Introducing the E-Fest Leadership Program

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So much goes into planning an E-Fest. From securing sponsors and speakers, to competition run of shows and venue logistics. The planning is a highly coordinated effort between ASME staff, volunteers, the host school, and dozens of other teams. I was first introduced to this during the preparation for the inaugural E-Fest West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2017.

As the chapter president of UNLV’s ASME student chapter, I became our planning student lead. Primarily focused on assisting in the planning of the weekend festivities and securing volunteers, it was a lot of hard work. Seeing it come together the weekend of E-Fest, however, was unlike anything I’d ever been a part of before.

This past December I graduated and joined ASME full-time in the role of coordinator, Student & Early Career Engagement & Experience. The position focuses on engagement with students and early career professionals to improve their ASME experience. One of my first tasks, when I came on board, was to work with the E-Fest team to help execute the current cycle of E-Fests. It was during this work that I met this year’s student leaders.

In the months leading up to E-Fest, these students had a huge amount of responsibility, which included identifying and securing all volunteers and judges, sitting in on a multitude of calls with the ASME staff, university faculty, and volunteer committees, and coordinating with local businesses and vendors to finalize logistics. Then during the event, they also volunteered their entire weekend to fill in where needed. This often meant waking up early to help set up and staying late to assist in next day’s preparation.

The students were doing this while balancing their regular mechanical engineering student responsibilities. This meant dealing with intensive course loads, midterms, senior design projects, internships, post-graduation plans, and whatever else gets thrown their way during their degree program. Nevertheless, they volunteered without expecting any recognition or benefits.

As a mechanical engineering graduate, and someone who had been in their exact position one year ago, I knew exactly the kind of commitment these students had to ASME. To recognize their selfless commitment and efforts, ASME has launched the E-Fest Leadership program this year.

This one-year program consists of outstanding E-Fest student leaders from our two U.S. based 2018 E-Fests. As part of the program, they will make up the E-Fest student advisory panel, write about their experiences for the website, and assist in 2019 E-Fest planning. In the upcoming weeks, you’ll be seeing articles from them sharing their E-Fest experiences.

It is my pleasure to be heading up the program and introduce this year’s E-Fest leaders. From California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, we have Isabel Gutierrez, Trisha Satish, and Mirza Wali Ali Baig.
From The Pennsylvania State University, we have Marie Horomanski, Jennifer Lynskey, and Matthew Semanick.

Without these students, E-Fests would not have been possible.  

Valentina Alayon is ASME’s Coordinator, Student & Early Career Engagement & Experience.