Press Release - Scholarships, May 2018

ACEC New York awards scholarships to 19 New York engineering students

NEW YORK, May 8, 2018 — Nineteen engineering students attending colleges and universities in New York State will receive $62,500 collectively in scholarships from member firms and regions of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York). Individual awards range from $2,500 to $7,500 and are given based on the students’ cumulative grade-point average, college activities, work experience and essays. Seven of this year’s winners were also alumni of the ACE Mentor Program, which pairs high school students with mentoring teams composed of industry professionals (many of whom work for member firms) to introduce them to careers in the design and construction industry.

Since the program’s launch in 2002, ACEC New York has awarded 280 scholarships totaling $770,500. The scholarship program was implemented to support up-and-coming engineers, thereby guaranteeing a strong future for the profession in New York State. The Scholarship Committee’s goal is to reach a total of $1 million in collective scholarships by 2021 in honor of ACEC New York’s centennial celebration.

Students attending New York metropolitan-area colleges will be honored at ACEC New York’s membership luncheon on May 22 at the Union League Club. Students attending upstate colleges will be recognized at the ACEC New York winter conference in Albany on January 27, 2019.

Two students were honored with ACEC New York Award of Merit Scholarships, each in the amount of $7,500, at the ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Hilton Midtown New York on April 7. Stephen Zubrycky was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of Ali Chaudhry, Deputy Secretary for Transportation (NYS Governor’s Office), and Kelly Grogan was given an Award of Merit Scholarship in recognition of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Award of Merit is given by ACEC New York to recognize agencies and authorities for outstanding achievements in service to New York communities. Additionally, due to additional underwriting from WSP USA and the ACEC New York regions, two additional $5,000 scholarships were given to Gabrielle Cole and Ana Moura-Cook.

Following is a complete list of the 2018 scholarship winners:


ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of Ali Chaudhry, Deputy Secretary for Transportation (NYS Governor’s Office) - $7,500

Stephen Zubrycky (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, New York, NY

From a young age, living just outside Manhattan, Stephen was fascinated by the city landscape, going so far as to build his own miniature urban locale. Stephen funneled that interest into his undergraduate degree in civil engineering, as well as internships with STV and the DOT. Stephen has always dreamt that his work would become part of the iconic cityscape that is New York. He plans to direct his passion towards solutions to the challenges New York City will face in the not-too-distant future.


ACEC New York Merit Scholarship in recognition of the NYC Economic Development Corporation - $7,500

Kelly Grogan* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, New York, NY

Kelly is a native of Queens, and her love of Manhattan and desire to be part of its iconic skyline ignited a passion for civil engineering. In high school, Kelly participated in the ACE Mentor Program, which led to an internship with one of her team sponsors. In this position and in internships to follow, her real-world experience only strengthened her interest in civil engineering. A great sports enthusiast, Kelly sees the parallels between a fast-paced game and the dynamic and exciting quality of a career in engineering.


ACEC New York Regions Scholarship - $5,000

Ana Moura-Cook (Civil Engineering) | Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Ana grew up watching the world changing around her, from development to global climate change, and she knew she would dedicate her future to making a positive difference in her community. Through her various internships in consulting engineering, as well as working with a project team in Ghana, Ana's experience strengthens her motivation. She plans to apply her passion and skills to a future career in New York City following grad school.


WSP USA Scholarship - $5,000

Gabrielle Cole (Mechanical Engineering) | Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Gabrielle came from a small town in Upstate New York, and she wants to see her hometown and other small towns in America embrace the modern, eco-friendly practices she has studied and experienced. During her time with an engineering co-op program, she saw firsthand the expertise and talent needed to be a consulting engineer, and she was excited to pursue this path with an eye towards aiding local businesses and bringing all areas of New York into a greener, more sustainable future.


ACEC New York Scholarship - $2,500

Emily Eaton (Mechanical Engineering) | Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

As Emily sees it, an engineer needs not only a creative vision but also a core team to bring that vision to life and meet the client’s needs. She has adapted this worldview in her own experience working to redesign a rowing chair for paraplegic athletes. Through extensive research and creative thinking, she generated a completely new design and won the bid. She plans to continue to dedicate her creativity and tenacity to the benefit of her home town of Lake Placid.


AKF Group LLC Scholarship - $2,500

Leah McGovern* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY

Growing up a short distance from Manhattan, Leah was impressed by the masterful and varied architecture of New York City. She first considered a career in architecture, but her experience in the ACE Mentor Program redirected her ambition towards engineering. Her two-summer internship at STV gave her a wide variety of real-world experience and confirmed her new career path as an engineer. Leah is excited about her new-found passion on the design side of construction, and she looks forward to adding her own work to the iconic New York skyline.


Dagher Engineering, PLLC Scholarship- $2,500

Anton Paljusevic (Mechanical Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY

Anton first discovered the appeal of consulting engineering as a counselor for a summer engineering program for high school students. Through this role, he was introduced to the wide variety of professionals that comprise a consulting engineering firm. Anton recognizes the appeal of a career where you are always expanding your knowledge, and he anticipates pursuing this dynamic career in the ever-changing and diverse environment of New York.


Hazen and Sawyer Scholarship - $2,500

Kristy Calungsod* (Environmental Engineering) | City University of New York, New York, NY

Kristy’s goal was to make a positive impact on both her community and the environment, and she found her calling in consulting engineering. Her experiences during her internship with AECOM, as well as her involvement with Engineers without Borders and even her volunteer position as a Sunday school teacher, have helped Kristy develop valuable leadership and communication skills that will allow her to make an impact on the environmental engineering sector, specifically as it relates to the energy field, in New York.


