Greetings! For anyone unaware, my name is
and I'll be the ASCE Cincinnati Secti
on President for the 2016/2017 program year. In the section below, you can find mo
tion on my professional background, as well as the background of the other ASCE Cincinnati Section Officers that will be doing the majority of the work behind the scenes to bring all of you interesting and engaging events each month.
Since the remainder of this Newsletter focuses on what's happening with the Section, I'd like to start by sharing a little bit of my personal journey about how I came to be in Cincinnati for those of you who don't know me, as it also ties into a major role of ASCE and what I'd like to focus my efforts on during my presidency.
I'm originally from a little town called Cassella, Ohio. If you've never heard of it, don't worry - no one has. Essentially, it's in the middle of nowhere. More specifically, it's approximately two hours North/Northwest of Cincinnati.
- a small farming community formerly known as Dogtown and Frogtown (I'm not making that up) - consists of zero stoplights, a handful of intersections with poor sight-distances in the fall when the crops are up (for you Transportation engineers), and a church.
I myself actually
grew up on a grain and chicken farm, and if you've ever heard the phrase "growing up in a cornfield," that's what I did. Our family farm had a half-mile lane to the nearest road and was surrounded by cornfields... let that sink in for a minute: I literally grew up in the middle of a cornfield.
Despite the fact that to this day I still haven't been able watch Stephen King's Children of the Corn in its entirety, my upbringing and where I come from has always been and always will be a source of pride for me. Shout-out to Cassella!
View of our family farm (buildings in the distance) from the top of our grain bin.
Nearing the end of High School, and through the insistence of my parents, I attended college. My mother suggested I study engineering, because she saw an engineering mind in me. But since I was already 18 years old and knew absolutely everything there was to know about life, I informed her that I hated engineering and math and science, and that college was stupid and I just wanted to farm.
So five years later I graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and currently love my job which involves application of math and science on a daily basis... I sure showed her.
When looking back on my experiences between college and where I am now, I realize how fortunate I am. I began college majoring in Communications, and switched to Civil Engineering because an acquaintance of mine was studying Civil Engineering and told me about his chosen profession. My interest was piqued, and I decided to switch my Major. This always makes me think... where would I be had that individual not been in my life? It's because of that chance happening that ultimately set the course for what would be the rest of my life, that I realize the importance of outreach.
Me at the base of Mt. Rainer (I didn't make it any higher) in Washington state. My junior year of college I took a summer civil engineering co-op in Seattle - a life-changing experience that never would have happened had I not "stumbled" into civil engineering.
Outreach, and ASCE as a Resource
Using my own personal journey as an example, I have come to realize just how important outreach really is, and the American Society of Civil Engineers is a great resource for doing just that. During Engineers Week, the other ASCE Officers and I plan to visit a local school to talk to kids and inform them about Civil Engineering. If you have any interest in getting involved, we're always looking for help and/or ideas.
Visiting Pattison Elementary last year during Engineers Week to help promote civil engineering.
In addition to reaching out to pre-college students, ASCE is also a great resource for college students. I can remember when I was in college, I didn't quite have a full grasp of all the options for work that would be available to me upon graduation. In fact, I didn't even know that the type of work I currently specialize in, even existed. So for college students, attending ASCE events is a great way to learn about the many different career paths available to civil engineers.
Further, attending ASCE events is a great way for students to network with potential future employers, and vice versa. The college students that attend ASCE events show initiative and a willingness to learn and put themselves out there, which can be intimidating (I was always terrified). So for the practicing professionals, getting to know the college students that attend our events is a great way to find potential future top-talented, hardworking employees.
Because the monthly events are such a great resource for students and practicing professionals, one of my main goals during my presidency is to increase student attendance. So in an effort to facilitate and encourage networking between students and practicing professionals, we're implementing a new nametag color system that identifies which attendees are students.
If any student attendee - or just any attendee, in general - has a question, don't hesitate to ask an ASCE Officer. If you're not sure who we are, ASCE Section Officers will also have a separate colored nametag.
The nametag color designations will be as follows:
- Blue - Students
- White - Non-students
- Yellow - ASCE Officers
Attendance has been trending upward recently, and we hope to continue that trend by continuing to bring you all interesting topics each month. We only ask in return that you attend, bug the other people in your office to attend, and then utilize these monthly events
for the great resource that they are.
I also sincerely hope to see more students attend our events this year. These monthly events are a great way to learn about civil engineering, meet potential future employers, and not to mention students are first in line to take home the leftover food at the end of the event. If any student is ever unsure of who to talk to, just come see me. I'd love to get to know you, and you're more than welcome to pick my brain.
Over 90 attendees for the March 2016 Corvette Museum event - a sure sign that attendance is increasing!
See you all soon,
ASCE Cincinnati Section President