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Three Ohio University civil engineering students win scholarships from asphalt industry group

By Kaitor Kposowa

Three civil engineering students at Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology have received $2,000 scholarships by Asphalt paving association Flexible Pavements of Ohio.

Awarded at the association's annual Ohio Asphalt Expo on March 6 at the Hilton Hotel at Polaris in Columbus, 17 undergraduate and one graduate students were recognized with scholarships to encourage them to learn about and train in asphalt technology. OHIO students Evan Holcombe of Glendord, Ohio, and Nathanael Gussler of New Lexington, Ohio, both sophomores; and graduate student Jayson Gray of Tippecanoe, Ohio, received awards for the 2013-14 academic year.

Flexible Pavements of Ohio, which promotes the development, improvement and advancement of asphalt pavement construction, has been awarding scholarships for 18 years and has handed out more than 372 such awards.

“All of these students gained an understanding of the technology of asphalt pavements,” said Clifford Ursich, the association's executive director. “The industry benefits in that many of these graduates are now working for contractors, consultants, public agencies and universities."

Holcombe, who plans to use the money on books and tuition, was motivated by the recognition so he can pursue his intentions to work in transportation engineering after college.

“Receiving honors such as this push me to do the very best I can do in my academics,” he said.

Gussler, a summer intern for Shelly & Sands Inc., hopes to work full-time for the Midwest infrastructure construction company when he graduates.

Jayson Gray earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Russ College last spring and was excited to win the scholarship as a graduate student.

“It is a good way to get my name out there within the asphalt industry in Ohio, and a little extra money is always nice,” he said. Civil Engineering Chair Gayle Mitchell said acknowledgment of the students' work and ambitions is well-deserved.

“We are very pleased that Ohio University civil engineering students are being recognized by the Flexible Pavements of Ohio,” said Mitchell, Neil D. Thomas Professor and director of the Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment. “This support by the industry provides a much needed scholarship for these students to continue their education.”

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