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Gendron wins national ASCE award

Release Date: April 22, 2013
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Heather Gendron

Civil engineering senior Heather Gendron is one of eight winners of the 2013 student leadership award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Gendron is graduating in May and recently started an internship working with a construction engineer at Spalding DeDecker in Wayne. She plans to pursue a career in construction management.

She was recognized primarily for her performance as the president of the ASCE student chapter at LTU. She was nominated by Assistant Professor Luis Mata, Associate Professor Hiroshan Hettiarachchi, and Kimberly Klieber, the ASCE student chapter president for 2013.

Gendron’s leadership rescued the chapter “from near extinction,” according to Klieber, and she coordinated efforts to rebuild teams in both the steel bridge and concrete canoe competition sponsored by the ASCE. She even pitched in to paddle the concrete canoe during the regional competition.

Under her leadership, the student chapter made a commitment to fund a $20,000 scholarship fund for freshmen entering the civil engineering program. The chapter has started an annual cookout that raised $2,500 in 2012.

Gendron notes that the event also promotes networking, since freshmen join in with upper classmen, and alumni have the opportunity to talk to undergraduates.

The student chapter also developed its first constitution during her tenure as president.

According to Klieber, Gendron’s leadership style was instrumental in achieving these and other accomplishments. “The upbeat and proactive attitude she had toward all ASCE activities was simply contagious,” Klieber wrote.

Mata wrote that Gendron’s leadership motivated him to attend an ASCE workshop, which in turn helped him better understand his role as faculty adviser. She also secured funding for chapter leaders to attend an ASCE leadership workshop, which will help the student chapter in future years.

“She mentored students to assure the continuity of success in the chapter, establishing methodologies to facilitate the work of future officers in establishing realistic goals,” Mata wrote.

Gendron also had good things to say about her experience at LTU. “I love the small campus and knowing everyone,” she said. “You really get to know the professors one on one, and then they can recommend you.”