SEAS Hosts Reception at Society of Women Engineers Conference

Vicki Gumtow, left, greets students at the conference on Oct. 25.  (Photo by Eleanor Kaufman)

Vicki Gumtow, left, greets students at the conference on Oct. 25  (photo by Eleanor Kaufman).

On Friday, Oct. 25, GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) hosted a reception for alumnae and students during the annual Society of Women Engineers conference in Baltimore, MD.

During the event, more than 40 Colonials met for drinks, food, and lively conversation at the Hyatt Regency overlooking the Inner Harbor.  Vicki Gumtow, SEAS BS ‘91, welcomed the group to Baltimore.  Gumtow is co-founder, along with her husband Karl Gumtow, SEAS BS ’92, of the Baltimore-based cybersecurity company CyberPoint International.

When she began her studies at GW, Gumtow was one of a handful of women studying at SEAS.

“I remember sitting in the first physics lecture class—there were about 100 of us because all the students had to take physics,” Gumtow reflected. “I remember looking around and all I saw were boys, and maybe four or five girls. That was really striking to me.”

Today, according to the most recent data available from the American Society of Engineering Education, SEAS ranks fifth nationally for the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to women.

“I just think the school is doing a fantastic job enrolling women,” said Gumtow. “Kudos to GW for spending so much time and effort recruiting women!”

Conference attendee Carrie O’Quinn, SEAS MS ’04, shared that there were many memorable moments during her graduate school career.

“The program itself was so amazing and the research that I was able to do was unlike anything I would have gotten at any other university,” she explained. “I was able to work with NASA and work on research projects; those experiences were so unique to the program.”

Before the event concluded, SEAS professor Julie Ryan spoke to the group about the support women in engineering are able to offer each other as they move through their careers.

Ryan’s words clearly echoed with future alumna, Rhiannon Scanlon, SEAS BS ’14. “I had a wonderful time, and gained so much from the opportunity,” the student said. “Seeing SEAS alumnae so eager to give back and help the next generation of emerging engineers was inspiring, and I cannot wait to be one myself.”

–Buthaina Shukri

For more information about the SEAS alumni community, visit:

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