HDR Scholarship - $2,500

Nicole Kaiser* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY

Nicole has a family history in engineering. For example, her grandfather, a mechanical engineer, worked on rescue helicopters in the Korean War. Nicole wants to continue her family’s legacy and make a significant impact on the world through a career in civil engineering. Her internship with STV opened her eyes to a wide variety of roles on an engineering project, like East Side Access. Nicole is eager to pursue a career in New York to work in a diverse industry and improve the daily lives of New Yorkers.


Jaros, Baum & Bolles Scholarship - $2,500

Bryce Ikeda (Electrical Engineering) | University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Bryce thrives in an environment which challenges and grows his skillset. As captain of the men’s varsity soccer team, he became a stronger leader. As a Student Alumni Ambassador, he learned the importance of building and maintaining relationships. During his internship at Bechtel Marine Propulsion, he learned how to take on a challenging task and see it through to the end (as well as the basics of cryptography). Bryce plans to use these skills in a career in consulting engineering, creating new projects that will benefit society as a whole.


Langan Engineering Scholarship (In memory of Maria Isabel Ramirez (09-11-01) - $2,500

Murshedur Shahy (Environmental Engineering) | City College of New York, New York, NY

Murshedur has approached his future career as only an engineer could: through careful analysis and consideration. He is attracted to many aspects of the industry: stability, flexibility, constant improvement and growth of both projects and personal skillset, and the prestige and respect that comes with this often overlooked career. After establishing his career, Murshedur plans start his own environmental consulting firm in New York, and he is motivated to see his ideas improving the lives of others.


Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc. Scholarship - $2,500

William Yang (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY

William’s parents emigrated from southern China, and he heard many stories about the conditions there. From these stories, he knows to not take modern amenities, such as paved roads, water and sewer systems, and safe housing, for granted. William’s time in the ASCE student chapter, as well as the ACE Mentor Program, introduced him to engineering professionals who shared his vision of improved, sustainable infrastructure, and his internship with AKRF gave him valuable real-world experience towards his future career in New York.


Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers Scholarship – $2,500

Keila Peralta* (Civil Engineering) | Alfred State, Alfred, NY

When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Keila didn’t have a definitive answer until she saw a woman on MTV Cribs who designed her own home, engendering an interest in architecture. A few years into her studies, however, her interest waned until an internship in construction management rekindled her enthusiasm for the built environment. Now Keila is a civil engineering major at Alfred State, and when she looks around her neighborhood, she sees problems but also solutions. She is eager to apply her skills to keeping her city safe and thriving.


Pennoni Engineering Scholarship – $2,500

Austin Goodwin (Civil Engineering) | Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Austin had an interest in design from an early age, and at first he assumed this would lead him toward a career in architecture, until his father introduced him to civil engineering. His choice of major only strengthened his interest, and through his co-op program with Passero Associates, he gained hands-on experience that made him excited to take on greater responsibility in the field following graduation. It is important to Austin to remain in Rochester near his family, and he is eager to use his degree to improve his hometown community.


Sam Schwartz Engineering, DPC Scholarship – $2,500

Mohammed Hossain (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY

Mohammed loves New York City – from the amazing iconic skyline to the systems that keep the complex and ever-evolving city running. His father owned a small-scale construction business, and his experience as a youth on building sites encouraged him to pursue a career in engineering. He wants to be a part of what makes the city special and to help protect it against natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy. Not only has he learned exceptional skills at Cooper Union, but he has also established a passion for his work to match that for his hometown.


Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Scholarship – $2,500

April Mintz (Civil Engineering) | Cooper Union, New York, NY

For April, the most fascinating aspect of consulting engineering is the variety inherent in the field. From the different stages of a project to the variety of skills needed to see it to completion, April is confident that her career path lies in supporting the infrastructure of New York City. Her internship with Port Authority, as well as her coursework, introduced her to the important roles both public agencies and consultants play. April plans to work for a consulting firm and pursue her professional engineering license following graduation.


STV Group Scholarship – $2,500

Emily White* (Civil Engineering) | Manhattan College, Bronx, NY

Emily is excited to find innovative solutions to engineering problems in New York City, despite constraints such as strict standards and space for new construction, as she knows the power of parameters in unleashing creativity. She also knows how rewarding the role of a consulting engineer can be, from the interpersonal interactions with owners, contractors and other engineers to the constant expanding of knowledge and skills that come with the job. Emily is ready and willing to use her abilities to make a difference.


Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. Scholarship – $2,500

DeWein Pelle (Civil Engineering) | Columbia University, New York, NY

DeWein’s educational path has been anything but easy. He grew up on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in a home that was slowly collapsing, igniting a passion for civil engineering and supporting safety standards. He persevered and is now concluding a dual-degree program at Columbia, despite the loss of his family home to Hurricane Maria. DeWein even assisted the NOAA by developing MATLAB code to track fish migrations. New York welcomes his resourcefulness and tenacity in his future career as a consulting engineer.


Thornton Tomasetti Scholarship – $2,500

Elizabeth Lisk* (Civil Engineering) | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Engineering is not only a job to Elizabeth but rather a way of life. She was introduced to the concept of consulting engineering through the ACE Mentor Program, which gave her the perfect path for her interest in math and science. She started noticing the impact of design professionals all around her, including the numerous bridges to and from her home in Southern Queens. Elizabeth sees herself as part of an industry that will help grow and change the city she calls home through problem solving and professional development.


*ACE Mentor of Greater New York alumnus

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 ACEC New York is a proactive coalition of 270 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment—civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical—and affiliated companies. Our shared goals are to further the business interests of our membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment we live and work in, and help ensure the vitality of our communities. For more information, visit


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