While an Essex County College student, Loretta Amaral spearheaded creation of the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Club. The Mechanical Engineering major was also instrumental in the international Society of Women Engineers (SWE) accepting the College club’s application for an Affiliate.
Although now a student at nearby NJIT, Loretta (ECC Class of 2018) maintains strong ties to ECC. She is starting the extensive SWE leadership training program, the only participant with a community college designation. Her college designation also lists NJIT, but her emphasis will be for community college students.
“I want to represent Essex County College and help students who are attending community college be able to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered through SWE,” said Loretta.
Forty students are participating in SWE’s leadership training program which consists of 12, three hour conference calls culminating in the final session at the SWE national conference October 18-20 in Minneapolis. Loretta is participating in the Early Collegiate track leadership program who will work with freshmen and sophomores. Her fellow trainees include students from such schools as MIT, California Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin. Another 20 students are part of the Late Collegiate track, working with upperclassmen.
“Loretta’s participation in the leadership program is excellent for Essex County College and all community college students who are majoring in this field,” said Dr. Dmitriy Kalantarov, chair of the College’s Division of Mathematics, Engineering Technologies & Computer Sciences. He added that the College has gone from not having a campus Women in STEM Club until a year ago to now having someone in a SWE leadership training program is amazing.
When SWE recognized the ECC club in February, 2018, Dr. Kalantarov said, “This will give Essex major visibility. We look forward to having SWE professionals come to the College to meet and mentor our bright students. This accomplishment is the beginning of a new era for our faculty and students.”
Once her training is completed, Loretta said she wants to work primarily with community college students interested in various engineering fields. She will also continue to provide assistance for ECC’s Women in STEM Club.
Essex County College is one of only three community colleges in New Jersey affiliated with SWE.