2019 INSPIRE AWARD WINNERS

Overall Strongest

Drexel University

01 Overall Strongest Drexel

The SASE Drexel Chapter puts tremendous effort into shaping their chapter for continued growth and success. By bringing in a diverse selection of professional and cultural events to their members, hosting at least 15 events each term, garnering over 300 hours of community service, and overseeing the first SASE Junior Chapter, SASE Central, for the third year in a row, they have increased attendance numbers, outreach, and made an impact in their community. Kicking off the year with 122 people at their first general body meeting, they hosted a variety of events such as Mental Wellness Workshops, workshops discussing AAPI identity, personal growth workshops, and workshops to heighten professional skills. By hosting an event every day during SASE Spirit Week, they had a total of over 200 sign-ins for this week, making it their most successful Spirit Week to date. By revamping their mentorship program, they increased mentorship sign-ups by 42% this year, and had a total of over 1000 sign-ins from events from this year alone.

For success tips, they suggest thinking outside the box and re-evaluating everything your chapter does each year. Take the summer, or any time of the year, to think about how to improve your chapter, from the bylaws, to how e-board meetings are run, how events should be planned, and define and push the goals that your chapter wants to meet each year. They also suggest setting goals for your general members to reach, where upon achieving them, they can gain added benefits from your SASE chapter. For example, after implementing an event quota for people to vote and run in e-board elections this year, their chapter’s event attendance, membership numbers, community service hours, and e-board applications, rose tremendously. Giving potential general members a goal to accomplish within the organization will not only make them feel like they are a part of the group, but will also increase overall attendance and involvement for your chapter.

Overall Strongest - Honorable Mention

Stevens Institute of Technology

02 Overall Strongest HM Stevens

It’s easy to become complacent once you go through a period of growth and grab a taste of success. Now in its sixth year of operation, Stevens SASE has grown tremendously from the small chapter it was in its infancy. From a small, but dedicated group of students to one of the largest active membership bases in the region, Stevens SASE now stands as one of the veteran chapters in the Northeast region.

There are two main struggles that most chapters face. The first is convincing students to join SASE. The second is making sure they stay and continue to be active. Stevens SASE is no stranger to these issues, but through the years, we have found solutions that have resulted in the chapter’s current state today. Primarily, Stevens SASE has a strong focus on quality and consistent event programming. Every single general body meeting and event is put in place the semester before and we make sure that our members can get something of value each time. General body meetings can range from professional workshops given by upperclassmen to alumni and faculty panels, while events involve large networking dinners or a cultural showcase along with other Asian cultural organizations on campus. Afterwards, we look at what went well and what can be improved in order to refine events for future semesters.

The other major focus of Stevens SASE is to make sure that every member of this chapter feels like a part of a large family. While we do have programs like the mentor/mentee pairings each year, those are meaningless if no other interaction takes place. It’s the small conversations and daily encounters that built the strong relationships that exist in our chapter. Board members and upperclassmen make it a point to break away from their usual friend groups and greet new faces each year, making sure that anyone coming to our events will always have a familiar face to go to. Without this, Stevens SASE would not be able to maintain its growth and membership thus far. It’s important to stress how important both of these aspects are in conjunction with each other. Without proper planning for events, there’s no time to get to know your members. You’ll either be too busy worrying about the event or they’ll stop showing up altogether. On the other hand, no interaction with the general body will leave them uninterested and unattached to the organization and the people involved.

The best advice is to start small. It can be daunting to try to plan an entire semester, so start with one event. Focus on a few objective goals that you want to achieve with that event, whether it’s making time to interact with members or being able to impart valuable information in a fun and interactive manner. Afterwards, reflect and see what you can improve on or keep for the next events. It’ll take time to grow, but we already had six years to learn and grow to this point. Hopefully, it’ll take newer chapters less time to surpass us.

 

Most Improved

University of Houston

03 Most Improved UH

From serving various ethnic foods at our meetings to starting the first SASE Jr. chapters in the region, SASE-UH has always proven to uphold the 3 pillars. We’ve held multiple professional development events, in collaboration with other engineering organizations, that helped our members in developing their communication and networking skills. At our General Meetings, we were grateful to represent countries all over Asia by serving Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese food. This year, we volunteered with Project C.U.R.E. to prepare medical equipment for 3rd World Countries. We also participated in the Chevron Girls in Engineering and Circle K International’s Mini Cougar Einstein event, exposing young students to STEM related activities. To promote inclusiveness, we established a Dynasty system where members could socialize within smaller groups. Lastly, we established two SASE Jr. chapters, providing high school students with leadership opportunities and professional development workshops.

All of us have asked or been asked the infamous question: “What advice do you have for me?” At first, we take the advice we hear and work towards implementing it into our lives. Eventually, we find ourselves on the other side, now giving back advice to someone else in our footsteps. This cycle continues forever with information being passed on from one generation to the next. But what if it didn’t? This brings us to the one piece of advice we’d like to present. That is to simply keep giving. In a world where there is already so much hurt, anger, and resentment, why add to it? We’re supposed to be helping each other up, yet we see so much of putting each other down. We challenge everybody to take something you’ve learned along your journey thus far and pass it on to ensure that the cycle of giving back will always continue.

