Essex County College delegation with SWE President Jonna Gerken, fifth from left

Essex County College’s Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Club received official recognition from the international organization Society of Women Engineers (SWE) less than three months ago. But the club is already taking advantage of the array of resources SWE has to offer.


Nine members of the club, along with Dr. Dmitriy Kalantarov, chair of the Division of Mathematics, Engineering Technologies & Computer Sciences, headed up to SWE’s recent conference in Providence, Rhode Island.


Was the trek worthwhile?


“Being with such amazing women gives me the inspiration to keep going, since it teaches me that nothing is impossible, that with dedication and great people we can achieve our goals and dreams,” said club member Angela Castillo upon her return to campus. “It was an incredible experience.”

Group shot of ECC delegation



ECC club President Loretta Amaral, a Mechanical Engineering major, spearheaded formation of the group and its subsequent SWE recognition. She was inspired to form the club in order to get more women involved in the sciences.


“I am very glad for this experience” Loretta said. “It was my first time attending a local conference, and I really enjoyed because it is much easier to network with employers and SWE Leaders. Hopefully it will become a yearly event for ECC students.”


According to Dr. Kalantarov, “I was very proud to see how professional our students were. Events like this really help boost the students’ confidence knowing that they are on the same level, if not higher, than their fellow engineers from around the country.”


The other ECC students all gave glowing reviews of the conference.


Esther Fields: “The conference gave me an opportunity to learn about leadership and responsibility. It also provided the chance to network with some inspiring role models in the same technical field as myself.”


Alyssa Maquiling: “After being taught how to present myself as a professional, having my resume updated, and learning how to find a research position as a student, I believe attending this event was highly advantageous and I am satisfied with the whole experience.”


Karla Jaramillo: “As a collegiate and as woman in engineering I was honored to be surrounded by numerous talented and outstanding professionals. I had an amazing time learning, networking, meeting with mentors, and getting a little glimpse of the professional field. This experience exceed all my expectations.”


Sena Dzirasa: “The SWE conference enlightened me and gave me an opportunity to meet other women who I can look up to as an inspiration in my career and life as a whole. Knowing that other women like myself have achieved so much has proven to me that I, too, can reach far and beyond the sky.”


Yazmin Villalba: “It was a great opportunity to meet experts in my field, listen to their suggestions, observe and understand how they work. I have benefited very much from this fantastic event.”


Yelitza Perez: “I want to give thanks for the opportunity to go to the Women in STEM conference. It was an amazing experience and an eye opener. It gave me a better understanding of how incredible my career in the future could be.


Sylvia Paredes: “It’s the first time I attended to a conference like this one. It was a great experience that taught me so much. Seen those women who accomplish their goals inspired me to keep following mine.

Thanks for the opportunity Women in STEM Club!”









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