Meet our Students
The Del E. Webb School of Construction provides students not only with and education and solid career choices, but also with opportunities to experience student competitions, industry internships, and participation in student organizations.
Learn more about our students:
- Jacob Western: Shell Oil Internship specializing in Turnaround Planning
- Maureen Cassin: Won Top Award at NASTT 2014 No-Dig Show
- Marlynn Radford-Brown: Graduate faced obstacles on way to degree
- Lindsay Keever: Outstanding Graduate in Construction Engineering
- Jesse Pruitt: Outstanding Graduate in Construction Management
Jacob Western graduated high school from Jakarta International School in Indonesia after also attending the International School of Beijing in China. He is now a senior majoring in construction management at Arizona State University and set to graduate with honors in December, 2014.
This summer Western did an internship with Shell Oil in Houston where he worked in a refinery’s turnaround-planning department. Refineries are made up of different units with different purposes that all contribute to processing crude oil into a product that can be sold. “These units can’t run without scheduled maintenance, so that’s where the turnaround department comes in,” says Western.
Western’s role focused on job safety planning, creating a checklist to run a catalyst job from start to finish, scheduling support, and assessing what went well and what didn’t in the maintenance process.
Western says the best part about the internship was that he was treated like a full-time employee. “Shell valued my opinions and gave me the opportunity to speak at meetings. They gave me real work, which I was able to present at the end of the internship.”
After graduation, Western hopes to work in construction and engineering and to continue to travel and work overseas. “I plan on eventually getting a masters degree in either engineering or business,” says Western.
Arizona State University construction engineering doctoral students Maureen Cassin and Tober Francom earned honors at the 2014 No-Dig Show in Orlando, Florida, presented by the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT).
Cassin won the top award for both the best presentation by a student chapter and the best poster describing and illustrating a student research project. Her research focuses on sustainable trenchless technology methods for pipeline construction in China.
Francom was awarded a $5,000 Michael E. Argent Memorial Scholarship and a $1,500 Charles P. Lake-Rain for Rent Scholarship. His research focuses on the impacts of alternative project delivery methods for trenchless construction projects.
Trenchless technology involves both the methods and tools for an innovative approach to underground infrastructure design and construction that requires minimal excavation and disruption to surface ground.
It’s an emerging “green alternative” engineering method for construction of public utility systems such as water, sanitation, energy, electrical, fiber optic cable and transportation systems, as well as for oil and natural gas pipelines.
The ASU student contingent at this year’s No-Dig Show was led by professor Samuel Ariaratnam, who was named Trenchless Technology Person of the Year by Trenchless Technology Magazine in 2012.
A little more than five years ago, Marlynn Radford-Brown was a single parent with a second child on the way when she was laid off from her job, and her mother had recently passed away.
Now she possess a bachelor’s degree in construction management and is interviewing for jobs with construction companies around the country, while taking a closer look at the law schools to which she has been accepted.
Reflecting on her situation five years ago she recalls thinking, “I knew I had a choice to make. I could have a pity party or I could use my frustration to push myself out of my situation.”
Radford-Brown saw long-term prospects in pursuing a career in which she could build on her earlier training in technology and engineering: construction.
So she decided to go to college despite having to live in meager circumstances while raising two young sons.
In less than two years, she earned an associate’s degree in construction management from MCC and was admitted to ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College, and enrolled in the Del E. Webb School of Construction.
During her time at ASU she had a two-year internship with the Arizona Department of Transportation, a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., and earned scholarship support from the Fulton Schools of Engineering, Barrett, The Honors College, the Associated General Contractors Foundation, the Ames Memorial Foundation, the Sandra L. Weber Memorial Scholar and Wellsgate International Distinguished Scholar programs, and the Leadership Society of America.
While taking classes and working internships, she was also a member of Sigma Lambda Chi, the international construction honors society, ASU’s Advancing Women in Construction mentorship program, the student chapter of the American Concrete Institute, and served on the student advisory board for the Del E. Webb School.
From here, Radford-Brown hopes to able to earn a law degree while working in construction management. She’s interested in litigation related to the construction and engineering industries, as well as contract law and related aspects of the fields.
Lindsay Keever grew up going to construction project sites where her father worked. Two older brothers also worked in the construction field.
She said the passion her father and brothers had for engineering and construction influenced her choice to enroll in ASU and major in construction engineering.
Keever’s academic performance helped her earn a scholarship from the Advancing Women in Construction (AWIC) program. She became a member of AWIC club, doing outreach and mentoring you encourage girls to consider engineering and construction as career opportunities.
The highlight of her undergraduate years was a nine-month-long internship with one of the largest construction companies in the country, Sundt Construction, working in its pre-construction, heavy civil department.
Her assignment was to help determine specific quantities of materials and resources needed for particular projects so the company could bid on jobs accurately, and to work with subcontractors to estimate prices for specific parts of projects.
“My internship showed me how important teamwork is throughout your career,” she said. “Seeing projects go from drawings on paper to actually being constructed is highly rewarding.”
As a recent graduate, Keever now works full-time as a field engineer with Sundt Construction, but with the idea in mind of eventually pursuing a master’s degree in construction management or business. In the future she hopes to be a part of advancements in green building and sustainable construction.
She also wants to advance far enough in the field to get opportunities to play key leadership roles in major construction projects. “I aspire to demonstrate that women can work in this profession and be successful at the highest levels,” she said.
Jesse Pruitt was “always fascinated by the built environment.”
Seeing an empty dirt lot “get transformed into a structure is amazing. I knew I wanted to be a part of that,” he said.
His desire was strong enough that after earning a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, he returned to college to earn as second undergraduate degree in construction management from Arizona State University.
He excelled along the way.
Pruitt maintained a 4.0 grade point average, made the Dean’s list every semester, and won the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Education and Research Foundation Scholarship, as well as the Beavers Heavy Construction Scholarship.
Pruitt also served as president of the ASU chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi, the national construction honor society, and was a member of the Associated of General Contractors of America.
Through leadership roles in those organizations, he contributed to community service projects for Habitat for Humanity and the Arizona Ramp Project, which provides wheelchair ramps for the homes of military veterans and elders who need them.
In addition, Pruitt was a member of the Design-Build team for the 2013 Associated Schools of Construction regional competition and moved up to captain of the team in 2014. His team placed in the top three on both occasions.
Upon graduation, Pruitt’s achievements landed him a full-time position with the Okland Construction company in Arizona.
In the future he intends to become a construction superintendent and/or project manager and eventually “reach the upper levels of executive management.”
Along the way, Pruitt said he’ll consider returning to school to earn a graduate degree, most likely an MBA.