Puerto Rico Section and West Virginia Report Card committee co-chairs recognized for exemplary efforts to champion civil engineering in their local communities.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today awarded two teams — the Puerto Rico Section and the West Virginia Report Card Committee Co-Chairs — for their noteworthy advocacy efforts who took ASCE’s call to action on infrastructure and its priority issues to heart. These advocates went above and beyond to spread ASCE’s message to their elected officials both in the passage of the federal infrastructure bill and championing civil engineering issues.

“It is important that we celebrate the efforts of these advocates and hold them up as examples for the rest of us in how to advance the issues that are so important to our profession and to the public,” said Dennis D. Truax, President, ASCE. “For the first time in this award’s history, we are presenting awards to two different teams for their collective excellence in advocacy leadership.”

The award winners

ASCE Puerto Rico Section 

The Puerto Rico Section has done exemplary work in advancing policy recommendations from the 2019 Puerto Rico Report Card. Through the advocacy work of the ASCE Puerto Rico Section with the Secretary of the State, Senate Bill RCS 465 transformed from a legislative bill to Executive Order 2021-024, resulting in the creation of the first-ever Infrastructure Advisory Committee. The committee will focus on the island’s reconstruction priorities such as the National Highway System’s unfinished roads, resiliency in Puerto Rico’s energy grid, water systems, and sustainable design.

In July of 2021, the Puerto Rico Section worked with Senator Elizabeth Rosa Velez’s office to introduce Senate Bill 665, which aims to establish a multi-sector group to create a long-term infrastructure plan and promote coherent infrastructure development for the future.

2020 West Virginia Report Card committee co-chairs

Dave Meadows, Rodney Holbert, and Tabitha Lafferre

This trio of leaders has done remarkable advocacy work since the release of their state’s inaugural report card in 2020 ranging from engaging and empowering college students in the research, writing and ongoing community engagement for the report card; participating in regular media coverage of the national and West Virginia grades and solutions, ranging from radio and TV interviews to op-eds; actively engaging with West Virginia U.S. Senators and Representatives to hold them to a “yay” vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; attending town halls with federal elected officials to highlight the state’s infrastructure needs, and monitoring state licensure laws in the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing’s West Virginia chapter and publishing op-eds in support of protecting professional licensure.      

Award winners were presented their awards this week in conjunction with ASCE’s Annual Legislative Fly-in on Capitol Hill at the Hyatt Regency. Please contact Cathy Gillen to receive photos. 

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.