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Younger Member Leadership Symposium Alumni Summit

Three LA YMF members - Gilbert Garcia, Paul Lee, and Linda Luu - attended the first ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) Alumni Summit held in Chicago from April 12th to April 14th last month. YMLS Alumni Summit was hosted by ASCE’s Committee on Younger Members (CYM) and was offered to those who previously attended YMLS to further develop the skillsets to thrive in the workplace. Forty new and familiar faces were brought together for an immersive leadership seminar to learn the techniques to facilitate an effective meeting. The workshop was led by ASCE Fellow, Dr. Marc Hoit, and featured interactive group activities with lessons in:

  • Tackling common meeting distractions

  • Understanding what factors lead to an effective meeting

  • Establishing social agreements

  • Learning the traits of what makes a great facilitator

  • Divergent and convergent thinking

Figure 1: Los Angeles YMF members Paul Lee (left), Linda Luu (middle/model), and Austin YMF member Anali Martinez Gonzalez share their group's top social agreement - "There Can Only Be One Diva".

Photo Credit: ASCE CYM

One unique part of this year’s Alumni Summit was having a sneak peek at ASCE’s Future World Vision project. While we can’t share too much about our participation on the project (we did, in fact, sign a non-disclosure agreement), what we can share is that the project aims to:

  • Provide a platform to envision the future built environment

  • Serve as a tool that interacts with the next generation of civil engineers

Figure 2: Dr. Marc Hoit explains the concept of divergent and convergent thinking and the group dynamics inbetween. Photo Credit: ASCE CYM

Of course, one of the benefits of attending the summit is continuing to network and build relationships with like-minded ASCE leaders from across the nation over fun and games. Insert a game of Whirlyball (which is not available in California at the moment or not that we’re aware of). What is Whirlyball? It is a team sport that marries the elements of basketball (which we DO have in California), lacrosse, and bumper cars (officially called Whirlybugs). Each team scores points by hurling a wiffle ball, using his or her scoop, to hit the target located at the end of the court. Riding around in a Whirlybug and launching a wiffleball towards a basketball backboard is harder than it looks​.

Figure 3: A friendly game of Whirlyball; Photo Credit: Linda Luu

As previous attendees of YMLS, the alumni spent the last day of the weekend brainstorming and developing potential new modules for the upcoming YMLS later this year. The CYM may consider incorporating some of the ideas that were pitched into future YMLS programs. These may even be facilitated by some of the summit attendees. Hopefully by encouraging YMLS alumni to contribute back into the planning of YMLS, not only will there be new content, but the content will resonate with its attendees.​

Figure 4: When young professionals rally and collaborate, fresh ideas are formed. Orange County YMF member Jazzy Quinabo (middle left) and Los Angeles YMF member Gilbert Garcia (middle right) brainstorming potential new modules for the upcoming YMLS program. Photo Credit: ASCE CYM

Not only was this experience an opportunity for our own professional development and building a stronger network, but it offered an opportunity to contribute back to the development of younger members and the future leaders of ASCE. We highly encourage YMLS alumni to attend the Alumni Summit the next time CYM offers it!

If you have not attended YMLS and are interested in improving your communication and management style, you should consider attending. PROTIP: If it’s your first time attending, you’ll receive one $135 per diem from ASCE Society 😉

YMLS is being offered three times this year:

  • July 26 – 28, 2019

  • August 9 – 11, 2019

  • August 23 – 25, 2019

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