Orange County Branch Newsletter

November 2023


Student Chapter Hosts Multiple Fall Events For Their Student Members

By ASCE CSUF 2023-2024 Officer Board

Friendsgiving Potluck Social Event

In the spirit of expressing heartfelt thanks to our club's dedicated supporters and members, CSUF ASCE organized a delightful Friendsgiving potluck event. This special occasion aimed to cultivate a sense of gratitude and camaraderie within the ASCE community on campus.

Attendees were welcomed with a lavish spread of delicious food and drinks featuring an array of culinary delights, such as a fantastic flan, homemade cookies, ribs, pizza, fruit, croissants, and more, generously provided by our outstanding members. Beyond the culinary delights, the event was designed to provide a holistic experience for everyone involved. A movie and engaging games complemented the festive ambiance, creating an environment where members could unwind, connect, and celebrate.

Our members gather around for a delicious feast.

Alex Gonzalez, our club's esteemed External Vice President, reflected on the event, emphasizing that the most memorable aspect was "getting to know newer members better and playing a fun and inclusive game called Spyfall." The event served as an occasion for expressing gratitude and as a platform for fostering meaningful connections among seasoned and new members. Through such gatherings, we strengthen the bonds that make our organization a supportive and welcoming family for all its members.

About the Author:

Mark Saba is a devoted second-year Civil engineering major at California State University of Fullerton. He has previous experience interning at the Engineering Lab, where he tested on concrete, asphalt, and soils. Mark enjoys spending his free time going on hikes and baking cakes with his friends. 

CSUF ASCE Student Chapter Attends History and Heritage/Student Scholarship Night

CSUF ASCE members recently participated in the History and Heritage night, providing our student chapter with a valuable opportunity to engage with members of the Younger Member Forum (YMF) and connect with industry professionals. The event witnessed our members showcasing their professionalism by arriving in well-appointed attire, armed with resumes to make lasting impressions.

CSUF ASCE members cheer proudly, gather together, and celebrate our scholarship winners. Go Titans! 

During this impactful evening, our club's secretary, Alexis Gopaul, achieved a notable milestone by being honored with a scholarship for her outstanding contributions in the transportation category. Reflecting on her achievement, Alexis expressed gratitude and shared, "I was very grateful to be a scholarship recipient for several reasons. I am interested in becoming a transportation professional in the industry who aspires to tackle and address any inequities. Winning the TD&I award, which focuses on how young professionals can address equality, was very important to me."

Her dedication and accomplishments were duly recognized, prompting pride among the ASCE CSUF community. Alexis further emphasized her happiness in securing an award that not only recognizes her individual achievements but also brings recognition to CSUF as a whole. As she enthusiastically stated, "I was also happy to win a reward that would give recognition to CSUF! Go Titans!". We extend our sincere thanks to Alexis for her acknowledgment and wish her continued success in her academic and professional journey. 

About the Author:

Alejandro Gonzalez is an ambitious California State University of Fullerton senior majoring in Civil Engineering. Alex has a background in construction management, with just under two years of experience both on the field and in the office. In the academic year of 2023 - 3024, he will be the External Vice-President for the CSUF ASCE student chapter. Outside of work and school, he likes to hang out with his friends and his lovely girlfriend, and he enjoys rock climbing. If you’d like to connect with Alejandro or learn more about his experiences and involvement, he can be reached at

Matt Construction Presentation with ASCE and CEMA

ASCE collaborated with CEMA (Construction Engineering Management Association) in conjunction with Matt Construction to educate students about the construction sector and the potential career paths within engineering. Students gained insights into what distinguishes Matt Construction as one of California's leading commercial general contractors. The management team at Matt Construction has refined their construction services to cover every aspect of the process, starting from design and concluding with the final build. During this presentation, ASCE members expanded their knowledge about the construction industry and discovered internship prospects.

CSUF Student Members gather for a group picture after the presentation by Matt Construction 

Our club's event coordinator, Mark Saba, orchestrated this pumpkin carving gathering to fund the club and offer a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for students. Pumpkins, carving tools, and food and refreshments were supplied for our members to enjoy the evening, all while commemorating the spooky month of October. With a fantastic turnout, our members had a wonderful time mingling and crafting pumpkin creations as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Pumpkin Carving Social

CSUF Student Members and their supportive CSUF faculty gather for the Pumpkin Carving Event 

Simpson Strong-Tie Workshop

ASCE collaborated with Simpson Strong-Tie, a structural company, to educate students on the advantages of pursuing a career with this organization. The presentation commenced with an inspiring speech by Simpson Strong-Tie representative Angel Hernandez, emphasizing the importance of perseverance. He discussed optimal engineering practices when operating in the field, highlighting the significance of materials and the structural components they offer, notably emphasizing the concept of establishing a continuous load path in structures. This presentation proved highly beneficial to ASCE members, enhancing their understanding of a structural engineering firm and making them aware of internship opportunities. 

Our members gather for a group picture with Angel Hernandez from Simpson Strong-Tie

About the Author:

Annabelle Talavera is a dedicated senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at California University of Fullerton. With a robust construction and stormwater inspection background, Annabelle brings practical knowledge to her academic pursuits. In the academic year 2023-2024, she will take on the role of historian for the ASCE CSUF student chapter. Outside of her academic and professional endeavors, she enjoys rock climbing, crocheting, and spending time with her friends and family. If you'd like to connect with Annabelle or learn more about her experiences and involvement, she can be reached at

 K-12 Civil Engineering Outreach Presentation and Design Project 

Costa Mesa High students build their engineering masterpieces

CSUF ASCE visited the juniors and seniors at Costa Mesa High School to discuss college life and a career in Civil Engineering. Three representatives from CSUF ASCE- Christopher Acebal, Hafsa Farooqui, and Phoebe Truong- visually explained to the students what Civil Engineering is really about. They first began by explaining the differences between the significant concentrations of civil engineering: transportation, geotechnical, structural, environmental, etc., and what the pros and cons of each entail. Next, they touched on civil engineers' different corporate roles, from project managers/engineers and designers to consultants and researchers. 

