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SASE Regional Conference Breaks Records

March 2, 2016

Regional Conference Committee: (left to right) Jenny Cheung, Michael Hu, Lynn Tsao, Deborah Chen, Celine Chin, Liane Wong, Vandana Karan, Derek Tran.

About the Regional Conference Planning Committee and SASE 

Eight Northeastern students made up the core of the regional conference planning committee. Their names are Celine Chin (‘18), Deborah Chen (‘19), Derek Tran (‘19), Jenny Cheung (‘19), Vandana Karan (‘18), Liane Wong (‘17), Michael Hu (‘17), and Lynn Tsao (‘19).

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, or SASE, was founded in 2007 to assist STEM professionals of Asian heritage in achieving their full leadership potential. Northeastern SASE is just one of more than 70 chapters across the nation. Ever since its founding in 2013 by two senior Mechanical Engineering students, Northeastern SASE has continued to grow in membership, events, and its impact on the Boston community.

 

SASE Regional Conference Breaks Records

On February 13th, more than 400 students and professionals from over 22 universities and 16 companies and organizations assembled at Northeastern University to attend the 6th Annual SASE Northeast Regional Conference. This event, hosted by Northeastern SASE and the College of Engineering, was themed “Collaborate, Create, Inspire: We are the Solution.” The theme emphasized the importance of utilizing interdisciplinary experiences and ideas to fuel innovation. Not only did attendees have the opportunity to sit in 15 unique workshops, attendees also listened to two keynote speeches delivered by Prof. Andrew Gouldstone and angel investor David Chang. The conference ended with a networking event featuring 16 companies recruiting for both full-time and internship opportunities.

The day began with opening remarks by the College of Engineering’s very own Dean Richard Harris. Andrew Gouldstone, an associate professor at Northeastern University’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, followed with an energetic keynote speech. Gouldstone related his interests and his experiences of working with capstone students to the overall conference theme, ending with a key piece of advice for all attendees, “Allow yourself to be inspired...you’ve already inspired others.” 

Attendees filling up a lecture hall at the
Product Development workshop sponsored by Fikst.

Throughout the day, workshops and panels focused on working effectively in groups, solving challenges, and helping others achieve their goals by making meaningful and lasting contributions. Workshops were facilitated by various companies, organizations, and Northeastern professors. Attendees also participated in the Cradles to Crayons charity event, during which attendees wrote personalized well-wishes to be attached to donated hats and gloves. Additionally, representatives from corporate sponsors provided resume reviews to more than 100 attendees.

The closing ceremony featured performances by three of Northeastern PAAC’s (Pan Asian American Council) organizations, setting up an energetic mood for the remainder of the conference. The performances were followed by an inspiring keynote speech delivered by David Chang, an entrepreneur and angel investor with product, marketing, and software development experience at over 35 internet and mobile startups including Where (later acquired by Paypal) and Crashlytics (later acquired by Twitter). Focused heavily on entrepreneurship, Chang captivated his audience of science and engineering majors with stories of his own struggles and experiences as a young professional before becoming the successful businessman he is today.

The company networking event provided an exciting end to the conference. Attendees were given the opportunity to establish connections with representatives from the companies and organizations present including Boston Scientific, Jacobs, General Electric and Procter & Gamble. Long lines of undergrads filled up Curry’s indoor quad for the duration of the event.

The regional conference committee worked closely with sub-committee members, Northeastern faculty and staff, the SASE Northeast Regional Team, and SASE chapters from co-sponsoring schools to put together this successful conference. Despite the below freezing temperatures, Northeastern SASE’s conference broke regional conference records for the number of attendees, companies, and organizations present. This conference was also the first to incorporate a high school workshop and second to have corporate sponsorship. The planning committee took this conference’s theme to heart - by collaborating together, they created a conference that will be a source of inspiration for regional conferences to come.

For more information about the conference and the conference planning committee, visit the conference website: http://www.northeastern.edu/sase/conference/about