Civil engineering student Melanie Macioce is bridging her undergrad and graduate education thanks to a scholarship from the Construction Management Association of America. The $5,000 Francis M. Keville Scholarship is awarded to one student every year who shows enthusiasm and dedication for civil engineering. For Macioce, it’s an interest that started in childhood.
"My dad was the chief bridge engineer of Pennsylvania, so every time we went for a drive I learned so much about the nation's interstates and different bridges,” Macioce said. “I truly found my own personal passion for civil engineering through my first internship with NTM Engineering, a Pennsylvania-based engineering firm… This is when I first explored sustainability in stormwater management and my passion has stuck ever since.”
Outside of the classroom, Macioce continues to surround herself with engineering practice. In January, she was named as a concrete canoe project co-manager for the American Society of Civil Engineering’s student chapter. In this project, students design a canoe and a supporting structure out of concrete.
“Sticking to the schedule and following the critical path of the canoe curing fully was vital to the success of the project,” Macioce wrote in her application essay. “Being able to unite a group of 10 people to complete this project in three months took vision, organization and encouragement.”
Macioce felt her background and goals aligned well with the scholarship, and CMAA agreed. The Francis M. Keville Scholarship was established in 2009 by Christine Keville in honor of her late father. Macioce says her own relationship with her father being steeped in civil engineering gave her a competitive advantage. The scholarship committee noted her dedication to not only her education, but to her future career as well. She was sitting in class when she found out she won. She screamed and was giddy for the rest of the class.
While her passion for civil engineering was her main asset, Macioce says the University of Arizona faculty also helped greatly. She initially found out about the scholarship through CAEM professor of practice Dean Papajohn’s website, which includes many student resources.
“Mainly, this funding will support my research now through the purchase of textbooks and other school materials I need,” Macioce said. “Any money left over that I do not use this year will go to supporting my graduate school tuition.”
Macioce has been accepted into the UA applied master's program.
“I hope to pursue a career in construction management immediately,” Macioce wrote in her application essay. “The ability to travel, meet new people and work in a high-paced, high-stakes environment is something I look forward to and want to experience when I am young. During my career in construction management, I plan to focus on safety and sustainability.”