Friday, September 14, 2012

AWE Pre-Orientation Recap: Welcome Class of 2016

Before many of their classmates arrived on campus, 76 of the women in Penn Engineering’s class of 2016 were hard at work and hard at play in Philadelphia. The Fifth Annual Advancing Women in Engineering (AWE) Pre-Orientation commenced on August 27th, 2012 with a warm welcome from Michele Grab, director of AWE, and the 19 volunteers who participated in the program their freshman year and as counselors in past years. In the action-packed three days that followed, Penn’s newest, eager engineers participated in activities around campus and center city Philadelphia, absorbed advice from faculty and students, and bonded with their peers to kick-off their Penn experience.

After the opening ceremonies, as well as indulging in a delicious buffet dinner (following in true AWE style), Penn’s newest engineers teamed up with their peers and put their building skills to work.   The girls were divided into teams and sent on the famous AWE tradition: The AWE Scavenger Hunt. Through a series of puzzles located throughout the engineering buildings, the teams worked together to solve the mystery of who kidnapped a SEAS Professor while also learning their way around SEAS! Who was the culprit? Only the participants know the truth!

After a full day of learning almost 100 names and faces, taking a campus tour, and running throughout the engineering campus solving puzzles, everyone was ready to power up and hit the town. It was time indulge in dinner and dessert, complete with Philadelphia’s Tastykakes and Peanut Chews, before embarking on their first subway ride to Citizens Bank Park for a Phillies game. The weather was picture perfect for exploring the ballpark with new friends and taking in the timeless, classic-Philly atmosphere. Phillies fans new and old went wild when Ryan Howard hit a grand slam in the first inning – something many long time Phillies fans have never seen!

Day two gave the women the opportunity to ask questions and absorb the sage advice from professors Dr. Karen Winey and Dr. Susan Margulies and to embark on their second adventure into center city for a Philadelphia Trolley Tour and lunch at Reading Terminal Market.

On Thursday morning at the closing brunch, the girls were given words of wisdom and send-off advice from Dean Glandt, alumni, and AWE Director Michele. The women of AWE hope to see the participants and all new women engineers of the class of 2016 continue to participate in AWE throughout their Penn experience and maybe even volunteer as a counselor next year! We hope you have new friends, advice and memories to last all four years at Penn – and a lifetime. Thanks for participating and making it both enjoyable and successful!

Questions about pre-orientation?  Contact us at

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