Orlando Convention Student Participation Follow-Up

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August 5, 2019
By Foundation Development Officer Rick Gardner

Members frequently ask what kind of results the Foundation gets from sponsoring students to attend the IIBEC International Convention and Tradeshow. “I can’t think of another program or grant that the Foundation has funded over the years that has had such great dividends for the profession,” says Joe Hale, chair of the RCI Foundation. “Showing these college students what we do, letting them have a chance to hear our best and brightest, and giving them a networking opportunity creates an ideal situation for them to consider our industry as part of their future and thus helping our own.”

Where are they now?

Amanda Bellamy
Amanda Bellamy
Amanda Bellamy graduated in May from the University of Kentucky with her master of architecture degree and will be completing her master’s of civil engineering in the fall. She is currently working full-time at Denham-Blythe, a design-build firm in Lexington, KY, doing both architecture and structural engineering.

Anna Farbis graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in engineering science – infrastructure. She is now a project coordinator at Pretium with an interest in Passive House design and sustainable development. She previously was a building science intern at Morrison Hershfield.

Majid Javed finished his undergraduate degree in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and has since accepted a job with Island Exterior Fabricators, an all-inclusive façade subcontractor in Boston. Javed plans on becoming a licensed architect, making connections, and continuing his learning and involvement with IIBEC.

Helena Kim is a sophomore studying civil engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and just received the Lewis W. Newlan scholarship from the RCI Foundation. Kim said, “As I have lived and traveled from city to city, learning about different structural components and designs in Busan, New York City, Philadelphia, Berlin, Budapest, and Rome, the IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show was the optimal event where I was exposed to an industry that is so interconnected with my interests.”

Tyler Kleinsasser just completed his B.S. in civil engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT). He is interning this summer with Hensel Phelps, working on a $64-million aircraft maintenance hangar in Guam. “It’s interesting to work on this project after attending the convention because I can understand more of the construction materials and methods being used,” Kleinsasser said. “I’ve been looking through the plans and specs for the project, and a lot of it relates to topics that I learned about during the speaker sessions at the conference.” Starting this summer, Kleinsasser will also be working on his M.S. in construction engineering and management at SDSMT.

Michelle Lee is starting her fourth year in architecture at Virginia Tech and just received the Robert W. Lyons scholarship from the RCI Foundation. “Attending the IIBEC Convention was great because I was able to meet hundreds of professionals with 20-30 years of experience, hear about their work, and network, all at once,” Lee said. “I loved attending the educational programs and hearing about case studies and experts’ opinions. I was even offered an internship position with Building Envelope Consulting, where I am spending my summer currently.”

Renee Rathbone will be a senior this fall at Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON, Canada, studying building sciences. She is currently working at OakWood Designers and Builders as a junior estimator. Rathbone said, “I left the IIBEC convention with a newfound sense of accomplishment. The confidence gained through attending this convention is one that I wasn’t expecting but has already helped in my personal growth by allowing me to practice social skills in an educational and professional environment. As soon as I returned from the convention, I was talking about it non-stop with my classmates and encouraging everyone to apply for next year. Furthermore, my roommate from the convention and I are still connected on social media and continue to speak with each other most days since we met.”

Grace Ray is working her fourth summer interning with the capital planning and development department at Oregon State University. “It’s going to be a pretty exciting summer as I get to work with quite a few consultants on some of our major upcoming projects,” Ray said. “Between attending the IIBEC convention this spring and a recent estimating class, by next June I’m looking to start a career within consulting and estimating. Currently, I am intending to apply for the Foundation scholarship to attend the IIBEC Convention in Houston next spring.”

Jordan Schillings will be staring his final year at Durham College in Oshawa, ON, Canada as he completes the architectural technologist program. He has spent the summer traveling Europe and enjoying the incredible architecture. Schillings has already connected with the Southern Ontario Chapter of IIBEC and is looking forward to networking and re-connecting with members he met at convention in Orlando.

Elina Shubin
Elina Shubin graduated in June with honors in building sciences from Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON, Canada. She is currently serving as a project administrator for Ferguslea Properties Ltd. in Ottawa. “Attending the 2019 Convention and Trade Show was one of the best opportunities I have ever had in my life,” said Shubin. “I feel like this experience has helped me become a stronger building scientist.” Shubin’s future includes taking the Passive House Course and exam.

Amanda Stuckey
Amanda Stuckey completed her third year at Virginia Tech and is working full time this summer for VPL Architects in Lancaster, OH. VPL does small commercial and residential new builds and renovations. “Attending the IIBEC convention helped me have a firm grasp on detailing effectively,” says Stuckey, “I try to work that into my drawings…especially in terms of where the exterior of the building meets grade.”

Brandi Wagenhoffer graduated in May with a B.A. in architecture from Virginia Tech. Starting in July, she will begin working for IIBEC member and past IIBEC President Mike Williams at Building Envelope Consulting, LLC, as an assistant project manager. Wagenhoffer states, “I was fortunate enough to attend two IIBEC conventions. The first experience opened my eyes to a whole other industry I didn’t know existed. I always thought architecture majors became architects, but it was nice to see the different potential my education offered me. At my first convention, I met Mike Williams. The following summer, I served as his intern. My second experience at IIBEC solidified my decision to make the consulting industry a career. Without IIBEC, I wouldn’t have known these opportunities existed for me. IIBEC has changed my future for the better!”

This past March, each of these students attended the Orlando IIBEC Convention and Trade Show and received $400 travel reimbursement, lodging, a meal per diem, registration, and a one-year membership in IIBEC. All this was made possible by donors to the Foundation’s Convention / Student Participation Fund.

If you have questions or would like more information about sponsoring students to attend the Houston IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show, please contact Development Officer Rick Gardner at rgardner@iibec.org or call 919-859-0742.

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