Pittsburg State University Won the Student Chapter Competition and Students & Educators Were Recognized at MCAA23

April 7, 2023

Pittsburg State University garnered the Student Chapter Competition win and $10,000 during MCAA23. Individual students and educators were recognized with a variety of scholarships and awards. The University of Nebraska was selected as the 2022-2023 Student Chapter of the Year. MCAA presented a charter to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, our newest student chapter, sponsored by the MCA of Eastern Missouri.

Congratulations to the following students, faculty members and student chapters!

JRGF Sholarships

Thomas J. Wanner Scholarship

Daniel Kellen of Iowa State University received a $5,000 scholarship check in honor of the retired MCA/MSCA of Cleveland Executive Director, Thomas J. Wanner.  This scholarship is in its second year and is sponsored by MCA/MSCA of Cleveland. 

ATP Inspiring Future Leaders Scholarship

Amaya Caggino of the University of Maryland, College Park is the recipient of a brand-new $2,500 scholarship provided by ATP Learning Solutions.  The scholarship was established to recognize, support and inspire students in the mechanical industry. 

Josam Endowed Scholarship

Alison Ritvo of Kent State University received a $2,500 scholarship underwritten by the Josam Company. This annual scholarship is awarded to the recipient during their sophomore, junior and senior years, provided all qualifications continue to be met.  2022-2023 marks Alison’s first year of the scholarship.

Alan P. O’Shea Memorial Scholarship 

Brodee Paul and Marissa Kelly, both of the University of Nebraska each received a $2,500 scholarship check in memory of Alan P. O’Shea.  The scholarship is sponsored by MCA of New Jersey.

Reilly Family Memorial Scholarship

Brock Schulz of the University of Nebraska received a scholarship check for $5,000 to honor Wayne, Emmett and Patrick Reilly.  The John W. Danforth Company is the sponsor of the scholarship.

William A. Bianco, Jr. Memorial Scholarship 

Veronica Brems of Purdue University received a $5,000 scholarship check in memory of a former President of the foundation and MCAA Distinguished Service Award (DSA) recipient, William A. “Bill” Bianco, Jr.  The scholarship is sponsored by Kinetics.

Robert J. Durr, Sr. – UA/NCPWB Partnering Scholarship

Cole Perkins of Iowa State University received a $2,500 scholarship check in honor of Robert J. Durr, Sr., former chairman of the National Certified Pipe Wilding Bureau Board of Trustees.  Robert’s effort and dedication in creating a partnership between the United Association and the NCPWB resulted in the formation of the Joint Welder Testing Program.  This new scholarship is sponsored by the NCPWB.

Viega – Joe Pikus Scholarship

Morebodi Sebadieta of California State University, Chico was the recipient of a new scholarship for $5,000.  Viega has graciously sponsored student chapter activities at the MCAA Convention for many years.  A major driving force behind this support has been Joe Pikus.  Upon the news that Joe would soon be retiring, Viega decided to commemorate his passion for student learning by sponsoring a scholarship in his honor.

Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarship

Morgan Fischer of Kent State University and Alayna Trautman of Alfred State College each received a $5,000 scholarship, sponsored by Ferguson, to recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry.  The two students will also be invited to attend the WiMI Conference in Nashville this June.

DEWALT Patriot Scholarship

The DEWALT Patriot Scholarship, now in its second year, was created to recognize two veterans of the United States military who have valiantly served their country and have chosen to enter a career related to mechanical contracting.  Thank you to DEWALT Industrial Tool Company for honoring our military and to our scholarship recipients for their service.  Daniel Colon-Crespo of Ferris State University (Specialist in the Michigan National Guard) and Jake Balgemann of Iowa State University (United States Marine Corps Sergeant) each received a $5,000 scholarship.   

Foster McCarl, Jr. Memorial Scholarship 

Macy Deck of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville received a $5,000 scholarship check in memory of the founder of our foundation, Foster McCarl, Jr.  McCarl’s Inc. is the scholarship sponsor.

Trimble Future Estimator Scholarship

Joani Lico of Fairleigh Dickinson University received a $5,000 scholarship check for a new scholarship that was developed to recognize a student who is not only interested in mechanical contracting, but specifically someone with an interest in being a mechanical estimator upon graduation.  Trimble is the sponsor of the scholarship and has donated complimentary use of the Trimble Estimation MEP software for our student chapter competition teams for the past few years.

New Student Chapter Chartered

MCAA welcomed its newest student chapter by granting a charter to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  The new chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Eastern Missouri and their faculty advisor is Stephen Duda.

JRGF Awards

Educator of the Year 

Marie Patterson of California State University, Chico was recognized as the 2022-2023 Educator of the Year.  She was selected for this honor based on her mentoring, mechanical industry knowledge, chapter activity participation, and involvement in the creation of student-focused networking opportunities with local mechanical contractors through their local MCAA affiliate chapter.  In addition to a trophy, she received a check for $5,000. 

Student Chapter of the Year 

The University of Nebraska was selected as the 2022-2023 Student Chapter of the Year. The Career Development Committee chose the winner based on a rubric that evaluates industry specific educational opportunities, fundraising and community service efforts, recruitment tactics, and most importantly, mechanical contracting interest for the ways the chapter assists in connecting students with MCAA members within their local chapter or nationally.  They received a check for $3,000. 

MCAA Student Chapter Competition 

Pittsburg State University won the top prize of $10,000 and a trophy for their outstanding work on this year’s Student Chapter Competition project, which involved a proposal for the construction of the mechanical and plumbing systems at the new district energy facility on the National Western Center Campus in Denver, CO.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo was the runner-up, placing second and received a trophy and check for $5,000. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University and McMaster University rounded out the final four. Each of these Honorable Mention finalists received trophies and $2,500.

Six additional teams that just missed the final four were recognized with Merit Trophies and checks for $1,000. They are, in alphabetical order: 

  • Ball State University
  • Kent State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Washington
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology

Most Valuable Presenter

The Career Development Committee recognized a student who did the best job presenting their proposal, whether or not their team won.  The audience members voted via a polling link between school presentations and ultimately Braden Deck of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo was awarded a trophy, a $500 gift card, a complimentary seat in MCAA’s Preparatory Institute for Project Management, and the title of 2022-2023 Most Valuable Presenter.

MCAA congratulates all of the award winners and thanks them for their interest in being part of our industry’s future.

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