Five Students Awarded 2022 Supernak Excellence Award
The award endowed by Dr. Janusz Supernak, retiring Department Chair of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, recognizes outstanding students in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.
Nominated and selected by their CCEE peers, five students have been named awardees of the 2022 Supernak Excellence Award.
Learn more about this year’s recipients below:
Katelyn Makavand is this year's recipient of the $1000 award for being selected by her peers as the overall 2022 SEA winner.
Environmental Engineering '22
Involvement on campus: My second year I became a member of ASCE, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Chi Epsilon (XE). I became a devoted member of ASCE’s Concrete Canoe team and held a leadership position as the Concrete Canoe Aesthetics Lead my third year. I wanted to branch out from Concrete Canoe so I decided to join ASCE’s Officer Board as the Membership Chair at the same time. A third position I held during my junior year was the Marketing Chair position for the American Water Works Association (AWWA). Leading into my fourth and final year, I became the President of ASCE. In the first semester of my Presidency I assisted Dr. Supernak and the College of Engineering as a whole to renew the CoE’s accreditation. I spoke on behalf of my peers to the accreditors to help SDSU maintain its prestigious status as an accredited university. In the second semester of my Presidency I won 1st place against 14 universities in the annual Technical Paper Competition which is part of the Pacific Southwest Student Symposium (PSWS). This competition requires a singular student from each competing university to write a persuasive essay and deliver a presentation pertaining to a topic in engineering ethics. I was able to lead our school’s ASCE Student Chapter to win 5th place overall at PSWS 2022.
Post-graduate plans: I would like to become a fully licensed professional engineer within the next few years. I have begun the process of becoming licensed, as I have recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam, securing my certification as an Engineer in Training (EIT). I have 3 more exams to take before I can officially call myself a Professional Engineer! I am about to start my first full-time engineering position at Clark Construction at the end of August, and I am eager to build my project management and leadership skills as a rising professional!
What this award means to you: It is a great honor to have been selected by the 2021-2022 Officer Board to be the ultimate recipient of this award! I am extremely grateful for my colleagues of the Officer Board, and I will continue to cherish the times we worked tirelessly together to accomplish our goals for ASCE. This award impacts my ability to be able to pay for my engineering license exams. Aside from the monetary prize, the title of this award alone is a huge honor and enables me to network with more professionals in the field. I am so thankful for Dr. Supernak’s generosity in bestowing this award to a student every year.
Experiences with Dr. Supernak: Dr. Supernak has been ASCE’s #1 supporter through thick and thin. He has been my main point of contact anytime I needed assistance when I was the President. He has always uplifted the students that come through this organization, and he has an unwavering passion for ASCE. His devotion for this club was extremely evident when he would assist me with whatever I needed. Dr. Supernak has always been a huge supporter of me personally as well. I became President without holding many prior positions as most Presidents usually do, and he never doubted me. I’m glad to have made him proud, and he will be dearly missed when he retires!
Incoming Fourth Year Student
Involvement: ASCE (President 2022-2023), Chi Epsilon (Associate Editor/Social Media Chair 2021-2022), VSA Modern (Co-Director 2021-2022)
Post-Graduate Plans: While I have one more year left, I hope to design transportation projects post-graduation and eventually become a project manager with the knowledge that I obtained through my degree and internships. As I am planning to take the FE Exam soon, I hope to pass that first so that I can begin preparing for the PE Exam soon after graduation in order to become a licensed and knowledgeable engineer.
What this award means to you: It is a great honor to have been awarded the Supernak Excellence Award! As so much hard work has been put in within the last year to make many new and in-person events within the ASCE Student Chapter happen after coming back from two years of being online, it is great to see that there are other student leaders in ASCE whose dedication and commitment are also being recognized for achieving such goals. Because of this, this award will enable me or remind me to keep growing as a leader and to continue to grow ASCE by providing other members with opportunities that can expand their knowledge of the Civil Engineering industry or their own careers.
Experiences with Dr. Supernak: My very first interaction with Dr. Supernak was at Explore SDSU when I was first accepted into the program three years ago. He was presenting about the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department and through his unmistakable passion for engineering and teaching, I knew that this school and program were the right ones for me! Even after his presentation, I was able to talk with him and he was very welcoming and kind. I really appreciate his enthusiasm and endless support for students, and especially his dedication for ASCE. It was especially great to see Dr. Supernak at the Pacific Southwest Symposium to support all of the technical and non-technical teams, which he does every year!
Incoming Fourth Year Student
Involvement on campus: ASCE Concrete Canoe Project Manager (2020-2022), Tau Beta Pi Vice President (2021-2022)
What you would like to do with your degree post-grad: Work in construction management to improve infrastructure for the local San Diego area.
What this award means to you: This award means to me that I've made a positive influence on the ASCE SDSU chapter. It means so much to me that I've been able to help people grow like those before me helped me grow. I'm beyond honored to be recognized by the chapter for this award.
Experiences with Dr. Supernak: Before I came to college, I did music performance semi-professional, and chose to go on the civil engineering path. Dr. Supernak has had a career doing music, and we had a deep discussion about how civil engineering will always be the baseline for life, in order for the world to go around. But having a background with the arts helps you come up with creative solutions, and allows you to have a career and hobby that you are both passionate about. He's influenced me to not give up on my love for music performance, even though civil engineering can be a demanding career. Thank you Dr. Supernak!
Incoming Fifth Year Student
Involvement on campus: ASCE Treasurer (2021-2022)
Post-grad plans: I look forward to enjoying my last semester as an undergraduate as I wrap up a few classes. I am preparing for the 8-hour PE exam and hope to pass on my first try, so I can shift my focus to the next exam right after. I am most interested in construction because you must be flexible and adaptive.
What this recognition means to you: It was nice to be recognized by my peers. Anytime you have the ability to do good, you do it. I was part of a great team and just wanted to do my part.
Kevin Ramirez-Armendáriz Estuardo
Involvement on campus: ASCE Concrete Canoe PM (2022-2023)
Post-graduate plans: I hope to be able to work in the construction field as a project manager with a main focus in creating homes and better infrastructure in California. Hopefully to be able to eventually begin my own construction company one day.
What this award means to you: It's a privilege to have been nominated for this award. I entered ASCE realitively late compared to others in the Concrete Canoe team I was a part of. It felt nice to see that my seniors thought highly enough of me to nominate me for the award. It helped me realize I can be a positive and hard working influence in the engineering community. It helped motivate me to become a better leader.
Experiences with Dr. Supernak: I've never had a direct interaction but it seems he has left an immense impact on SDSU and my fellow peers at state. He is known for his passion and compassion which is a surprisingly rare commodity in the engineering field today. It's great to see how much of a positive influence he can be for his and my fellow peers and I hope to emulate that in some way.