Most Improved - Honorable Mention

Rochester Institute of Technology

04 Most Improved HM RIT

Started in 2014, SASE RIT was created to build leaders in the Asian American community. In addition to reinforcing the National organization’s mission, we sought to help our members feel at home when away from home. We created our own goals to ensure we would always be moving forward as a chapter. Within the five years that we've been on campus, we have collaborated and co-hosted events with many different organizations along with other minority clubs, held countless professional events to prepare our members entering the workforce, and volunteered with multiple organizations along with donations to charity where we gave back directly to the Rochester community. For example, we have the opportunity of a large deaf culture in RIT because of the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) and this allowed us to bring the hearing and deaf community together to recognize and accept each other’s identities. This was completed through our collaborations with the Asian Deaf Club on American Sign language and Resume workshop. We have also committed to reaching out to a high school on a weekly basis so as to teach Python to a group of students as an afterschool activity. This enforced the SASE Jr initiative, in hopes that a programming project can open their eyes to the STEM field. For our members, several general body meetings were held that were catered in preparing for the Career Fair held on campus. The workshops focused on improving one’s resume, learning technicalities of an elevator speech, and establishing one’s presence during an interview. All these efforts has aided in making SASE known on campus and the more people acknowledgment about us, the more people we can help. College isn't an easy step for most, therefore learning to understand what your members want, we believe, is most important.

 

Most Influential

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

05 Most Influential VT

SASE at VT is very proud of the growth we have had in membership, event planning and our overall organization. It has been a great year that has really set a foundation for us to continue to grow and evolve as a chapter. This year, we have a total over 82 paying members that are active throughout the organization. We organized and executed on our biggest event yet, a Formals with an attendance of over 80 people. Our campus presence is the largest it has ever been from our effective advertising and recruitment. The connections between us and different Asian and Engineering organizations are much stronger with joint events being more and more common. We are very proud of our Nationals and SCRC attendance rate as we able to bring out more than 15 students to Nationals every year. Our biggest achievement, however is the creation and continuous fostering of the sense of community and family that we have at our chapter. Our members are able to come to our events and feel like they have a place away from their stressful college lives that is among friends who understand the struggles they are going through. The biggest piece of advice we can give to other chapters is to strive and create this culture. Having that strong sense of community between members is what drives membership, events, and the overall strength of your chapter.

Most Influential - Honorable Mention

The Ohio State University

06 Most Influential HM OSU

SASE OSU was established in 2008 with the goal to create a community that is empowering and safe to all Asian scientists and engineers within the local Columbus community. We are determined to uphold the pillars of SASE to allow our members to feel empowered in their education and employment so that they can achieve their full career potential. SASE OSU has been actively hosting events that provides networking, leadership, and volunteering opportunities. We develop our events to provide a welcoming space not only for our members to develop professionally but also for a diverse community to call home. This enables members to translate their learnings and achievements to give back to the OSU or local community.

Most Philanthropic

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

07 Most Philanthropic UMN

SASE UMN has always strived to empower the Asian student community at the University of Minnesota with every event we hold and every program we offer. We recognize the importance of diversity not only within the Asian heritage community, but also throughout the entire College of Science and Engineering. Minority empowerment comes from a united front. That is why SASE UMN has expanded our focus on our cultural events, such as exploring the different cultural meanings behind the ubiquitous dumpling from India, to Tibet, to China. This is why we sought out professional collaborations with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers on the UMN campus to host companies in order to give opportunities to all minority students.

Much of our success lies in the new and exciting ideas generated by our increasingly diverse pool of members. These new and different ideas is what drives innovation and it is what makes SASE UMN a leader in the College of Science and Engineering. SASE UMN works hard to be a community that is open to everyone who wants to learn about Asian culture, strengthen their technical skills, and grow as an individual. SASE UMN is incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award and will strive to continue to uphold our mindset and vision to inspire and strengthen SASE’s mission not only in the Midwest Region, but to all the chapters nationwide.

Most Philanthropic - Honorable Mention

University of Florida

08 Most Philanthropic HM UF

The University of Florida (UF) chapter of the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineer is proud to produce remarkable leaders every year, with alumni hailing from California to Pennsylvania. UF SASE is home to the 2018 Emerging Leader Jackie Lu and 2018 SASE Hack Winner Victor Lin. From mentoring programs to professional development to philanthropic endeavors throughout the whole year, this organization strives to create well-rounded and strong-minded individuals that can serve as leaders no matter the workplace. This organization firmly believes in quality over quantity, having a chemistry between its board and members that is unlike no other. For new chapters, UF SASE advises to always think big, because attitude is what determines altitude. To succeed, the leaders of that organization must be in a mindset that they will succeed and failure not being an option. UF SASE also recommends to start getting comfortable being uncomfortable, because the road to success is always under construction. There will always be new obstacles to face, but with a strong mentality shared by leaders who care about the present and the future, the limits to what can be achieved are boundless.