Cody Dodge

Scholarship Status: Awarded 2nd Place
Scholarship Awarded: Achievement Scholarship
University: California State University, Long Beach
Date of Graduation: 05/18/2016


Essay:

My interest in Civil Engineering started when I was young playing with Lincoln Logs, which are an archaic form of Legos, on my living room floor with my grandfather. We would each build towers and see who could make the the tallest one. This sparked a curiosity that would continue to grow and turn into an obsessive interest in trying to solve problems. As I grew up, I watched my father remodel our house and build high voltage control panels at work. The idea that one person could have all of this knowledge to build and make systems work fascinated me and made me want to learn as much as possible. Learning new things gave me a great feeling and made me want to continue learning how to make things work so that I could solve any problem I was up against. This led me down the path of engineering. I enjoy that civil engineering provides me with the opportunity to improve our society for our generation and many more to come. As a civil engineer you have a unique responsibility to design and build infrastructure that will be better than what infrastructure is currently in place whether it be more energy efficient, sustainable or safer. To achieve this we must apply new technology and resources that are at our fingertips to better build this infrastructure. I appreciate that civil engineering provides one with such a broad spectrum of areas to specialize in and that learning must never stop. To be a good engineer you must continue learning throughout your career so that you are always on the cutting-edge and can uphold your responsibility to continue to advance our society. This constant push to never stop advancing excites me to become a professional where I will always have something new to work towards as a goal and always be better than my last project. I am currently studying with an emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering. As I continue to learn as a professional I want to specialize in deep foundations. Throughout my career as a civil engineer I want to strive to make infrastructure the best as possible for the future generations. Whether that means building a project with the environmental concerns at the forefront to lessen the construction footprint or making sure that a bridge is built to the correct specification so it will withstand that 8.5 magnitude earthquake when it is built, possibly saving thousands of lives. This will take take constant diligence and focus which is why I make sure to give my best effort in coursework while in school. I am proud to be recognized for this diligence in school through my initiation into 2 honor societies, Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi. These both recognize students that set themselves apart by excelling in coursework and maintaining high scholastic achievement and volunteerism. While in school ASCE has allowed me to develop skills that are needed to be a successful professional early on in my college career. These include holding leadership positions such as Steel Bridge Captain and currently being the Co-President for my student chapter of ASCE at CSULB. These positions have greatly helped develop my soft skills which I believe helped me obtain my internship this past Spring which I currently still work at while attending school. I work for Traylor Bros., Inc., a tunneling and bridge construction engineering firm. I am on the Regional Connector Transit Corridor project in Downtown LA. Sometimes balancing a full time school schedule, overseeing our student chapter of ASCE as Co-President, 35 hours of work a week and all of life’s other challenges can be stressful at times. However, all of these activities has helped me improve my time management skills greatly which will translate into success in my professional career. While at times in can be a stretch to balance so many activities I would not trade any of it for more free time or sleep. I fully enjoy giving back through ASCE by helping mentor younger ASCE members when they have questions about studying for a class or tips on nailing that interview for an internship. I enjoy volunteering for events that expose younger kids to engineering where I can see the spark inside of them that I remember feeling for the first time when playing with those Lincoln Logs. As a professional, I want to continue to give back to the community and future generations of civil engineers through ASCE because of how much ASCE has enriched my life thus far. This scholarship will help me finish school with less of a burden due to educational expenses and help me focus on coursework and ASCE more intently. By doing this I will be able to be a well developed student entering the professional world and will be able to accomplish my goals in my career and be the best civil engineer that I can be, making our society a better place.

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