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Winter 2016

posted Aug 12, 2016, 10:38 AM by Charles Mitchell   [ updated Aug 17, 2016, 2:09 PM ]
The New Year is upon us. Happy New Year! With the turning of the calendar comes a season of reflecting on the past year, giving thanks, and forward-gazing.

2015 was another successful year for the Maryland Section of ASCE in no small part due to its volunteer leaders. I am thankful for the Board and Branch, Institute, and committee participants. The Maryland Section is a member run group which owes its successes to the enthusiasm, follow through, and feedback of its members. 

Thank you, also, to Section sponsors for their support which allows us to pursue and fund the execution of content and activities for the members’ best interests. 

Finally, a special note of appreciation goes out to Development Facilitators, Inc. (DFI) for providing, again, a buffet of desserts for the December member appreciation event. December seems especially busy, but members and their guests never regret squeezing in the Section’s annual social event and satiating their sweets-cravings at the DFI dessert buffet. Thank you, also, to those who donated to the Toys for Tots campaign organized at the December event by our Younger Members and hosted by two Marines.

In line with one of this session’s themes to celebrate our industry and recognize engineers, the Section has the privilege of inducting 23 Life Members this year. Five new Life Members and their guests were in attendance at the December event; the remaining who can attend will be recognized at the June member appreciation and awards event. Please see below for a complete list of the 2016 new Life Members.

The Section comprises 15% Life Members. ASCE recognizes that its Life Members represent the true nature of our people-serving profession. They have dedicated their time and talent to the engineering profession, contributing to the building of better communities and the improvement of quality of life for people around the globe. ASCE sees that, too routinely, civil engineers are the unsung heroes of the built environment and it was my distinct pleasure to single out the Society’s newest Life Members of the Maryland Section to celebrate them and their accomplishments. These engineers have paved the way for those practicing today as well as future generations. I look forward to continuing to engage with them through their work and our Section.

Looking forward, the Section has an exciting, engaging spring blossoming. Refer to the events calendar on the Section’s website for announcements, details, and updates about Branch, Institute, and committee goings-on. Remember, in the words of ASCE President Robert Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., “the deeper your involvement in ASCE, the more you derive from your membership.”

Timely now are three particularly engaging events – the Younger Members’ college outreach workshop for résumé review and interviewing, the Scholarship Committee’s annual miniature golf fundraiser, and the compilation of an update to the Report Card for Maryland’s Infrastructure. 

The résumé review and mock interview event designed by Younger Member co-chairs Kelly Ambrose and Ian Roddy has been endorsed and funded by National ASCE. It needs Section member participation to reach its full potential of reaching out to student members and helping them prepare for interviews. More details are forthcoming, but contact Kelly and Ian at MarylandYM@members.asce.org if you are interested in assisting one evening, likely early February in anticipation of the Section’s March student night, to provide students with résumé and interview tips.

The Section’s Scholarship Committee has organized its 22nd annual miniature golf fundraiser. Mark your calendars for Saturday, 5 March 2016. See the Section website for additional details. The miniature golf event is a fantastic fundraiser and an engaging, creative networking event. Firms and other groups are invited to sponsor the event and to design and build a golf hole for play. This year’s Western theme promises to be a wild, good time. 

The Maryland Section’s Scholarship Committee has grown endowments at Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland between $78,000 and $90,000 from which the universities award annual scholarships of about $3,000 each for students in civil engineering programs to defray costs of education. Note that tournament sponsor revenues go directly to endowment donations (not food or drink or other event costs) and, last year, made up over half of the donations; sponsorships are critical to growing the endowments.

The Maryland Section issued the first Report Card for Maryland’s Infrastructure in 2011. The Report Card is a compilation of assessments for select infrastructure categories presented to Maryland residents and policy makers. It is time to issue an updated Report Card. I am pleased that some of the veterans who participated in the first effort will return for the second. But, more help, taking on a variety of shapes, is needed. Please reach out to MarylandReportCard@members.asce.org if you are interested in participating in the effort, whether collecting data, generating content, marketing, etc. I will respond promptly.

Let’s continue supporting our themes this session to celebrate our industry, advocate for our industry, and plan for the future of our industry.

Best wishes for a happy and productive 2016!