The School of Engineering has established a new awards program named for Dean Emeritus Charles Nguyen, the 13th dean of the school who served for four 4-year terms from 2001 to 2017. Under his leadership, the School of Engineering more than quadrupled its enrollment and developed strong academic programs and relationships, including international partnerships with universities in Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Philippines, India, and Brazil.
According to Dean John Judge, the new Dean Charles Cuong Nguyen Leadership Award honors a senior who has shown exemplary leadership during their time as an undergraduate student. The award was made possible thanks to financial support from engineering alumni Matt, John, Mark, and Elizabeth Burns; Vinny Sica; Carrie Maslen; and Get Moy.
This year’s winner, Mary Kate Selgrath, who just completed her fourth year in the five-year dual degree program for Civil Engineering and Architecture, was announced at the Engineering Spring Luncheon earlier this month. This past year, Selgrath served as the president of the University’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) and helped plan the ASCE conference, which involved raising $56,000 and hosting 350 students from 14 surrounding schools.
Selgrath also helped institute a new mentoring board in the civil engineering department and has helped with student recruitment by reaching out to prospective students and participating in recruitment events like Focus on Engineering and Odyssey Day.
“Dean Nguyen has made such a huge impact on the school, so I’m very honored and thankful to receive this award,” said Selgrath. “It was a great surprise and I was very excited and I know everyone in the civil engineering program was excited.”
Looking back on her time at Catholic University, Selgrath said she has greatly enjoyed participating in the ASCE, as a way to get involved and meet people in the engineering school and beyond.
“What I found here at Catholic is that this is a very small community and everyone really can get to know each other,” she said. “I’ve made great relationships with other students and the faculty and ASCE is what helped me do that.”
Additional awards distributed at the Engineering Spring Luncheon included faculty and staff awards for teaching and research, recognition for new students in the Grand Challenge Scholars program, and awards honoring graduating seniors.