ASA-Houston Chapter is excited to announce an addition four years in the making. The organization recently rolled out an ASA-HC Student Chapter at Texas A&M University — the first in the nation!
In spring 2013, under the guidance of MAREK’s Marcus Bollom, planning began for an ASA-Houston Chapter student chapter within Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science. The department, part of the university’s College of Architecture, has an average enrollment of 600 – 700 students and, although there are currently no institutional rankings of collegiate construction management programs, it is commonly regarded as the best of the best. The department has historically focused on general construction management, rather than delving into the specifics of industrial, civil, residential or specialty contracting.
Recognizing that a successful student chapter is driven by the motivation and participation of the students and its student leadership, ASA-HC did not rush to create an organization on campus. Instead, we waited until the right individuals stepped forward. In fall 2016, Assistant Instructional Professor Ben Ashburn and student Brian DeCesaris expressed enthusiastic interest and began recruiting additional students. By the end of the semester, they had submittedall of the required paperwork and received approval from A&M to form a recognized chapter.
Fast forward to January 2017, when ASA-HC received our first official update from the student chapter. President Brian DeCesaries and Treasurer Connor Foster joined us for our ASA-HC Board of Directors meeting to discuss the chapter’s start-up and goals for the spring semester. The students stayed for the meeting’s duration to get a better idea regarding ASA-HC’s current projects, and to gain insight into a board meeting’s inner workings.
We look forward to the many benefits the ASA-HC student chapter will bring subcontractors, students, faculty and the construction industry as a whole. ASA company members will have a direct impact on the future of the construction industry, and access to recruiting opportunities for both internships and full-time employment. Students will have the opportunity to learn in greater detail what specialty trades exist, how they function and all that goes into building projects. Students could eventually work for ASA company members, and others will likely become future customers. The ASA-HC student chapter will also enlighten faculty members, thanks to the ability to share real-life experiences, concerns and issues in the continually-evolving industry as they relate to specialty contracting.
ASA-HC will assist the student chapter leaders (President Brian DeCesaries, Secretary Nathan Reber, Treasurer Connor Foster and Membership Officer Trevor Sieber) in securing individuals from ASA-HC member companies to speak at monthly chapter meetings.
In addition to the student chapter, ASA-HC members can impact A&M students by making presentations at the Materials and Methods class,a required course for Construction Science students. Comprised mostly of freshman- and sophomore-level students, this younger student body is often still searching out ways to get involved in student life. ASA-HC’s presence in the classroom presents a great opportunity for recruitment. As industry professionals, our members offer insight and experiences that uniquely appeal to the students, while also benefiting from direct interaction with students. Speaking time lasts approximately 40 minutes, and classes take place on the A&M campus.
Individuals interested in speaking about their specialty trade at a student chapter meeting or in a classroom setting should contact the ASA-HC chapter office.
Treasurer Connor Foster and President Brian DeCesaris from Texas A&M’s ASA-HC student chapter presenting to the ASA-HC Board of Directors