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Trine’s ASCE chapter in running for national title

Trine University’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is one of five finalists for the Robert Ridgway Student Chapter Award, given to the ASCE’s most outstanding student chapter nationwide.

Named for Robert Ridgway, past president of ASCE, the award has been presented annually since 1966, with Brigham Young University the most recent recipient in 2019.

“Trine University’s ASCE student chapter continues to be an outstanding reflection of the excellence throughout the university and within the Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, from consistent placement in regional and national competitions to honors such as this,” said Ryan Overton, Ph.D., dean of Trine’s Allen School of Engineering and Computing. “I commend the chapter members and officers, and faculty advisor Prof. TJ Murphy for representing Trine University so well.”

“I am very proud of how the students represent Trine University and the profession of civil engineering. The reputation of our program is growing nationally because of the commitment of our students to the chapter,” said Murphy. “It was hard for the students when the Great Lakes Student Conference, where Trine was the defending champion, was canceled due to COVID-19. So being a finalist for the Chapter of the Year helps with the disappointment.”

The 2020 award winner will be announced in May.

ASCE also honored Trine’s student chapter with the 2020 ASCE Distinguished Chapter Award for Region 4, given annually to the top chapter in the region covering Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, and North and South Carolina.

ASCE presents Distinguished Chapter Awards to the top chapter in each of its 10 regions.

Recommendations for both awards come from ASCE’s Committee on Student Members based on activities recorded in each student chapter’s 2019 annual report. Each year, approximately 380 ASCE student chapters around the world submit an annual report for review by the committee, made up primarily of practicing civil engineers and faculty from around the United States.

The report describes chapters’ participation in national, state and local activities; their ability to set and meet goals; the percentage of department students who are members of the chapter; their ability to maintain a budget and other items. Last year, Trine University earned a Certificate of Commendation, given to those chapters judged to be in the top 5 percent throughout the organization.

Photo: 2019-20 officers for Trine University’s ASCE student chapter: back, from left, Michael Cunningham, historian; Robert Morehouse, treasurer; Bill Kennelly, freshman representative; Calvin Rizzo, conference manager; Anna Kmec, recruitment manager; front, Alex Layman, professional outreach manager; Quinten Prieur, president; Katelyn Tedder, vice president; Liz Pablo, freshman representative; and Makenna Sheets, secretary.