Civil engineers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, hosted a panel discussion that provided local college students with both professional and personal advice at Morgan State University (MSU) on Nov. 6.
Fontaine Jones, Willie Smith, Jr., Capt. David Ewing and Leroy Samuels met with a group of approximately 30 students, all members of MSU’s Civil Engineering Honor Society.
Fielding questions that ranged from managerial advice to personal and work life balance, panel members supplied students with four unique perspectives on the field of civil engineering.
The Corps of Engineers volunteers provided a synopsis of their career responsibilities in civil works and military construction, both domestically and overseas. They also advised students on the dynamics of group work and leadership in the field.
“You can manage trucks and equipment, but you can’t manage people,” said Capt. Ewing. “Instead, you need to motivate people, influence them. Workers around you pick up on a person who is a humble, and a true leader.”
The event was part Baltimore District’s STEM outreach, a volunteer-driven program which strives to share information about the Corps of Engineers missions and projects, and to promote careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
This spirit of volunteerism was inspiring to students during the evening’s discussion, and subsequent question and answer session.
Kyle Edmonds, an undergraduate civil engineering student, said he gained valuable information from the panel discussion.
“It is always helpful for us students to hear stories from professionals that encourage, motivate, and assist us in our endeavors,” said Edmonds. “Just hearing all the success stories from the panel opened the students up to really be eager and have that mindset that they really can do whatever they put their minds to.”
Local students are not the only benefactors of the Baltimore District STEM program. Volunteers also reap benefits from giving back to their communities.
“Young people are very inspiring. Anytime I speak to or work with young people, I feel rejuvenated. I feed off their positive energy,” said Civil Engineer Fontaine Jones, East Campus Area Office. “Activities like these help me develop my communication and networking skills. Some of the topics we discussed last night reminded me of why I am the type of engineer that I am. “
For more information on Baltimore District’s STEM volunteer program, visit http://1.usa.gov/11KthUm.