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Student-alumni networking tees off at annual golf scramble

Colleen Carow | Sep 24, 2018
Wide shot of golfers

Student-alumni networking tees off at annual golf scramble

Colleen Carow | Sep 24, 2018

The unseasonably hot and muggy September weather broke this weekend – just in time for Ohio University’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) to host alumni, faculty, staff and students for the organization’s annual golf scramble Saturday morning at the OHIO golf course.

The event serves as the group’s main fundraiser – supporting competition teams such as the concrete canoe and steel bridge -- and enables students to network with alumni, and alumni with each other.

“It’s a fun event that people look forward to every year. Those of us who are current students get to meet with and have some fun with alumni who share experiences with us, and with whom we may work with someday,” said Clay Weckbacher, chapter president, who noted that 45 people attended. “It gives us an opportunity to network with professionals in our field in a social, less formal setting."

New participants joined event diehards such as alumnus and former ODOT staffer Steve Williams, BSCE '87, whose teams have won past scrambles.

"I'm proud to be involved. With ODOT, we played in every one of these, so now with Shelley and Sands, it’s nice to be able to come and sponsor a hole and come and participate,” said Williams, who is now government affairs director at Shelley and Sands. “I'll plan to participate as long as ASCE has the event.”

At the OHIO clubhouse, guests downed coffee and bagels as they reminisced and prepped for their morning on the green. Ellie Alexander, BSCE ’07, who worked for Williams for almost 10 years at ODOT, said the outing is like a family reunion.

“I see a lot of people I don't see in the work sector anymore because we work at so many different places, but we all come back here each year to OU,” said Alexander, who is now a construction project manager with Follow the River Environmental. “We know each other from ASCE, being here as students. Some of these people came and gave presentations at meetings or helped us network when we were finding jobs -- so there are a lot of different tiers, generations that come back here every year. It's the only time we see each other."

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Ben Sperry, the chapter’s adviser, said the opportunity to develop relationships with alumni and among each other is a meaningful takeaway for students.

"The networking is great, and the student leaders of ASCE have the opportunity to interact with alumni. It’s a long day but very worthwhile for the ASCE student chapter and our alumni," he said.

The scramble winner was the ODOT District 10 team. Long drive winner was Derek Thieman, BSCE ’11, closest to the pin was Professor of Civil Engineering Sang-Soo Kim, and longest putt was Mickey Lockhart.