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SPSU aces MCAA National Student Competition

SPSU aces MCAA national student competition

CM Team 2014

MARCH 26, 2014 – SPSU’s student chapter of the Mechanical Contractor’s Association of America (MCAA) earned a first place award in the national association’s 2013-14 student competition on March 11 in Scottsdale, Ariz. During an awards ceremony held the following day, the team – advised by Prof. Maureen Weidner, a lecturer in the Construction Management (CM) Department – was also named the MCAA Student Chapter of the Year.

This is the first time MCAA has given both honors to the same school, and only SPSU has been named a finalist in three consecutive MCAA student competitions, having won the top prize in the 2011-12 student event and finished in third place in 2012-13.

The competition tests students’ knowledge of mechanical systems, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork and management skills.

SPSU’s road to the national championship started at the MCAA Student Summit in Memphis, Tenn., last October when the association requested proposals for a plant expansion project involving the retrofitting of a food-processing facility in Chicago. A total of 24 schools nationwide submitted proposals, and four chapters, including SPSU’s, were chosen as finalists in January to deliver 15-minute presentations before an audience of more than 450 mechanical construction company executives, manufacturers and members of other student chapters at the 2014 MCAA national convention in Arizona.

The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes the chapter’s success with recruitment, fundraising and community involvement efforts, as well as members’ employment with mechanical, service and plumbing contractors.

CM Chair Khalid Siddiqi congratulated Prof. Weidner for coaching the team. “The success of our teams at national competitions has improved the visibility of SPSU and the preparation of our students who are able to hit the ground running when they start their jobs,” he noted.

SPSU’s 2013-2014 MCAA Competition Team members were Samantha Anselmo, Sean Barden, Brian Hogue, Luke Hunter, Wainwright Jeffers, Andrew Milota and Brandi Rearden. Student David Ramos, contributed to the team’s success as well.

Although most of the chapter’s members are CM students, Rich Cole, dean of the School of Architecture and CMt, noted that Reardon is a fall 2013 graduate of SPSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department and Barden is a student worker in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department. The SPSU team was able to travel to Arizona with the support of the Mechanical Contractors of Georgia.

“This was truly an interdisciplinary effort on behalf of our SPSU students, departments and community. Great collaboration to bring home the gold!” he said in congratulating all involved.