Board Member Spotlight

As part of our new  Board Member Appreciation Program we are showcasing a board member in our bimonthly Board Member Spotlight.  Our board member spotlight recognizes board members of outstanding contributions to the profession and our local communities. For any questions regarding the program please contact the Past President PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.

For the May and June 2019 Spotlight, we would like to introduce...

ASHLYN ALEXANDER

We asked her to state her name, company, and position(s) in ASCE:      

Ashlyn Alexander
Road and Highway Associate Engineer at Parsons
Community Outreach Co-Chair, Social Committee for OC Branch, and Internal Activities Co-Chair (2017-2018)

We also asked her a few questions about the following:

PERSONAL LIFE

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in various cities in Texas but I usually claim Dallas as it was my favorite area to live in growing up.

What made you want to become an engineer?

Coming out of high school, I liked math and science and figured I would do something STEM related and my parents suggested engineering. I wanted to become a civil engineer because it involved so many disciplines that I knew I could find something to love and help our communities.

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?

I enjoy just about any activity as long as I am with my friends and food is involved. I am an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., where I serve as a Parliamentarian for the Pomona graduate chapter, Lamda Gamma Sigma, volunteer at a variety of events and attend social events throughout the year.

My main sport/hobby is competing for an all-star cheerleading team that is an International All-Girl Level 6 team called OC Allstars-Neon where we compete at competitions throughout the spring to try to make it to the World Championship competition in Orlando, FL. This past April, we actually got 6th place in the world(out of 17 teams)! It’s something I did for 14 years prior to college so I love that I am able to get back in it, get some exercise and become a family with my team while doing it.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...

Serving in the pre-school children’s ministry at my church, Mission Bible Church, in Tustin, CA as an assistant teacher.

What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?

I attended San Diego State University and earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering. I held leadership roles in the National Society of Black Engineers and involved in a variety of other organizations on campus where I won awards for Most Involved in the Community Award and Team Player Award.

WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.

My responsibilities as an associate or entry level engineer has varied from assisting with design and development of PA/ED and PS&E packages to doing field work for ADA projects.The project where I had a lot of my “firsts” is the I-605/I-5 PAED project where I learned how to create profiles/superelevation diagrams from start to finish, typical cross-sections and assist with preliminary design as well as help with the project reports and fact sheets.

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineering is so broad that I feel like a sponge at this stage in my career and just ready to soak up all the knowledge I can. Also, we collaborate with multiple disciplines to come up with solutions that have a direct impact on people’s everyday lives which whether people appreciate it or not, brings me joy.

What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?

Technical skills which come over time with different projects and experience etc. But skills like communication, eagerness to learn, admitting faults, flexibility/adaptability, and willingness to step up are ones that I want to constantly improve on as I go through my career.

What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?

I got an internship at CH2M Hill through a NSBE convention my senior year but didn’t know much about transportation prior to the job. Once I got there, I loved the office environment and learning new things about roadway that I didn’t know was even a job but I see on an everyday basis which I am still learning things like that today. I was also interested in helping solve the traffic congestion and understanding how it all worked. I would start differently by asking more transportation engineers what they did and take the FE and PE exams quicker and understand the importance of them more.

ASCE & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?

When I first moved to the OC, I was advised by my job to participate in the WTS mentorship program where I met a fellow mentee, Jazzy, who invited me to an ASCE meeting. I figured I would go so I can meet new people in the field and find something to do in ASCE. I stayed because everyone was so welcoming and there was a place for me to give back to the community and make friends at the same time. Also, I have been given many opportunities to grow personally and professionally that I plan on being around as long as I am here!

How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?

ASCE has given me more perspective on how to grow in the workplace from communication skills to management skills. Also, I have given presentations at my job based on things I have learned from ASCE conferences. My two favorite benefits are having an ASCE mentor and gaining friends and knowledge that I wouldn’t know if I was not involved and discounts are also nice (:

Who is someone you admire and why?

This one is tough. But I admire is my mentor in college,Alishia, who actually helped me get my current job. She is a godly woman, a civil engineer and always there for me whenever I needed her. She is always growing in her faith and career.

If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?

That little saying of it’s not what you know, it’s who you know is very real from my personal experience. Networking is important and I am beyond glad someone told me that my freshman year of college and has stuck with me ever since.

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?

Be the change you want to see in your life and surroundings and trust the Lord along the process!


If you missed the last (Apr-May 2019) Board Member Spotlight, Alexandra Dubrock, you can click here to read her article.

To view the archive of all past Member Spotlights, click here.

Newsletter Sign-up

If you would like to be on our OC YMF e-mail distribution list, please use the newsletter sign-up box.

Upcoming Events


Follow Us


CEC

Stay Connected


Copyright © 2019 ASCE Orange County, California Branch, All Rights Reserved