Walden is pleased to be a continued participant in Hofstra University’s W-SPiCE (Women’s Summer Program in Computer/Engineering) Program. The initiative is designed to increase awareness among the University’s female students about the different careers they could follow with a degree in engineering or computer science.

Nora Brew, P.E., Walden Environmental Engineering (Walden) Vice President, served as Walden’s host and moderator for the virtual presentation. She led the forum for Walden, but most of Walden’s other female engineers, geologists, and environmental scientists also participated. The speakers all explained to the students their career path and what their day-to-day work activities consist of, broadening the students’ understanding of what an environmental consultant does. They ended their time by answering questions and providing valuable career advice. Each one of Walden’s speakers shed some light on the specialized expertise that they bring to the firm in areas like site investigation and remediation, water treatment and supply, Brownfield redevelopments, solid waste management, geothermal energy, research and development, and many others.

Two of the speakers representing Walden at the virtual forum were Nora Brew (pictured standing) and Erica Johnston.

W-SPiCE is a five-week program that connects female students with female professionals at companies specializing in computer science and engineering. The students have an opportunity to hear from women who have excelled in these fields. Perhaps just as useful, the students gain useful contacts in organizations they would not otherwise have. This can be crucial in helping them find a job when they graduate. Additionally, the program helps build leadership, communication, and relationship-building skills.

Most of the students are in their first year at Hofstra, where they are already studying engineering. Still, they have yet to choose a specialty like environmental, civil, mechanical, or electrical. W-SPiCE usually begins with a short winter session, during which time students visit companies in person to talk directly with engineers. However, this year’s session with Walden was held virtually because of the pandemic.

In addition to the obvious—Professional Engineers—Walden also employs environmental scientists, professional geologists, and PhDs, all of whom are experts in their respective fields. “At Walden, nearly half of our professional staff is comprised of women, and they have exceptionally diverse and interesting backgrounds,” said Brew. “I like to think that our staff is proof that women can be engineers and scientists–and excel in whatever particular area they prefer to focus on.”

Walden is proud to continue its support of the next generation of female engineers. Our relationship with Hofstra allows our staff to shine a positive light on the field of engineering. Brew closed with another thought, “Of course, we are disappointed that we could not host the students in our office. But with the spike in recent COVID cases, we decided that it was best to use caution and host the students virtually. Hopefully, next year we will be able to host the group in person.”