Category Archives: E-Board

Jay Higgins Visits USC ASCE

Last week, ASCE’s very own regional director came to speak to members of USC ASCE. Jay Higgins enlightened the group in the origins of ASCE, its current status as an organization, as well as future strategies and moves ASCE is making. ASCE, founded in New York City in 1850, currently has over 8,000 members in the LA area alone. ASCE’s vision and strategies for the future revolve around infrastructure, raising the bar of education, and sustainability. He believes the focus on these goals is extremely important leading up to the near future.


In regards to infrastructure, Higgins proposed movements toward a legislative committee that could focus on interactions between administration and members, allowing problems and opinions to be discuss throughout the entire organization. Raising the bar in education was another main point Higgins wanted ASCE to focus on. He mentioned the idea of making it required for engineers to receive their masters before being allowed to take the PE Exam. He referenced Law and Medical school for other professions, saying there should be a similar structure of education for Civil Engineers. He also focused on the idea of promoting leadership within civil engineering, as well as writing and management skills. In regards to sustainability, Higgins wanted to focus on three points: Environmental, Economics, and Social well being. Sustainability has a growing place in Civil Engineering, and while Civil Engineers should hold safety, health, and public welfare of the highest importance, they should also focus on sustainability within their professional endeavours.

In a more national and even global scale of infrastructure, Higgins stressed the importance of spending now in order to save later. People end up spending money to fix things affected by faulty infrastructure anyway, so why not just fix the infrastructure? Higgins proposes the need for government funding, as well as support from a variety of professions within civil engineering. He mentions that our priority should be on infrastructure and investing more money into it upfront in order to save money in the long run. Movements are, however, being made to prioritize our infrastructure, including grading systems, increased leadership in infrastructure renewal, promoting sustainability and resilience, and developing plans to maintain and enhance America’s infrastructure.

Higgins then mentioned new workings within ASCE, including the arise of new leaders within the alliance workshop, promoting CE for developing countries, providing engineering services for underserved communities in U.S., as well as new leaders with ASCE, such as Kathy Caldwell. He is also excited about a new film coming out, promoting Engineering and its developments.

In his concluding statements Higgins describes how he moved from water hazardous waste to construction management and ended up in construction claims consulting. He encourages students who haven’t yet found their spot within civil engineer to keep moving around until you find what sparks your passion.


Fall E-Board Retreat

During the first weekend of school our 2015-2016 E-Board had a retreat! We headed to the bowling alley to put our skills to the test. With the E-Board divided into two lanes, a competition began to see which lane could get the higher overall score! Congrats to the “right lane,” consisting of Tyler, Luyue, Lucy, Erin, Jessica, and Kai who were victorious!

Other highlights included using the large dinosaur ramps to ensure a spare, getting to know each other afterwards at a family dinner, and when out of no where Lucy suddenly became really really good at bowling. She must have been fooling us on the first game!

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 12.33.22 PM
Saina on the dinosaur ramp!

We are excited to work together for the rest of the year and plan some remarkable events for USC ASCE.


2015-16 USC ASCE Executive Board

President: Nick Halsey

Vice President: Lucy Egbe

Secretary: Nicole Ludena

Treasurer: Jason Loui

Sponsorship/PSWC Chairs: Alex Tanner & Marissa Knutson

Membership Chairs: Saina Vosoghi & Branden Currey

Media Chairs: Noah Cherner & Cindy Wei

Social and Outreach Chairs: Kelly Lynch & Rich Windisch

External Relations Chair: Tyler Pullen

Concrete Canoe Captains: Erin Yamashita & Karina Schulz

Steel Bridge Captains: Jessica Maass & Kai Hayashida

Environmental Design Team Captains: Justine Lee & Luyue Zhang

Geotechnical Design Team Captain: Nicole Ludena



Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregg Brandow

Practitioner Advisors: Julian Garcia and Ed Reynolds

2014 Annual Report

The USC ASCE 2014 Annual Reports are now available for viewing. Due to new guidelines, this year USC ASCE has created two annual reports, one for national ASCE and one of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The reports outline accomplishments from the past year and aim to seek improvements for coming years.

