Published: April 10, 2019 By

CU and CSU volunteers who organized the leadership summit.

CU and CSU student volunteers who organized this year's summit in Coloardo.

More than 300 engineering students gathered in Colorado in March at the annual conference of the National Association of Engineering Student Councils. For the first time, students at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University joined forces to co-host the two-day leadership summit, which is entirely student produced. 

Engineering Leadership Program senior Catherine Witt, who serves as the president of the CU Engineering Council, played a lead role in organizing the conference with CSU. “Our schools are traditionally rivals,” Witt said, “but we felt that by collaborating, we could bring greater attention to our state’s strengths in engineering and innovation.” 

Student leaders from 60 schools across the country, all members of their engineering student councils, had access to professional development and leadership training in topics ranging from collaborative communication and team building to implicit bias and engineering ethics. Students also interacted with industry leaders from across the spectrum of engineering disciplines and participated in 35 different peer sessions to exchange ideas on the most pressing challenges confronting universities. 

“One of the big things we talked about was how to build a sense of community, keep students in engineering and give them a place to call home,” said Witt. 

CU’s Undergraduate Engineering Council is a cross-disciplinary team of engineering students who represent engineering student interests to the college administration and to University of Colorado Student Government. 

The council coordinates some of the most vibrant and well-attended activities at the college: Engineering Week in February and Engineering Immersion in the fall and spring. These events bring student groups and partners from across campus to the college to promote opportunities for involvement and host activities that help students find and create community.