One grand prize winner, four finalists and 12 honorable mentions all received scholarships. (Alert Magazine photo)
Construction software developer HCSS (www.hcss.com) announced the winners of its annual Construction Intern Awards. A total of 17 scholarships worth a combined $50,000 were awarded to students in construction-related fields who held internships of at least two months in duration with construction companies during the 2015-2016 school year or summer of 2016.
One grand prize winner, four finalists and 12 honorable mentions all received scholarships. Rey Diaz, a student majoring in Civil Engineering/Structures at the University of South Florida, received the grand prize scholarship of $10,000. He interned with Skanska USA Civil Southeast in Florida during the summer of 2016.
“The Skanska estimating office was a great opportunity to learn a lot about the bidding process, the construction on the field, safety, and some new programs,” Diaz said. “The lesson I will be carrying with me the most is the ability to listen. People in the field, like laborers and field engineers, showed me more about the infrastructure of the I-4 [a 21-mile interstate reconstruction project in Florida] than I would have ever learned by reading a plan. During this internship I was always looking to come up with a bright way to solve something or promote an idea of my own, but I realized that construction is really something a group of people make possible.”
The four finalists receiving a $4,000 scholarship were:
• Sophie Seel, University of Dayton, interning with Marathon Petroleum Company
• Sergio Lescano, Missouri State University, interning with Killian Construction Company
• Evan Albright, California State University, Sacramento, interning with Royal Electric Company
• Kent Beechman, California Polytechnic State University, interning with Myers and Sons Construction, L.P.
The 12 Honorable Mention $2,000 scholarship recipients were: Matthew Sheldon, San Diego State University, Pulice Construction Inc.; Seamus O'Connel, Virginia Military Institute, Posillico; Hunter Wilkinson, Texas A&M University, DNT Construction; Kendan Iverson, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Frattalone Companies; Maxwell Legeay, Western Kentucky University, Peyronnin Construction Company Inc.; Preston Blanek, Iowa State University, Ryan Companies US, Inc.; Catherine Estus, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Knik Construction; Kristin Bartone, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Middlesex Corporation; Ryan Payne, Michigan State University, Adena Corporation; Kolton Day, Arizona State University, Pulice Construction Inc.; Landon Meserve, Morehead State University, Kelley Construction; and Casey Mrazik, Pennsylvania State University, Mascaro Construction Company L.P.
“We were so blown away by the quality of our candidates in last year's program that we decided to increase the number of scholarships we were awarding this year,” said HCSS CEO Mike Rydin. “We continue to be amazed by the type of work these students are doing. By awarding these scholarships, we are equipping the future leaders of the industry and ensuring that construction continues to thrive.”
To enter, students submitted a brief summary of their work. A selection committee and a public online vote narrowed the top candidate field, who were then judged by a panel of industry experts. This panel included Pete Ruane, CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA); Steve Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); Stan Orr, president and CSO of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP); Greg Sizemore, vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC); Carl Heinlein, safety consultant with ACIG; Rick Schwer, SVP/Publisher of Scranton Gillette Communications; Stuart Binstock, CEO of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA); Michael Holland, president of the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE); Lori Brown, president of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC); Bill Hillman, CEO of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA); Marcia Gruver Doyle, editorial director, Randall-Reilly; Steve McGough, president and COO of HCSS; and Chase Ekstam, 2015 Construction Intern Award grand prize recipient.
Submissions for the 2017 Construction Intern Awards will open in fall 2017.