Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2015

Branch News

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night

By: Gidti Ludesirishoti, Elizabeth Ruedas

On Thursday November 19, 2015 ASCE Orange County Branch hosted the annual History and Heritage / Student Night. This year’s event was hosted at a new venue, the Heritage Museum of Orange County, home of Santa Ana’s first Engineer, Hiram Clay Kellogg. The 192 experienced professionals, younger members, and students had the opportunity to tour the Kellogg House during the event to explore the museum and previous home of Hiram Clay Kellogg. It currently serves as a museum and event venue; more information about the house can be found at

The evening began in the afternoon with a Company Expo Fair which showcased the sponsoring organizations. Students were in attendance from the three universities under ASCE OC’s oversight: California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and University of California, Irvine (UCI). The string lights over the the fair illuminated the grassy area where students had the opportunity to network with: Orange County Sanitation District, HDR, Orange County Transportation Authority, Michael Baker International, CH2M, Diaz•Yourman & Associates, LPA, Cal Trans District 12, Hatch Mott McDonald, Kimley Horn, Orange County Public Works, LSA , Harris and Associates, CNC Engineering, and various other professionals. The social hour began just before dinner and ran concurrently with the Company Expo Fair.

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2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Career Fair

The dinner program began with an introduction by our 2015-16 President, Steven King, and welcome speech by a Heritage Museum of Orange County staff member. The welcome included a brief history of Hiram Clay Kellogg and some history of Orange County.

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Welcome Speech

Later in the program Region 9 Governor John Hogan continued an annual tradition by officially recognizing the past presidents and special guests in the audience, and the immediate ASCE OC Past President, Gary Gilbert, officially presented the President’s Plaque to Steven King. Following the presentation was the installation of Branch, Younger Member Forum (YMF), Institutes, and Student officers by Region 9 Director Jay Higgins.

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2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Installation of Branch

The program followed with introduction of the student presidents by the University Outreach Chair, Naveed Kharrat. The universities each presented the previous and future year's goals and accomplishments to the audience by their student chapter presidents: Tatiana Braun & Cody Dodge (CSULB), Chloe Gharios (CSUF), and Deysi Alvarado (UCI).

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Student Chapter Presentations

After student presentations, YMF President Roxanne Follis presented on the benefits of joining the group, its achievements, and what it does for the local engineering community and community at large. She and Naveed concluded with the presentation of Outstanding Student Chapter of the year award to CSULB.

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Outstanding Student Chapter Award

The special guest speakers for the event were Kwame Agyare (Region 9 Governor) and Jay Higgins (Region 9 Director) who spoke on the Society Initiative “Raise the Bar”. More information about the “Raise the Bar” initiative can be found here:

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Raise the Bar Initiative

The final highlight of the event was the presentation of the student Scholarship Awards by Penny Lew (ASCE OC Past President) and Ignacio Ochoa (Retired Director of Orange County Public Works). The official award recipients are:

ASCE OC Branch Awards
$2500 Tatiana Braun (CSULB) (Co-President) *** Ignacio Ochoa Scholarship
$1500 Cody Dodge (CSULB) (Co-President)
$1000 Chloe Gharios (CSUF) (President)
$500 John Stapleton (CSUF)
$500 Briella Matsumoto (CSULB)
$500 Hernan Lozada (CSULB)
Transportation Technical Group (TTG) Awards
$750 Deysi Alvarado (UCI) (President)
$750 Gina Nguyen (CSULB)
Environmental Water Resource Institute  (EWRI) Award
$1000 Fernanda Jeffers (UCI)

Steven King provided closing remarks at the end of the program, which included thanking Gary Gilbert for serving as the 2014-15 ASCE OC Branch President. 

2015 History & Heritage / Student Night - Closing Remarks


The need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure is paramount. Steven shared its importance to him and how all of us need to be involved. The event was a great success and sure to be one of the highlights of the year.

 The ASCE Orange County Board of Directors extends their sincere thanks and appreciation to those who attended, as well as the following sponsors for their support of the Annual History & Heritage / Student Night:

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ASCE OC looks forward to hosting a similar event in 2016. Interested in helping?! If so, contact the Social Committee for more information.

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