytics, eagerness in testing new ideas and value toward wholesome conversations, I’d like to make membership engagement next year’s priority in either role. Through better understanding what members want from SWE, I’d like to create targeted events and cultivate unique experiences that will cater toward the diverse interests of members. Ultimately, I want members to feel valued, smart, strong and bold through GT-SWE! My freshman year, I was the Holiday Dinner/Awards Banquet Chair. Besides GT-SWE, I am involved with ISyE undergraduate research in health analytics and the Denning T&M Program. I love SWE because it touches members in a variety of ways – some come to make friends and have fun, some want to make an impact in the community and others, for the free food!

VP of Campus Relations

Gabby Gershon- 1st

Hi! My name is Gabby Gershon and I am a second year Biomedical Engineering major. I am running for VP of Campus Relations as well as VP of Communications. My first year, I served as the Events chair on the campus relations team and currently, during my second year, I serve as the Engineers Ball chair, also on the campus relations team. I love every part of SWE including events and conferences, but most of all the people.

VP of Campus Relations Ideas/Goals:

– host one event each month with a different organization (>10 participants at each :))

– event ideas –> Invention studio night, destress night with meditation club, intramural sport team, event with knitting club social, ballroom dancing night, movie night with WECE and SHPE, learn circus tricks with circus club

– organize Engineers Ball as a SHPE and SWE combined charity party

VP of Communications Ideas/Goals:

– update social media more frequently with events and pictures of SWEesters

– spotlight seniors graduating and members of our organization for other activities they are involved in

– add a portion to the website to include a section of past events which occured so that new members can see which events look interesting and appeal most to them

VP of Technical Development

Hannah Lin- 1st

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Lin, and I would love to be your VP of Technical Development! I’m a second year ISYE major and have been involved in SWE since freshman year, first as Social Chair and this year as Secretary. My name may seem familiar if you get the weekly newsletter I send every week! I’ve really enjoyed planning events as Social Chair and communicating as Secretary with just about everyone: exec board, members, company representatives, and the general public. Being involved in SWE has honestly been the most rewarding part of my college experience so far. I’m so grateful to be part of this supportive community of inspiring and ambitious women in STEM.

VP Tech Dev is my first-choice position because technical development and corporate networking are aspects of SWE that I would like to get more involved in. VP Tech Dev is quite different from the other SWE positions I’ve held, which I see as a great opportunity for me to develop my own leadership skills while contributing to SWE in a new area.

As VP Tech Dev, I would like to increase our presence on campus and improve membership engagement. A major goal of mine would be to collaborate more with VP Campus Relations and VP Communications so that we can host more events with other clubs and advertise events campus-wide. I want Tech Dev events to attract a more diverse group of students so that anyone can come and learn about SWE that way. I’d also like to implement less structured and more creative events to engage our members better and increase attendance. Instead of just having company representatives talk about internship opportunities and give a demonstration, I would make sure companies address a member-requested topic through small group discussions, games, or other activities. I would also want to have more interactive events such as SWE in the Studio (invention studio workshops), a SWE TED Talk with alumni or older members, and a day at the Leadership Challenge Course.

Overall, I’ve had an amazing time in SWE and am eager for the opportunity to give back to the club and improve membership experience in technical development.

VP of Community Outreach

Rebekah Travis- 1st

Hello! I’m Bekah and would love to serve as your VP of Community Outreach! I am a 1st year Mechanical Engineer and have been involved with SWE for three years both through SWENext in high school and in GT SWE. This year I served as one of your SWENext Chairs and had a ton of fun working with Peachtree Ridge SWENext and EVE robotics! I live by the phrase “Be inspired, inspire others,” and this phrase reminds me every day of the importance (and the fun) of outreach. K-12 STEM education because it gives us an opportunity to create the future, and it has been a blast working with everyone involved with the fantastic GT SWE outreach programs.

My goal as VP of community outreach is to find fun and exciting angles to take our outreach programs. After establishing at least two more SWENext programs at local high schools, I would like to create a SWENext Spring Picnic, where the girls involved with our SWENext sections can visit campus for a tour, lunch, and fun STEM activities. This will help target and strengthen the relationship between our sections by creating opportunities meet one another in person. With the established sections I would also like to help the girls participate in the national SWENext competitions, and ensure that GT SWE continues to stay active within national SWENext (for instance, the annual SWENext collegiate video competition). I would also like to focus our time with EVE Robotics on their off season rather than their build season by helping teach them CAD as well as help them become a SWENext section, which can help them earn the SWENext diversity grant. I can’t wait to continue to grow our outreach programs and help inspire the future through GT SWE!

VP of Youth Programs

Katie Zhu -1st

Hi, my name is Katie and I would love to be your Vice President of Youth Programs or Vice President of Community Outreach! I am a 3rd year BME, and I have been involved in SWE since I was a freshman. I’ve served as the Community Service Chair, the SWENext Chair, and the Middle School Outreach Chair, all of which were great experiences to have. I have loved these opportunities to develop the younger generation of engineers and I aim to establish stronger connections between GT SWE and the Atlanta community to encourage more girls to pursue engineering and Georgia Tech!

Georgia Tech, and more specifically, GT SWE, is such a special place to be, and I want more girls to experience the kind of support, friendship, and development I have experienced these past three years. As Vice President of Youth Programs, I will increase relationships with Atlanta-area schools to increase attendance and focus on more age relevant activities for each group during outreach events. As Vice President of Community Outreach, I want to establish long term relationships with several SWENext clubs; I will encourage the clubs to pursue an engineering focused project that SWE can mentor and support. Regardless of which position I am chosen to serve as, I will establish more opportunities for younger girls to interact with current SWE members, GT campus, and professors to give them a better idea of what their future could be. I’m open to any and all ideas, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to improve each SWE member’s experience with SWE!

VP of Finance

C’lee Kornegay- 1st

Hi I am C’lee Kornegay and I would love to be the next Vice President of Finance! I am a first year Civil Engineering student with a passion for SWE. When I was in sixth grade, Georgia Tech’s SWE section inspired me to come to Tech and pursue a career in engineering, and I would love to give back to this organization by serving it in the best way possible. As a potential VP of Finance, I would love to work with the rest of the executive board in order to establish the budget for SWE and encourage more involvement from our SWEsters while reducing potential financial burdens. This position would be great for me as I am eager to learn and become more involved with this amazing organization. Currently I work at the Campus Recreation Center as a Member Services Assistant where I have the responsibility of completing transactions and working with a team of professional staff. I can use my experiences from this job in order to communicate well and establish a trusting relationship with the faculty advisors. In this position I would like to improve the process of purchasing and receiving refunds. College students have to take money out of their personal accounts in order to pay for things such as SWE conference, and I think it would be beneficial to eliminate this financial burden, although temporary, in order to ensure everyone feels as though they can participate. As VP of Finance, I plan to take into account suggestions from other SWE members and executive members in order to help this organization run as smoothly as possible.

VP of Communications

Katie Weatherwax- 1st

Hi I’m Katie and I would love you be your VP of Communications or VP of Campus Relations. I am a first year electrical engineering major and I started my involvement with SWE this year. I served as the events chair on the campus relations team and it was an amazing experience that made me want to become more involved. As VP of Communications, I would like to make the newsletter easier to navigate, make the website more engaging, and creating links for resources both throughout Tech as well as career development. As VP of Campus Relations, I would be creating relationships with other student organizations that we have not interfaced with in the past to increase campus networking. I love SWE because it is an amazing group of women who share the same passions, gives us exposure to future career and research opportunities. This is why I want to help present this organization in the best way possible.