Audra Morse PhD, PE
April 13, 2016
Expect a New Strategic Plan & Infrastructure Report Card
April was a very exciting month for the Texas Section of ASCE. The Board of Direction Meeting was held in conjunction with the ASCE Texas Student Symposium and Texas-Mexico Regional Student Conference, April 7-9. Action items from the Board Meeting included identifying processes to increase budget transparency, the development of training material and guiding documents so that Section and Branch members are prepared to visit with their legislatures and representatives and grow STEM outreach using the Student Symposium as one possible vehicle. Other STEM activities are in the development phase and will employ our knowledge as civil engineering experts in developing curriculum content for Texas K-12 teachers and outreach activities for K-12 students. The Section is beginning plans to launch the Texas Section Infrastructure Report Card at a “Drive In” in the spring of 2017. Lastly, the Board approved the position description for a new Executive Director. If you were not aware, Cres Guzman PE is looking forward to a new role as a retiree. If you know anyone who is passionate about the Texas Section and civil engineering, please encourage them to apply for the Executive Director position. More steps forward were made on the Strategic Plan with a goal of presenting a draft version of the plan to the Executive Committee in July. As we approach the end of the road to a new Strategic Plan, a working group will be established to rethink the structure of the Section officers, committee structure and Board to enhance our ability to accomplish the Strategic Plan.
Of course, I cannot end this message without an update about the Student Symposium. Twenty schools from Texas, Mexico and Louisiana participated in a series of activities ranging from student competitions (concrete canoe, steel bridge, concrete Frisbee and concrete bowling) to professional service activities related to resume writing, interviewing and financial literacy. The event was held on the Texas Tech University (TTU) campus and I would like to thank Russell R. Carter PE, Chair of Student Activities Committee, Eva Schexnider, Chair of the TTU planning committee, Kelly M. Skoviera PE, Student Competitions Head Judge, the competition judges, Texas Section office staff, and the rest of the Student Symposium planning committee for making this event a great success. As for the Steel Bridge Competition, congratulations to Texas A&M College Station and Southern Methodist University for finishing first and second place, respectively. Both teams will attend the National Steel Bridge Competition representing the Texas Section. Regarding the Concrete Canoe Competition, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University placed first, second and third, respectively. UT-Austin along with UT-Tyler will be representing the Texas Section at the National Concrete Canoe Competition in Tyler, Texas in June. Again, congratulations to everyone who participated in the competition and good luck to the teams participating in Nationals.
November 5, 2015
Proposition 7 PASSED With 83% of the Vote
On November 3rd, the voters of Texas approved Proposition 7, a constitutional amendment to authorize new funding sources for improving Texas roads using certain sales tax revenue. In 2020, the revenue from Prop 7 is estimated to be $3 billion dollars. The beauty of Prop 7 is that it correlates the funding of roads we drive to the sales tax of the motor vehicles in our state. This is a huge statement the Texas voters have made about the importance of infrastructure and transportation in Texas correlating to Texas’ pro-business attitude and the value of human lives.
Many thanks to supporters of this constitutional amendment to fund our infrastructure without new taxes, fees or debt. ASCE Texas Section partnered with Move Texas Forward to educate Texans on this important issue. The Section appreciates all the efforts of the industry and our membership to pass Proposition 7. Thank you for your hard work and grassroots support of this civil engineering issue.
To our members, welcome back, I hope find the information on this website informative.
To those how are not members yet, I hope you will consider joining and participate in the many events we have going on this year, including:
- Monthly webinars to help you stay current with the changes in the industry while obtaining PDH credits.
- The Texas-Mexico Student Symposium will be April 7th through the 9th in Lubbock, TX. Over 500 of the best civil engineering students from Texas and Mexico will be attending this event to participate in the concrete canoe, steel bridge and technical paper competitions. If you are interested in hiring the best future engineers, consider participating in the event as a recruiter at the Student Symposium Career Fair or as an event sponsor.
- The Leadership Workshop in July 2016 is offered to share information about ASCE and ASCE Texas Section while providing an opportunity for our members to hone their leadership skills.
- CECON 2016 will be held at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos, Texas September 20th through the 23rd. The 3 day event is open to anyone with a passion and interest in topics important to the civil engineering profession. The specific themes of the 2016 conference is forthcoming so please stay tuned!
- Members, please consider attending the Multi-Regional Leadership Conference, held in Chicago, Illinois, in January. Travel support is available if you are interested in attending. If you are passionate about promoting STEM education in K-12 and/or Higher-Ed schools, or participating in professional activities, please let me know. We have lots of opportunities with people with passion for the profession.
Again, it is my pleasure to serve as the President of the ASCE Texas Section this year. Please contact me with questions and or comments.