The University of Nebraska-Lincoln student chapter has been awarded the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) 2019 Student Chapter of the Year.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement as an organization of students who are planning careers in the mechanical construction industry. The award honors exceptional achievement in governance and leadership, membership recruiting, fundraising, community involvement, and career development.
The University of Nebraska Student Chapter is sponsored by MCA of Omaha. The team’s faculty advisor is Vishnu Reddi, assistant professor of practice, construction, in The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.
The Nebraska student chapter was one of MCAA’s first, being chartered in 1998, and has since remained one of the most active in the MCAA student chapter network.
The chapter takes a unique approach to fundraising, community service and networking opportunities with local MCA members. In 2019, those included:
- Two golf tournaments, a beer tasting and a wine tasting to raise funds and provide opportunities for students to network with the MCA of Omaha’s 30 mechanical contractor members..
- Three community service events, with the highlight being the annual Heat’s On event, during which HVAC service technicians and students provide free inspections of senior citizens’ furnaces to ensure that they are working safely for the winter months. Students worked with their service member partners to run through a checklist that included inspecting the filter, flames, flame sensor, flue gas, changing fire alarm batteries, and more..
- Offering each student the opportunity to be mentored by a professional from an MCA of Omaha-member company, an internship with a member company, and the chance to serve on a committee with several contractors. By the time a student graduates, the goal is for them to have personal relationships at almost every MCA of Omaha member company that they can carry into their future careers.
- Visiting MCA of Omaha members to hand out mugs with candy in them for Administrative Professionals Day, taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha to learn about its mechanical and plumbing systems, and traveling to a virtual design and construction conference hosted by Victaulic..
- Attending Internship Day in the fall, where they had a chance to interview with multiple MCAA-member companies seeking interns. Six of the nine students were offered and accepted internships, including Caleb Kowalski, who worked with Southland Industries in Las Vegas, Nevada, performing various project management tasks on a site of a new hotel and casino.
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