Civil engineering majors volunteer in the spirit of giving

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For students in the Lipscomb chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), membership is not just about becoming better engineers, but a better community as well.

Several ASCE students set aside a Sunday in October to assist disabled US Marine Corp veteran William Hunter. Hunter had contacted ASCE vice president and fellow Marine veteran,David Callahan with the request to seal the deck of his home. The students not only did that, but also cleaned the yard, cut the grass, and pressure cleaned Hunter’s house.

In an email to Lipscomb University, Hunter expressed his gratitude to the students’ selflessness.

Hunter said that Callahan “looked over my deck and explained that he attended Lipscomb University, was a Civil Engineering major, and there was a program of volunteer outreach that the ASCE Chapter supports. Even though my wife and I had saved some money to cover the cost, they wouldn’t accept any payment for the supplies. To say they were a blessing is simply an understatement.”

This is not a rare event for Lipscomb students. The university encourages service through programs like SALT (Serving And Learning Together) and a campus-wide service day in the spring semester.

Along with service opportunities, ASCE has a strong focus on student professional development. The Lipscomb chapter allows the students to network with professionals on a local and national level, and their involvement leads to future internships and full-time job offers.

“ASCE gives our students a connection to the real world of civil and environmental engineering,” said former ASCE faculty advisor Chris Gwaltney.

“The chapter officers typically attend an annual workshop for student leaders where they interact with other student chapter officers across the nation. These workshops are extremely valuable in developing student leadership skills that translate into professional leaderships skills. Lipscomb CEE grads are in high demand due to the skills they develop as part of the ASCE Student Chapter.”

Dr. Todd Lynn, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the new faculty advisor of ASCE. In this role he has emphasized the importance of volunteering and is responsible for setting up service projects such as the one at Hunter’s home. (Read a letter Hunter wrote thanking the students.)

Founded in 2000, Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering was recently named one of the best Christian-based engineering programs in Tennessee as well as No. 6 in the nation in a survey by Christian Universities Online. The college provides students the opportunity to prepare for an engineering career in an educational environment that also encourages Christian character and service. The college offers ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees in civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering.