Construction engineering grad encourages aspiring female builders
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2018 commencement. Read about more graduates.
Growing up, Sylvia Faszczewski had an affinity for math and hands-on projects. This skill set drew her to the field of engineering.
“As many other college students can relate to, I struggled to decide upon a specific area in engineering to pursue,” said Faszczewski, a construction engineering major in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “But I saw the most growth and opportunity to make an impact through engineering.”
After receiving valuable advice from Kristen Parrish, an associate professor of construction engineering, Faszczewski discovered the perfect fit. She found the undergraduate program offered a rigorous engineering challenge and also gave her the freedom to choose a career in engineering design or construction management.
“It was the best of both worlds,” says Faszczewski. “I could not see myself in any other degree program.”
Faszczewski’s hard work reflected her passion for the field, earning her the Robert J. Wheeler Memorial Scholarship and the Charles and Nancy O’Bannon Scholarship for Construction to support her academic studies.
Faszczewski found most professors in the construction engineering program had industry experience or were currently working in industry. One example is Chase Farnsworth, a faculty associate in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment who serves as a senior project development manager at the construction company Mortenson.
“Some of the most valuable information I’ve received is advice based on true industry experience from professors,” said Faszczewski. “The information isn’t something students would be able to find in a textbook, which makes it priceless.”
Outside of the classroom, Faszczewski focused on supporting aspiring female builders with a “we can do it” mentality. She served as co-president of ASU’s Advancing Women in Construction initiative, an industry-led mentorship and grant program aimed at increasing the number of women in the construction management program and seeing them successfully graduate.
The women in the program also serve as role models for K-12 students at education outreach events, such as the Annual Wagon Build or Girls-Make-A-Thon.
“I’ve been given the privilege to create a strong and positive impact on the female construction community,” said Faszczewski. “My AWIC team has been able to reach (from) top construction female executives to young elementary school girls. We’re spreading the message that although we may be a minority in a male-dominated field, we can do it, and we can do it exceptionally well.”
After graduation, Faszczewski has accepted a full-time position with Mortenson Construction's Wind Energy Group. She’ll be traveling around the country building wind turbines.