SWIG's activities are focused in three areas: advocacy, support and outreach


In the area of advocacy, SWIG strives to serve as a mediating body between its membership and the administrative structures of the University and larger academic community. We advocate for the needs of women in geography, promote activities to raise awareness and create dialogue on key issues, as well as strive for concrete changes in policy and procedures that will better address the needs of women. For example, SWIG was instrumental in instituting the New Child Policy.


In the area of support, SWIG fosters both formal and informal systems of mentoring with regular social functions as well as professional development seminars and invited speakers.

  • Speakers: SWIG sponsors a variety of opportunities for members to interact with academics and professionals inside and outside the field. In particular, the speaker committee arranges lunch with female Geography Coffee Hour speakers to offer relaxed and open interaction. Each semester SWIG sponsors an additional speaker for a presentation, discussion, and dinner. We also assist with other speaker events sponsored by other organizations, and we occasionally invite lecturers to our monthly meetings.
  • Potluck Meals: Potluck meals are always tasty, and they offer us time to socialize in an informal setting. Spouses, significant others, friends, and children are always welcome at these events.
  • Professional development: SWIG organizes professional development workshops according to student needs and interest. Past events have included panel discussions on women in fieldwork and balancing academic careers and family life.: SWIG is involved in promoting the discipline of geography and serving the broader community.


  • SYWIG Day: SYWIG (Supporting Young Women in Geography) Day is a day where we bring in middle school and high school girls to participate in a variety of activities that reflect the importance, interest, and excitement associated with Geography. These activities include exploring the Vegetation Dynamics Lab to learn about tree rings and the effects of forest fires on vegetation, learning about the stream table using an in-class simulation, ;earning how to do participatory mapping, among others.
  • Centre County Women's Resource Center "Steps to Safety" 5K Walk/Run: For several years SWIG has been one of the highest fundraising groups for the 5K Walk/Run. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and speak out against violence against women by congregating in public and walking or running 5 kilometers. All proceeds go toward the Women's Resource Center.
  • Alumni Relations: We want to encourage continued communication with those who have been a part of our organization in the past as well as those who have graduated from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and support us. Support for SWIG outside of this academic institution is key to our success.