S&T student selected as national ASCE ambassador

Posted by
On August 23, 2023

Hannah Butkovich

Hannah Butkovich, a junior in civil engineering at Missouri S&T, recently completed an internship with Keeley Construction. Photo courtesy of Hannah Butkovich.

During a time when many students enjoy some well-deserved rest, Hannah Butkovich, a junior in civil engineering at Missouri S&T, had other plans this summer.

Over the past few months, Butkovich, of Bethalto, Illinois, participated in an internship with Keeley Construction. Plus, she was selected as a national student ambassador for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“I had a busy summer, but I learned so much in the process and had a great time being part of the Keeley team,” Butkovich says. “I am going to stay with the company this fall for a cooperative education program as well, which I can do remotely while still being a full-time student.”

At Keeley Construction, Butkovich focused on pre-construction duties, such as estimating, calling contractors, marking up bid forms and reviewing construction drawings.

“It was amazing,” she says. “Right from the beginning, they gave me real jobs to do. I had multiple projects to complete all on my own. My supervisor trusted me, and he was also willing to help when necessary.”

Butkovich says she was surprised to be appointed as a student ambassador, as only 26 students were selected this year for the national program, but she is excited to promote her trade and inspire more students to become involved with ASCE.

“When I was in second grade, I went to an event at the St. Louis Science Center, and I walked up to a woman who was a civil engineer,” Butkovich says. “Whatever she said then intrigued me so much that the desire to be a civil engineer has stuck with me for years. I wish I could meet her again to tell her how much she inspired me.

Now, I will work to inspire others to learn more about civil engineering and to eventually join ASCE.”

Spreading the word about the profession and ASCE should be no problem for Butkovich, as she says she is involved in multiple organizations and is naturally gregarious.

“I’m good at recruiting,” she says. “I want to get more people involved. When trying new things, it can almost feel threatening or intimidating to put yourself out there, but the payoff will usually be huge. Everyone at Missouri S&T is so welcoming and accepting.”

Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T says Butkovich is a perfect fit for the national student ambassador position, as she already serves as a role model to her classmates and to younger students aspiring to study at S&T.

“Hannah has been an outstanding student leader,” Burken says. “She has held leadership positions in S&T’s chapter of ASCE, as well our Steel Bridge design team. She is also involved with the Chi Omega sorority.

“Somehow, she also finds time to connect with future Miners and mentor students as a teaching assistant in our surveying class. She’s a natural leader, and I’m thrilled for her to now serve as an ambassador for ASCE on a national scale.”

Burken says Butkovich is also following in the footsteps of other Missouri S&T students and alumni who have represented the university and ASCE on the national stage.

“We’ve got a great tradition and legacy going,” Burken says. “For example, Marsia Geldert-Murphey, an S&T alumna and St. Louis-area civil engineer, will become the national ASCE president in just over a month. Our Miners do amazing things that truly help change the world.”

Rusty Keeley, CEO of Keeley Companies and a Missouri S&T alumnus, shared similar sentiments.

“I am extremely proud of Hannah for being named a student ambassador for ASCE,” he says. “This is an incredible accomplishment that takes passion, commitment and hard work, and she is more than deserving.

“We were honored to have Hannah as a Keeley’n this summer as part of our internship program, and I look forward to big things to come for her in the future.”

About Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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