USC ASCE 2014 National Student Chapter Annual Report

USC Viterbi School of Engineering Annual Report

2014-15 USC ASCE Executive Board

President: Winston van Keulen

Vice President: Tedman Tran

Treasurer: Vincent Nguyen

Secretary: Sylvia Tran

Sponsorship/PSWC Chairs: Lucy Egbe & Nick Halsey

Membership Chairs: Jason Loui & Kenya Collins

Social Chairs: Kelly Lynch & Tyler Pullen

Archivist: Joshua Hung

Webmaster: Noah Cherner

Concrete Canoe Captains: Ethan Davidson & Erin Yamashita

Steel Bridge Captains: Daniel Huang & Ben Richardson

Environmental Design Team Captains: Kevin Gibson & Alice Wang


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregg Brandow

Practitioner Advisors: Julian Garcia and Ed Reynolds

2014 Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders

Four USC ASCE members attended ASCE’s 2014 Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders – Regions 8 & 9 (WSCL) this past weekend in Phoenix, AZ. WSCL is designed to give current and future chapter officers training, while facilitating networking opportunities with other students and professionals, allowing good ideas to be shared between schools.

The main conference room where most sessions were held
The main conference room where most sessions were held.

Conference sessions covered topics from presenting each university’s successes and challenges to discussing how to better connect students from different universities to an overview of the new format for next year’s annual report.

Networking Reception at the end of the first day.
Networking Reception at the end of the first day.

Networking was also a critical component of WSCL. Making connections with other students and with Civil and Environmental Engineering Professionals from ASCE Younger Member Groups and ASCE Section and Branch leaders is important for a variety of reasons. Ideas within and outside of ASCE can be shared, friendships can be formed, and potential career opportunities can be created.

USC ASCE Members with ASCE President-Elect Robert Stevens
USC ASCE Members with ASCE President-Elect Robert Stevens

In addition to the student-focused sessions, several events were held with the younger members and section and branch leaders, whose conferences occurred simultaneously. Highlights included several networking events (including meals!), a speech by ASCE President-Elect Robert Stevens, and a Q & A session with ASCE’s President, past President, and President-Elect.

One last picture with Phil the Philanthropist before we gave him back to the ASCE Foundation.
One last picture with Phil the Philanthropist before we gave him back to the ASCE Foundation.

Overall, WSCL was a great experience where we made new connections and formed new and exciting ideas for USC ASCE. If you’re at all interested in a leadership role at USC ASCE, get excited for WSCL 2015 in Seattle, WA!

Website Redesign

We’ve launched a visual redesign of our website, addressing several concerns about our site’s usability that came up in our Fall 2013 survey.

Previously, we used a custom child theme of the Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme. Now,  we’re using Twenty Fourteen, with the Fourteen Colors plugin.

The new design features images more prominently and boldly (see the design team pages, for example, Concrete Canoe). It’s higher contrast and more readable. And most importantly, it provides several tools for us to highlight the most important content, for example, through the new sidebar on the left of the screen.

Continuing our commitment to open source software, I contributed heavily to the development of Twenty Fourteen, so that we could make it better for both our uses at USC ASCE, and for thousands of other sites worldwide.

We hope you like our new design!

EBoard Secret Santa

Our board celebrated its last meeting of the semester with a secret santa gift exchange! After everyone opened their gifts, each person had to guess who gave it to them, which was harder than you’d think given the size of our board.

EBoard Secret Santa gift circle results

Overall this was a great way to end our semester. A lot of work goes into organizing everything for ASCE and we’ve already started getting ready for an exciting spring semester. Through our weekly 9pm board meetings, as well as working outside of the meetings, our board has put in a terrific effort this semester; none of our events would be possible without everyone’s dedication & commitment to making USC ASCE awesome!