CYM Group Awards: The Great Oversight of 2016

Each year, the Committee on Younger Members (CYM) allows Younger Member Groups to submit award applications for the outstanding things they do throughout the year.  It has come to my attention that there are at least three groups and one individual that submitted applications in 2016 that never got handed over to CYM.  I am writing this post as an explanation to (what I’ve been told) happened and as a sincere apology to those who were overlooked.  I find it unfair and embarrassing and I would like to assure you all that CYM has taken steps to ensure it won’t happen again.

What Happened?

From the investigating I’ve done, here’s what I found about the situation.  Previous years’ applications instructed YMGs to submit their information on a CD to ASCE Headquarters by a specific date.  This was changed to online submissions in 2016 and CYM was not notified.  That information was not changed on the physical application, so several groups mailed in their CDs as instructed and they arrived on time.

There was someone within ASCE Headquarters (let’s call this person “Jimmy”) who received the CDs.  Rather than contacting CYM or an informed staff liason, Jimmy assumed that these particular applications were supposed to be submitted electronically and presumably disposed of them.  No one from CYM ever saw the files and Jimmy never admitted he received the CDs.  We did not know about this until September when Younger Member Groups began contacting us.

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At our fall meeting we discussed this in detail and we acknowledge that in retrospect, we should have noticed that some of our best groups hadn’t submitted applications.  Most of these groups submit every year and the fact that we didn’t receive anything should have been a red flag.  Our committee accepts that as our responsibility and have taken steps to ensure this won’t happen again.  The award form has been updated and all future submissions should be emailed to  If you submit an application this year and do not receive a confirmation, please email me so we ensure everything is operating how we plan.

Who Was Affected?

As far as we know, there were three Younger Member Groups who were affected: Hawaii YMF, Seattle YMF, and Wisconsin Southeast Branch YMG.  In addition, Courtney Davis from Seattle YMF sent her application for the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement in the same envelope. That was also misplaced/discarded/”not received” and she missed out on potentially winning this much deserved award.

If there are other groups who also had this happen, we want to know! Please email me at so you can get the formal recognition you deserve.

Award Recognition

To make up for the fact that Jimmy turned a steak dinner into a soup sandwich, I would like to take the opportunity to recognize each of these people to show everyone how truly amazing they are and how much CYM appreciates their contributions to ASCE and their surrounding communities.  In alphabetical order:

Courtney Davis

If you have ever met Courtney Davis, you know that she is an incredible person with an unparalleled drive for excellence.  Courtney was part of the Seattle YMF for many years, but she just moved back to her home town of Portland, OR.  She brings an extraordinary level of optimism to the table along with a sarcastic and sassy edge.  READ MORE…

Hawaii Section YMF

The Hawaii Section Younger Member Forum is a small group that participates in many social activities, outdoor events, ASCE conferences, and community projects.  Even though they live on a small island, Hawaii finds a way to make a big impact on their community and the Civil Engineering profession. READ MORE…

Seattle YMF

The Seattle Younger Member Forum (YMF) is a large group that does a lot of great work in their community, with the local university, with neighboring Younger Member Groups, and with the Society as a whole.  Their activities are extremely diverse and they truly improve the Civil Engineering profession with the quality of their programs. READ MORE…

Wisconsin Southeast Branch YMG

The Wisconsin Section Southeast Branch Younger Member Group (WISE YMG) is a small group located in Milwaukee, WI that draws big crowds for their social events and service activities.  They put a lot of effort into K-12 outreach and connecting with the five ASCE Student Chapters in the area.  The WISE YMG is impressive because they manage to make a huge impact with a very small board of individuals. READ MORE…

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