AOE Celebrates 25 Years of Engineering Sisterhood
On November 13, 2008 Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), the professional and social sorority for female engineers, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The sorority is more than just a club, though; it strives to promote and assist the advancement of female engineers and to develop lifetime bonds between its members.
Founded at Marquette University in 1983, AOE now spans throughout the United States with chapters at 24 universities to date. The creation of the University of Maryland Colony, allowed 18 women to establish the Upsilon Chapter in spring 2006. This number has expanded to 50 active sisters. Under the watchful eye of newly instated President Cassie Vose (Civil Engineering ‘09), the Upsilon Chapter continues to preserve the standards and ideals that AOE instilled 25 years ago. Vose believes that while there are some organizations with the goal of assisting female engineering advancement, AOE offers something special. Vose comments, “We are held together by sisterhood and friendship. Joining AOE has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college.”
Throughout the year, Alpha Omega Epsilon sponsors many engineering events, such as Career Day. Ranging from professional engineers to motivational speakers, the members are educated on engineering related topics. One of their most successful engineering events is their participation in Maryland Day, at which AOE took home the Kids Choice Award and Most Creative Award for their hand-crafted Non-Newtonian Fluid pool exhibit last spring. These events give AOE a chance to present not only the academic side to engineering, but also the fun side. While Alpha Omega Epsilon sponsors many events that relate to engineering, they also have many social and philanthropic events. The organization sponsors an annual Date Auction, which raises money for cancer research, and participates in Relay for Life and Saturday of Service events.
One of the most important missions of Alpha Omega Epsilon is to maintain a support system amongst its members. Engineering is a difficult major, one made harder for females, as they are in the minority. Thus, AOE’s role is important; it gives women the opportunity to be among others they can easily relate to. Alaina Nigro (Aerospace Engineering ‘10) believes that “without the weekly meetings and events I would definitely feel lost in the major. There are so few girls in engineering and AOE really helps me connect with other girls facing similar pressures and goals.” As a result, Alpha Omega Epsilon helps alleviate some of the daily stresses the members face.
AOE actively recruits female engineering and computer science majors at the Fall Engineering Picnic and at the beginning of each semester. For more information about the sorority, please visit the University of Maryland chapter at http://www.studentorg.umd.edu/aoes/.
--Lauren Frye, Mechanical Engineering Student Reporter