Bulldogs rake in ACEC awards

The Minnesota branch of the American Council of Engineering Companies annually awards 10 scholarships to engineering students who demonstrate ability and potential in the field. This year, UMD students pulled in six of the scholarships.  

Five of the recipients, Brittany Fossell, Brett Hansen, Laura Hart, Corey Schlosser and April Boehne, came from the civil engineering department. The other recipient, Dane Jensen, comes from the chemical engineering department.


This was the second consecutive ACEC scholarship received for both Boehne and Jensen. Boehne is the president of the UMD chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and said that distinction probably played a large part in her receiving the scholarship.


“I’m the president of our main civil club,” Boehne said. “It’s a super well-known organization, everybody in the industry is a national member, and we have a bunch of student sections and I became the president, so I basically run all of the stuff with the help of my officers.”


As president of the ASCE/UMD, Boehne brings in speakers, creates network connections for members of the society and sets up volunteering opportunities for members. She added that having the title, as well as being involved in different civil engineering projects, helped her receive the award because it shows she is dedicated to working in her field.


“The fact that I’m making more strides towards accomplishments than I was last year — I’m going to hopefully have an undergraduate research opportunity with my professors — so I’ll have the same GPA but more activities and more leadership roles.”


Boehne said that having six Bulldogs win the awards shows the improvements and dedication that faculty and staff have worked toward in the engineering departments.


“It shows that we are ramping up our program,” Boehne said, especially regarding the civil engineering program, because five of the 10 total scholarships were awarded to Bulldog civil engineers. She also added that the scholarships are based on any field of engineering, not just civil.


It shows that we are getting up there with the Twin Cities, if not — I’ve heard from a lot of engineering professionals that we’re more well-prepared for the workplace than the Twin Cities,” she added. “We’re becoming more well-known.”


Adrian Hanson, civil engineering department head, said that it’s telling of the UMD engineering program that they won 60 percent of the scholarships available, especially for such a young program.


I think it’s awesome,” Hanson said. “Makes you really happy; it says very good things about our program up here, very complimentary things. We’ve only been in existence since 2008, so it’s kind of nice to be on the same stage with a program (the Twin Cities engineer department) that has been in existence for a long, long time.”


When asked what UMD is doing differently to dominate ACEC’s awards, Hanson said that he credits the students who won for putting in the time and effort to earn the awards.


I think it comes down to the students who filled out the applications,” Hanson said. “We had some very high quality students. They applied and they were successful.”


Boehne plans to get her masters after she finishes her undergraduate degree at UMD and hopes to become a structural engineer. Boehne said that she is appreciative of the ASCE’s decision.


“I’m super grateful to ASCE for a second time,” Boehne said. “Maybe I’ll get a three-peat.”


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