Thursday, February 3, 2011

Student Spotlight: Engineering Sorority and Scholarships

Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Pasquesi and I am a PhD student in Bioengineering here at Penn. As an undergraduate, I majored in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). During my time at UIUC, I had the great fortune of being involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon, a social and professional sorority for women in engineering and technical sciences. I can honestly say that joining A.O.E. is one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Many of you may be thinking “… sorority? …engineering?” and to be honest, that’s what a lot of our members think when they initially discover A.O.E. but let me explain: A.O.E. is not your typical sorority. Our Ideals and Objectives state that we promote friendship, leadership, and professionalism in all that we do, but what we embody is so much more than those three words. During my years as an undergraduate member, I always found comfort in having a group of girls who shared many of my same interests and classes at a big university in a curriculum where females are often a rarity. I always had someone to confide in, study with, or go out and have fun with. Needless to say, A.O.E. was a huge part of my life as a college undergraduate.

As previously mentioned, Alpha Omega Epsilon is both social and professional, meaning we hold events to help in our professional development as well as others that allow us to relax and have fun. It is truly the best of both worlds! Some professional events I participated in included resume building workshops, lunches with university professors, informational nights with large engineering corporations, business etiquette dinners, and panel discussions with career women on topics such as balancing work and family life. On the other hand, social events included activities with campus fraternities such as dinner and salsa or swing dancing, Halloween pumpkin carving, bowling, Super Bowl parties, and much more.

Another, and perhaps the most important aspect of my experience in Alpha Omega Epsilon is our sisterhood. In my undergraduate chapter, we would go out to dinner or hold our own potlucks, visit apple orchards in the fall, participate in various philanthropic and community service events, and study for exams together, among other activities. In addition, we have 25 active chapters and 2 colonies across the U.S. and Canada, and our annual convention each summer has allowed me to make friendships and network with other Alpha Omega Epsilon sisters –all of who are women in engineering and technical professions – outside of my undergraduate and graduate school experience. We also have a very active alumnae network, and I am fortunate enough to be serving as the chair for this summer’s convention in Philly!

Finally, one other really cool thing about A.O.E. is our National Foundation, a non-profit organization associated with the Sorority which primarily focuses on academic development programs, professional and leadership development programs, volunteer development programs, and organizational grants. The Alpha Omega Epsilon National Foundation provides grants and scholarships to women in engineering and technical sciences (you do not need to be a member of the Sorority to apply for or receive a scholarship/grant).

As a TA this fall, some of my students expressed some interest in forming a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon here at Penn. To help get the word out, I will be holding a few Alpha Omega Epsilon information sessions for any interested women in the next few weeks here on campus. The first will be Monday, February 7th, 6-7pm, 307 Levine, and the second will be Tuesday, February 15th, 6:30-7:30pm, 307 Levine. Light refreshments will be served! I hope to see many of you there!

If you can’t make these times, but are still interested in hearing more, please don’t hesitate to contact me at I also encourage you all to view our website at Our National Foundation’s website is located at if you would like more information on grant and scholarship opportunities we provide to the general public.

With so much going on, the beauty of Alpha Omega Epsilon is that it provides many opportunities for growth in different areas. Whether you are looking for professional development, new friendships, service opportunities, or someone to study with, A.O.E. offers it all and so much more. I look forward to meeting you all!

1 comment:

  1. Love in Sisterhood to you! Congrats and Carnations to the colony members at UPenn :)