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CEE Leaders Exhibit Volunteer Spirit

Claudia Bible, Jeremiah Pham, and Andrew Tsay.

Left to right: Claudia Bible, Jeremiah Pham, and Andrew Tsay

The department attracts many natural leaders, as the degree offers a chance for people who are driven by humanitarian values to excel through service to the public through engineering. So, it’s not surprising CEE is also home to many who find themselves in leaderships roles in student organizations.

The three students sharing their thoughts below have exhibited the Vol spirit through contributions of time above and beyond academics.

Claudia Bible

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), corresponding secretary (2020–22); Society of Women Engineers (SWE), vice president of special events (2020–21) and recording secretary (2021–22)

I think that being a leader in ASCE and SWE has been an extremely meaningful part of my college experience. I had so much support from student organizations early in college, as a mentee in the SWEeties program and my involvement in ASCE as a sophomore through conference and other events.

I never expected to be a leader in either of these organizations. It is all thanks to people who nominated or encouraged me!

I am so glad that I ended up with these roles because I have found that being a student leader is incredibly fulfilling. I am grateful to SWE and ASCE for giving me the opportunity to grow as a leader. Both provide a network of support and encouragement that is so valuable to being successful as a student engineer.

I hope that I can provide the same amount of support to other students that I received my first years of college. This is why it so important to me to work to fulfill SWE’s mission of “empowering women as engineers and leaders” and ASCE’s mission to “exemplify leadership in student engineering and promote the profession of civil engineering.”

I would highly recommend getting involved in a leadership role to any student because I have had amazing experiences and know that I am better prepared for my future as an engineer!

Jeremiah Pham

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM@UTK), president (2021–22)

Ever since I came to UT, I have always wanted a way to merge my LGBTQ+ identity and my passion for STEM, so I decided to do it myself because it was time for this community to be seen.

At the beginning of the year, I established oSTEM@UTK to create a safe and supportive environment that empowers LGBTQ+ people in STEM to succeed, personally and professionally. As president, I hope that I can inspire LGBTQ+ people to be their authentic selves and show them that they are not alone.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but I am dedicated and proud of my work to increase visibility and push UT towards becoming a more diverse and accepting campus.

Andrew Tsay

Asian American Association (AAA) – 865 Night Market (865 NM) Committee (2017–18); Budgeting and Logistics for AAA Leadership Committee (2018–19); 865 NM Head and Community Chair for AAA (2019–20); Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, co-founder and secretary (2019–20); American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), recording secretary (2020–21); Ambassador for the Tickle College of Engineering (2020–21)

The past four years have been a rollercoaster of amazing experiences and stressful challenges. I’ve been able to gain so many connections, friends, and lessons from my leadership experiences.

Looking back, these opportunities have helped shape me into a person that 18-year-old me, walking into Orange Hall for the first time, would have never expected. At that time, I was a very introverted, naïve, and somewhat apathetic. However, my experiences made me to open up, learn more about myself, become more confident, and gain valuable lessons in working with others.

These lessons have made me incredibly grateful for the people, mentors, and organizations that have made them possible, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences and relationships for anything else.

Entering the workforce, all of these experiences will stick with me and no doubt be invaluable to my career.