April 2017 – President’s Message

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President’s Message
by Dyanna Stetina, P.E., M.ASCE, President, Redwood Empire Branch President

In February, the Redwood Empire Branch hosted our annual Engineer’s Week Banquet jointly with the North Coast Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies. At the banquet, we presented scholarships to students in the Santa Rosa Junior College engineering and surveying programs. During the scholarship presentation, Vince Bertsch, Chair of the Department of Engineering & Applied Technology at SRJC, spoke about our community. The community of engineers in attendance work together across disciplines and between the public and private sectors to develop and maintain our infrastructure. Many of those in attendance are also highly active members of the community at large – coaching youth sports, supporting science programs for children, serving on boards of local non-profits, etc. He hoped the banquet allowed his students to get a glimpse of this community that they have the opportunity to join.

The weekend before the banquet, a friend had asked me why I had chosen civil rather than a different field of engineering. I told her that it ultimately was because of the people. I felt more comfortable with the professors and classmates that I had met in the civil engineering courses than I had in courses for other disciplines – the way people seemed more willing to work in groups and the way they approached solving problems was part of it, but there was something else too that I had a hard time explaining. Vince’s speech helped me understand what that was – the people drawn to Civil Engineering are drawn to improving the lives of others. This tendency makes us form strong communities within and outside of our profession.

It has been a pleasure to serve as President of the Redwood Empire Branch of ASCE and get to know all of the wonderful people that make up our engineering community. I look forward to continuing involvement with the Branch and especially with the programs that encourage students from Kindergarten through College to join us!


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