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Younger Members

We the Members...in Order to Form a More Perfect ASCE

Haddad Serge HeadshotI’m writing this CYM chair message from Philadelphia; home of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  I am in the City of Brotherly Love because we hosted our CYM Spring meeting here on Saturday, April 26th.  I allowed myself two days to tour Philly, savor a cheesesteak, and appreciate American history.

I consider myself a fan of U.S. beginnings and wow, was I amazed.  Independence Hall is a symbolic structure saturated with history.  Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington exchanged and debated ideas that shaped a nation.  These great figures were people of science and law; they were revolutionaries and children of the enlightenment age.  Their collective wisdom authored the Declaration of Independence that guaranteed a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  This concept created the foundation that influenced the course of governments worldwide.

Their success would not have been possible without the efforts and struggles of colonial delegates, politicians, activists, representatives, and patriots.  Members connected by a vision.  The leaders fought for freedom side by side with determined Americans because they shared a common idea of liberty.  Citizens of foreign countries, such as the Polish, French, and Dutch, joined in to help this great experiment, this new republic, emerge and become a reality.

And, from a scaled perspective, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between this history and CYM.  We too have a vision: to enhance the quality of life.  As CYM officers, we strive to provide programs and activities that serve our Younger Members and strengthen Younger Member Groups.  We also depend on our collective wisdom to guide us as we exchange and debate ideas.  To paraphrase Dr. Franklin: When you assemble a group to have the advantage of their joint wisdom you inevitably assemble all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinions, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does.

I am so grateful and proud to serve with this assembly of individuals on CYM.  I have had the privilege of learning about past and present CYM officers and the honor of calling them my friends.  My hope is that you, the membership, realize how fortunate you are to have a group of dedicated, intelligent, and professional members all on one team determined to perfect your ASCE experience.

It is important for me to state for us to approach perfection requires participation on your part, and in particular the efforts of YMG leaders and our Corresponding Members.  As the founders depended on the people, so does CYM depend on the ASCE membership.  Corresponding Members like Natalie Owen, Inna Tasmaly, Kelly Doyle, and Kyle Anderson from Regions 8 and 9; or Lindsay Kaufmann, Xiaodong Zhang, and Jesse Jefferson from Regions 3, 6, and 7; or James Radion, John Brew, and Janille Smith-Colin from Regions 2, 4, and 5 are volunteers that work behind the scenes.  They receive little fanfare and rarely get recognized, but they are critical CYM operators.  We depend on them to score award applications and facilitate workshops at Regional Council meetings.  They manage our complex contact databases, consolidate event evaluation forms, and are our eyes and ears of the ASCE nation.  Without these younger member ambassadors, our mission and vision would only be words on paper.

We know that our role on CYM is to serve you, but we can’t do it without your help.  If you want to support our vision, if you want to help perfect ASCE, if you want to learn about CYM and perhaps, one day, join CYM as an officer, I can think of no better role than volunteering as a Corresponding Member.  Don’t ask what ASCE can do for you, instead ask what you can do for ASCE!
 
Serge Haddad, P.E., M.ASCE
Chair, Western Geographic Representative
Committee on Younger Members, ASCE

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