Phi Sigma Rho brings female engineering majors together
In a male dominated field of engineering, Pi Sigma Rho brings female engineering majors together to help them feel empowered and motivated in an out of the classroom.
“Engineering is very difficult and the amount of women in engineering is very small, it’s a man’s field,” said Paige Crosset, bio systems engineering senior and president of Phi Sigma Rho. “(Phi Sigma Rho) has given me a group of women to help support me through engineering.”
Phi Sigma Rho was founded as a national sorority in 1984, and was recognized as a chapter at MSU in 2012. The sorority is exclusively for engineering majors and offers an outlet for women who become overwhelmed with the strenuous work load of engineering, said Leah Shaheen, applied engineering sciences junior.
Phi Sigma Rho partners with Girl Scouts and the American Cancer Society. Crosset said the sorority does community service events like Relay For Life, visiting retirement homes and making letters for soldiers.
Not only does this sorority participate in community service and social events, but they also help each other survive classes, studying and homework. The sorority has an unofficial mentor program where the older women offer help and support to the younger women, said bio systems engineering senior and founder of Phi Sigma Rho at MSU, Rachel Kurzeja.
“It makes (the freshmen) more confident when they know there are other women in engineering that they can relate to,” said Kurzeja. “It kind of gives the other girls role models or people just to be there and encourage them, like ‘I’ve been there.’”
Shaheen said that society creates the thought of engineering as a man’s job. “Growing up in general, you hear engineering and it’s always related to as males,” she said. “No one really specifies women because it just hasn’t been in the vocabulary for all these years.”
The sorority is trying to end the stereotype of engineering being primarily for men. “I think we can help change that perception of (engineering) and have it be a more equalized field,” Shaheen said.
Phi Sigma Rho is hosting a spring Rush for 2015, beginning on January 26. The sorority will have a meet and greet, board game night, crafts and more.
“The sorority has helped me continue my engineering degree, but with having all the sisters around and having women to turn to that are going through the same thing has kept me to stick with it,” said Shaheen.