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ASCE OC Publications: WRYMC 2024 in the Perspective of First-Time Attendees

Updated: Mar 29

The ASCE Western Region Younger Member Council (WRYMC) is an annual leadership conference that provides essential training and support for ASCE leaders at all career stages. It is one of three seminars hosted during the Multi-Regional Leadership Conference.

WRYMC, specifically, is catered to early-career professionals. It was held at The Westin in Seattle, Washington, from February 9th to 10th, 2024. The conference included technical sessions, tours, roundtable discussions, and the Annual Business Meeting.

Brisa Bernal, a Staff Engineer with Diaz-Yourman and Associates in Santa Ana, California, and a first-time WRYMC attendee, shares:

"My favorite part was collaborating with younger members from other states. It was a great opportunity to learn from each other about what works and what types of common challenges we all go through."

Regarding the roundtable discussions, Brisa notes, "I liked that we could choose what topics to participate in. I learned how to improve our K-12 outreach programs using ASCE National's resources."

Giovanni "Gio" Hernandez, an Assistant Engineer with the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, was another ASCE OC YMF first-time attendee.

"My favorite part of WRYMC was the community atmosphere throughout the weekend. It made me feel comfortable fully participating in all my sessions, even though I did not know most attendees. As a result, I networked with many ASCE members and learned some things along the way."

He continues, "my biggest takeaway was from the Active Listening session. In the presentation, the speaker [Kelly Keselica] shared the different types of listening and hosted activities that allowed me to reflect on what active and passive listening really means. It has since challenged me to be more present in conversations."

Brisa and Gio were active ASCE student chapter members before joining ASCE OC YMF. With their exposure to ASCE from the academic to the industry level, they shared the importance of continuing to participate in professional organizations post-graduation.

Brisa shares, "our role as young civil engineers is to continue learning from more experienced engineers while trying to inspire the next generation."

"It's unique to interact with so many civil engineers in the West at once," emphasizing her opportunity to build a network beyond Orange County.

Gio also expressed that "the overall camaraderie of all the ASCE members, from the ASCE National President down to the student members, stood out to me the most. This experience taught me that the student-level community environment can continue at the younger member level."

When asked if they recommend WRYMC to future OC YMF members, both were ecstatic to say, "Yes!"

According to Brisa, "aside from being a great learning experience, it was also a ton of fun and a great way to meet more peers in the industry!"

"It's also a chance to learn leadership skills and more information about ASCE as a professional society," Gio recalls.

Did you miss WRYMC 2024 in Seattle? Don't fret! It's back in Southern California in 2025!

After over a decade, WRYMC will be hosted in sunny San Diego from January 16th to 18th, 2025. Save the date!


About the Author:

The ASCE Orange County Publications Committee, led by Marionne Lapitan (Publications Chair/Newsletter Editor-In-Chief), coordinates articles with ASCE OC technical institutes and committees. They are responsible for reviewing and organizing the collected articles to publish the official ASCE OC bi-monthly newsletters.

The committee is looking for volunteers! Do you appreciate documenting the legacy of ASCE and being connected to our key members? Being a part of the Publications Committee is an excellent opportunity to learn the process and broaden your contacts. We are looking for individuals to volunteer about 2-3 hours per month to assist in uploading newsletter articles, tracking our events, and learning our internal management software.

For more information, please contact


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