Month: November 2015

Hand It to Those You Care About

Three weeks ago, the Women’s Center and Center for International Programs hosted a Women’s Tea, like we do for the first Thursday of every month. It’s a time to sit down with other women, international and domestic, and give yourself a few minutes in the day to breathe. During this particular tea, we also talked about what and who we are thankful for. And how weird it is to write the names of those you care about on paper fingers that are supposed to be turkey feathers.

Remember to take time to remind yourself what you have in your life – and not just one day of the year. Maybe tell someone they’re one of your chubby paper fingers.

The next Women’s Tea will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 on the second floor of Alumni Hall.

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Don’t Stay Thirsty, My Friends

It’s easy to forget one of the most important components to your health: WATER. The University of Dayton faculty/staff Wellness Program shares seven reasons why you should drink up:

1.    Almost 60 percent of the body’s weight is water, and hydrating helps take care of your overall health.
2.    Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. By maintaining these fluids, the body is able to better regulate functions such as digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation of nutrients, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrient, and maintenance of body temperature.
3.    Water can help control calorie intake. While drinking water itself does not have a magic benefit on weight loss, drinking water can help people feel full longer and without adding extra calories to the diet. Additionally, foods that are high in water content look larger, require more chewing, and are absorbed more slowly, which also helps the body to feel full. Some of these foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
4.    Water helps to energize muscles. If muscles are not properly hydrated, the fluids and electrolytes in them deplete, leading to muscle fatigue. Exercise performance is greatly reduced whenever muscles have been depleted of water and electrolytes, making fitness goals difficult to reach at times. Additionally, proper hydration during and after exercise will decrease muscle fatigue and increase energy.
5.    Water helps keep skin looking healthy. Because the skin contains plenty of water, dehydration makes skin look more dry and wrinkled. With proper hydration, the dry and wrinkled skin will smooth out. But do not be fooled into believing that over-hydration will ease fine lines and wrinkles. Once the skin is properly hydrolyzed, the kidneys will take over and will excrete excess fluids.
6.    Water helps the kidneys. The main toxin of the body, blood urea nitrogen, passes through the kidneys before being excreted as waste. By drinking plenty of water, the kidneys are able to flush these toxins out of the body. Those who chronically do not drink enough water may be at a higher risk of kidney stones.
7.    Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Proper hydration keeps things flowing along the gastrointestinal track. Whenever the body is not properly hydrated, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration, which results in constipation.

Adequate hydration is extremely important to body function and overall health. Even mild dehydration can cause tiredness and fatigue. The best way to monitor if you are getting enough fluids is to monitor your urine output (once every two-four hours) and the color of your urine. The color should be similar to a manila file folder. In order to prevent dehydration, some general tips suggest drinking a glass of water with each meal and between each meal, as well as before, during, and after exercise. Some may be concerned about over-hydration, but this is a rare condition for healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

‘SWE Sounding Board’: It Takes Two

With the SWE Conference being my first professional conference ever, I was extremely anxious. After all, a concentrated amount of passionate, professional women in one place at one time is a bit intimidating.

To prepare, I learned more about the Society of Women Engineers and attended a session discussing how to effectively work with men and women in a professional environment—featuring a panel of professional men.

The main idea of the session boiled down to the power of effective leadership, whether you’re a woman or a man. In order for a team in any environment to function, a leader needs to ensure that everyone on that team, man or woman, is included and that everyone’s voice is being heard. I think that was an important takeaway from the conference:

It’s a two-gender issue.

Yes, professional women need to know how to approach situations of gender discrimination in the work place and integrate their voices into a team, but professional men also need to be aware that gender preferences and prejudices are sometimes conducted automatically, without much thought. Men also need the education about how to approach these situations with other coworkers.

Trying to fix this issue by solely educating the women is like sailing against the current. However, by incorporating both genders into that education, we will see much smoother sailing.

If you – regardless of your gender – want to learn more about what to do once you get the job, sign up for tonight’s $tart $mart Salary Negotiation workshop.

‘SWE Sounding Board’: These Women’s Work

Have you ever wondered what you will do or what you will become after getting your engineering degree?

Well, I have thought about it a million times. And I never come up with an answer.

After meeting 8,500-plus women engineers under the same roof of WE ’15—all of whom have achieved/are achieving great things in various fields—I have an idea.
I had my doubts when I registered for the conference…

Will I enjoy it?
Will I learn something useful?
Will anyone be interested in networking with me?

The answers to each of those questions was “YES.” It was much more than what I had expected.

I am not an extrovert so talking with several people was strange and difficult, but the ambiance made it quite easy.

The conference had diverse sessions based on leadership, career, cultural awareness, technical innovations, graduate students, etc.

I was intrigued by one of the technical sessions based on “gamification of demand response.” The presentation was done by a utility company that provided electricity to one of the counties in New York and uses games to reduce the electricity consumption of customers in the summer.

It was inspirational to see a panel of women engineers who are successful in both their professional and personal life. It never occurred to me that it was possible for a woman to be a chairperson of an XXX company and also be a mom of four kids. It was amazing what these women have already achieved and what they went through to reach that position.

This conference has provided me with one strong take-home message: As a woman, I can get everything I want if I work hard for it.