Envision Alumni Edition Fall 2018
James Swantek: youngest chair of EAS
Engineering Alumni Society Promoting Student and Alumni Success with New Chair
By Brad Stager
When James R. Swantek recently assumed the role as chair of the Engineering Alumni Society (EAS), he brought a business perspective to go along with his enthusiasm for promoting student success. He is a business development specialist with Seven Seas Water, a water services company providing outsourced desalination and wastewater reuse services. Swantek is the youngest chair of EAS and will serve for two years.
EAS awards student scholarships as well as financial support for academic-related travel with money raised through special activities like its annual Bullarney fundraiser – a gala featuring themed food stations and cocktails, music, a silent auction, prize drawings, games and other entertainment.
The organization also provides opportunities for alumni engagement, such as tailgating at USF football games, participating in USF’s homecoming parade and attending Bulls Session networking events.
Swantek graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2015 and, after attending Bullarney that year, became aware of student leadership opportunities at EAS. At the time, he was looking to build on his student leadership experiences with the USF chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and as president of the USF Engineering Council.
“That’s why I wanted to be a part of EAS,” he said. “I could see a lot of potential there for doing a lot of good for the students.”
Growth and mentorship are high on Swantek’s agenda for EAS, as they were with his prior student positions. In order to involve College of Engineering alumni from around the world with EAS, the alumni society is actively developing ways for alumni to participate digitally.
“There are a lot of Bulls positively impacting the world through engineering, and we want to make sure they remain connected and engaged,” he said.
Swantek said that hosting alumni events is a lot of work, so formally recognizing the efforts of volunteers through Volunteer of the Year awards and Green and Gold Impact awards is an important feature of EAS culture.
Service to alumni is one of the ways Swantek said EAS can have an impact on the USF community.
“Whether it’s professional development through leadership workshops, networking or whatever the alumni think will help them, we’ll be looking for opportunities to provide it,” he said.
You can learn more about the latest USF Engineering Alumni Society events and activities by checking its Facebook page.