Skip to content Skip to navigation

Lysha Matsunobu


Mechanical Engineering

May 2017
Next year I will be the president of the Society of Women Engineers at Stanford (SWE). I joined SWE as an intern my freshman year, and each step of the way I always thought, maybe I just want to be a SWE member and nothing else, which would have been totally fine and fun.

But every time election season came around I would talk to older members and learn about new facets of the organization that I wanted to be a part of. Support from my leadership predecessors in SWE has helped me become the leader that I am now.

Recently we hosted an event called Science is SWEet. We had about 100 elementary school students attend. I led a group of girls who built a solar oven out of pizza boxes. When we were done, we celebrated by cooking s’mores in the ovens. The girls had a blast and so did I. When I was their age, I remember thinking college seemed so far off in the distance, but I truly think it’s never too early to get exposed to the ideas in engineering and STEM. I enjoy these outreach activities because I can pass along messages of encouragement to the next generation of students.

SWE has three goals. The first is outreach. We do K-12 programs with schools in the Bay Area. We encourage young girls to think about their future pathways. The second goal is internal, where we develop community through events and fun get-togethers. And finally, we develop partnerships externally with corporate sponsors. Another event we host is Evening with Industry, where SWE members sit down with professional engineers in a formal dinner setting. At the last event, I sat with a Stanford alum and got to ask her questions about what her daily life is like. It helped me start thinking of my professional life after I graduate. In addition to that, we bring in representatives from different companies to talk about how they got where they are now. It’s fascinating and helpful to see and hear firsthand about all of the different pathways in engineering.

Amanda Law

Related Spotlights