Chris, Hafsa, and Phoebe remarked on their experiences at PSWS and various technical projects from concrete canoes to steel bridges to solid timber to demonstrate how they can involve themselves early in civil engineering projects. With the added mention of non-technical events, students asked questions about the projects and how to create and manage a team and workload. To conclude the presentation, CSUF ASCE extended their contact information and encouraged the students to think like engineers in their day-to-day lives. 

Following an invigorating question-and-answer session, students were challenged to create a structure using a single sheet of paper within groups of 3. To invoke some friendly competition, they were only allotted ten minutes and 8 inches of tape to build their tower. Some buildings had extraordinarily unique design concepts and demonstrated a sense of intuition and creativity within the groups. Following the ten-minute build session, structures were measured for height and placed in an earthquake simulator (a shaking cardboard box with ping-pong balls upon which the tower was placed) to see whose building had the tallest structure and most stable design. The session concluded with camaraderie, and the students felt they benefited immensely from the visit!

However, the students were not the only beneficiaries of this event: Chris, Hafsa, and Phoebe gained necessary life skills from this visit. They learned more about the concentrations of civil engineering and real-world projects, improved their public speaking and communication skills, connected and shared ideas with the students, and served as peer mentors for the day. In addition to offering advice, they also gained perspective on some of the student's future endeavors and how to help them achieve their goals!

About the Author:

Hafsa Farooqui is a passionate 4th-year civil engineering student excited about a career in land design! Apart from serving as the current ASCE Co-Internal Vice President and a former PSWS environmental competitor, Hafsa has shadowed a president architect, conducted research for the CSUF mechanical engineering department, and interned at an environmental testing lab. She enjoys baking, hiking, watching The Lion King, and drinking chai! Hafsa will intern as a Production Intern at Kimley-Horn’s Orange office this upcoming summer.

ASCE OC Geo-Institute/CalGeo Collaborates with ASCE CSUF for Site Tour with Keller 

ASCE CSUF members gather around construction machinery for a quick snapshot 

Keller Group Inc., a distinguished geotechnical engineering company, joined forces with CSUF ASCE and CalGEO to provide students with a unique and immersive experience through an enlightening site tour. This exceptional opportunity allows students to gain firsthand insights into the construction phase of an apartment project, shedding light on the intricate processes involved in geotechnical engineering within the construction industry.

Our club’s treasurer, Montzerrat Arellano, mentioned that a focal point of the tour was when students observed the drilling of holes into the ground, a crucial step in creating a robust foundation for columns. This practical exposure served as a pivotal bridge between theoretical classroom knowledge and its real-world applications in the field.

Astonished CSUF ASCE members watch as the drilling process occurs at the Keller Group Inc. Jobsite 

CSUF ASCE’s Professional Outreach chair, Gerardo Alvarez, states, “The site tour hosted by Keller was a great experience for everyone, including myself. Tom did an amazing job leading the tour and informing attendees about the process of Vibro Piers. He showed us many aspects of the geotechnical world by providing specific procedures that ranged from field fit to design.” This partnership showcases a commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that extends beyond theoretical concepts, preparing them for the challenges they will encounter in their future careers. As Gerardo puts it precisely, “Tom and the team had a great attitude all through and gave us invaluable knowledge about the geotechnical world.”

About the Author:

Montzerrat Arellano is a senior civil engineering student at California State University, Fullerton. Regarding a specific focus, Montzerrat Arellano aims to be a Geo-Structural Engineer with an Architectural Emphasis. She has been interning as a soil laboratory technician at Associated Soils Engineering, Inc. since May 2023. Alongside her job and schoolwork, Montzerrat is the Treasurer for ASCE’s Fullerton student chapter for the 2023-2024 academic school year. Apart from her work and school life, you can catch her gardening, studying plants, crystals, and healing techniques, and trying out new restaurants and cafes she and her friends find on social media. If you have any questions for her, feel free to contact her at

CSUF ASCE Partners with Panda Express to Raise Funds

CSUF ASCE supporters pose for a quick snapshot to show their dedication to the club's efforts. 

On Wednesday, October 25th, the ASCE CSUF club organized a successful fundraiser at Panda Express, bringing supporters and community members together to contribute to the club’s initiatives. In the picture above, our club’s External Vice President, Alejandro Gonzalez, is seen with Outreach Chair Christian Lopez, posing with the event’s poster after contributing to the fundraiser by purchasing their lunch at Panda Express. The event provided a delightful opportunity for attendees to enjoy delicious Panda Express food while actively participating in supporting the ASCE CSUF club’s endeavors. With a portion of the proceeds from each purchase reserved for the club, the fundraiser was a meaningful way to generate financial support. The engaging atmosphere and shared sense of community spirit during the event exemplified the ASCE CSUF club's and its supporters' collaborative efforts in advancing their goals and fostering friendships within and beyond. 

About the Author:

Stephanie Botros is a dedicated Civil Engineering student at CSUF whose passion thrives daily. Actively engaged in her academic pursuits, Stephanie is committed to excelling in her studies and strives to contribute to the engineering community. As a proud member of ASCE, Stephanie plays a crucial role in shaping the future of this club. She is currently the Co-fundraising Chair, where Stephanie brings her enthusiasm and organization skills to raise funds and support the club’s various activities. Overall, she is an exemplary student leader, actively contributing to the growth and vibrancy of ASCE CSUF.