Get to Know Super-Member Joe Alvarez: Volunteerism, Passions, & Career
If you’ve been involved in ASCE Texas Section events or conferences over the past five years or so, there’s a very good chance that you’ve met a man who has achieved “one name status” within many circles. Joe Alvarez is an Engineering Associate for the Texas Department of Transportation, but almost everyone in ASCE Texas Section will know who you’re talking about if you just say “Joe”. Whether it’s visiting Younger Member groups across the state, planning the CECON Awards Banquet, volunteering for K-12 STEM Outreach, or making sure everyone has a good time before, during, and after ASCE seminars and conferences, Joe is a Texas Section legend worth getting to know.
As a 2014 graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Joe first got involved with ASCE as the Student Branch President on campus. He was also involved in many other aspects of campus leadership including: serving as a Senator At-Large for the Student Government where he created the “J-Crew” Spirit Organization, serving as a Presidential Ambassador attending events for the President of the university, marching in the “Pride of South Texas” Javelina Marching Band as a saxophone player, getting involved as a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and serving as the Campus Concert Chairman on the Campus Activity Board.
We sat down with Joe to learn more about his passions and career in an effort to pull back the curtain a bit on one of the Texas Section’s super-members:
- Why did you want to become a civil engineer?
- My parents are my greatest influence, and my father has always worked for engineering firms, so I’ve been around it all my life. I knew from a very young age that engineering would be a big part of my life.
- What’s it like to work at TxDOT?
- I interned two summers at TxDOT in my earlier college years, and met lots of great people. I was also really drawn in by the “family atmosphere” which makes it a really nice place to work. The TxDOT Corpus Christi district has some of the state’s best projects going on right now, and transportation is usually on the cutting edge for new technologies.
- What’s it like to always be the life of the party?
- To me, if you’re going to put in time and effort, then you might as well have fun too! Attending ASCE events like CECON is always a great chance to learn and develop, but also a great time to see some of my best friends from across the state of Texas.
- What are you most passionate about within ASCE?
- I really love the opportunity to build and expand my network. Lots of my closest friends from ASCE are experts in their corner of the world, and they are great resources to have. I really think that STEM and Younger Member leadership development is huge right now for ASCE. I believe we could be a stronger organization if we could only get more young engineers involved early on. I would love to see companies help foster that growth to encourage involvement.
- Who has been your mentor through your career?
- I’ve been fortunate to have several key mentors who have guided my growth throughout my career and development. Top influential engineering mentors who have impacted me include Murray Bass, Nixon Welsh, David Reagan, Charlie Cardenas, Brian McFall, Venon Wuensche, Joe Gaytan, Abel DeLeon, Bill Findley, Craig Thompson, Allan Hayes, Brian Bresler, Larry Goldberg and Kimberly Cornett.
- What do you do outside of work and ASCE – for fun, for volunteering, etc?
- I mostly enjoy traveling with family and friends throughout Texas and neighboring states. I’m also a tailgating enthusiast and partake in the football atmosphere at several big college games, but also enjoy time at Javelina Stadium. Currently I serve as Grand Knight of St. Joseph Knights of Columbus Council #3169. That keeps me busy, but I enjoy serving my church and community. I’m also Faithful Navigator of St. Joseph Assembly #1121. This is the Fourth Degree side of the Knights of Columbus and is mostly ceremonial with service opportunities. In addition, I serve on the Jim Wells County Historical Commission and participate in projects we undertake to preserve historical accounts and events in our area of South Texas. I also sit on the Board of Directors for the Texas A&I Alumni Association.
Be on the lookout for Joe at the next ASCE Texas Section event you attend!