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Why Mentoring?

One of my greatest passions in life is mentoring and inspiring the next generation of female civil engineers. In the fall of 2013, a high school senior, Margarita, approached me asking for help on her senior project to shadow an engineer. At the time, she was unsure of what kind of engineering she wanted to study in college and wanted to learn more about it. I had recently graduated with my BS in Civil Engineering and was just starting my career, but I took her out for coffee and enthusiastically shared everything I knew. Not only did this Stanford-bound 4.0+ high school student decide to study civil engineering after talking with me, she also focused on water resources and attended and excelled at my Alma Mater, Sacramento State University. I continued to mentor her and other students at Sac State over the years as she took over and improved organizations, I was once a young leader in such as ASCE’s Mid-Pac Water Treatment Team and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). When I was a student President of SWE at Sac State, I had started an event called “Women’s Shadow Day” which invited high school girls to the college campus to attend engineering classes and taste what it was like to study engineering. That first year we had 20 high school girls attend. In 2017, Margarita continued the “Women’s Shadow Day” event for its 5th anniversary which hosted over 100 high school girls. This student, Margarita Dronov (Kovalchuk), was recognized as 2017’s New Face of Civil Engineering College Edition, and it was one of my most proud moments as a mentor. She is now pursuing her PhD at Stanford University and I know that she and I will both continue the chain of inspiring the next generation of future female civil engineers.

- Christine Rice, P.E. M.ASCE




christine_and_margarita.jpgChristine Rice, P.E. M.ASCE and Margarita Dronov (Kovalchuk), S.M.ASCE. 

ASCE Mentor Match Meet Up

We will be having quarterly check-ins. If you are active in ASCE Mentor Match or an ASCE member who is interested in enrolling you are welcome to join our conference call. Our hosts will be sharing a few mentoring tips. This will also be a time to discuss any challenges you’ve faced while allowing you to connect with others in ASCE Mentor Match. 

Our next call will be on Wednesday, March 11 from 1pm to 2pm EST. Mentoring partners, Dustin Cole, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE, and Daniel Bressler, E.I.T., A.M.ASCE, will be hosting the call.  

More about the hosts:

Dustin Cole, P.E., S.E., is the Director of Engineering for Chief Buildings, a metal building manufacturer located in Grand Island, Nebraska. He has been involved in the design of custom-engineered metal buildings for more than thirty years designing steel framed buildings for various end uses in sizes ranging from 10 feet by 10 feet, to more than 500,000 square feet in accordance with various national, state and local code requirements. As a structural engineer, Mr. Cole has been instrumental in the development of best design practices resulting in structurally sound buildings while maintaining budgetary and scheduling constraints. He is a member of the American Society of Civil engineers, has served as the executive director for the Oklahoma Structural Engineers Association, was the 2014 NCSEA Robert Cornforth Service Award winner, and currently on the Structural Engineers Association of Nebraska board of directors.  Mr. Cole is a registered engineer in all fifty states and five provinces in Canada. He is the Chairperson of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association Technical Committee, ASCE 7-22 main committee, wind sub-committee, and dead/live load subcommittee. Mr. Cole is a graduate civil engineer from the University of Oklahoma. Beyond structural engineering, he enjoys outdoor activities of hiking, biking, kayaking, and finding new places for his wife to enjoy nature photography.​

Daniel Bressler, E.I.T, is a Junior Structural Engineer who earned his Bachelors degree in 2018 from NYU Tandon School of Engineering.  Daniel is currently employed at Stratford Engineering, a Structural Engineering firm located in New York City. As a junior structural engineer, Daniel's role is to develop structurally sound plans while meeting budgetary and scheduling targets. He has been involved in the design of residential and commercial projects in accordance with various, state and local code requirements. Daniel has successfully designed using a variety of materials including Concrete, Steel, Wood, Light-Gauge, and Masonry. Daniel is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and anticipates pursuing graduate studies in Engineering and obtaining his professional license in the near future. A life-long New-Yorker, Daniel enjoys playing basketball and woodworking.

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Have Questions?

Email Tirza Austin at taustin@asce.org.