The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is an exciting place to be right now. It seems every design of a building, roadway, and community offers a new way for users to engage with the project outcome. Innovation is everywhere.
At Mead & Hunt, we believe a diverse workplace is important for so many reasons. Enhancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) inspires creativity and innovation, unique perspectives on projects, and the highest levels of collaboration. We’re also keenly aware that, like many industries, AEC is facing a shortage of workers. Our giving program, Mead & Hunt Cares, decided to focus its efforts on both of these issues, seeking to increase the diversity and depth of the talent pool in our industry – both at the high-school and college levels. While we have been awarding scholarships to students for 17 years, this year we piloted four new external scholarships: Two $2,500 scholarships to current college students studying in an AEC field, and two $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors who are ethnic minorities planning to study an AEC major in college.
We’re excited to introduce the 2022 awardees:
Johanna Peplinski, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, is studying mechanical engineering. She dreams of working in a career designing and creating orthotics and prosthetics. She hopes to travel to Spanish-speaking countries to help those in less fortunate areas improve their lives. Johanna has been active in clubs, choir, and athletics throughout her schooling.
Autumn Saign, a student at the University of Minnesota, is studying Sustainable Systems Management in Building Science & Technology, with an Architecture minor. She is a board member for the Women’s Environmental Network and a peer reviewer for the Minnesota Undergraduate Research & Academic Journal. She also volunteers with a number of environmental organizations in her area and founded the Northstar Building Science Alliance, an organization that aims to connect building science students, alumni, and professionals and foster building science education.
Carsen Manuel graduated from University Laboratory School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and plans to attend Howard University in the fall to study Architecture. He was a founding member of the Black Student Union, a member of the Young Entrepreneurship Academy, and a varsity athlete. He looks forward to applying his creativity and sense of social responsibility to advance ideas based on resilience, sustainability, equity, and accessibility in the built environment.
Alexa Watson graduated from Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida, and plans to study Civil Engineering at the University of South Florida. In high school, she was head of the Community Service Committee for Middleton High School Future Business Leaders of America; Chair of Outreach and Service for the school’s Society of Women Engineers; and President of the school’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She has earned a number of other competitive honors.
A common thread we see throughout these recipients is their strong drive to better their communities and make a positive impact on the world. As a company, our purpose is to take care of people, do the right thing, and do what makes sense. Helping promising students achieve their highest potential within the AEC industry is the right thing to do. We can’t wait to see what these future stars accomplish, and we’re looking forward to expanding our scholarship program in the future.