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Sources: Mustaque Hossain, 785-532-1576,;
and Rachel Spicer,
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


MANHATTAN -- When Rachel Spicer was younger she frequently went on sailing cruises in the Great Lakes with her grandma. The trips sparked an enduring interest in bridges, dams and other large structures. Spicer, senior in civil engineering, Shawnee, turned that interest into a passion and now has been recognized for her efforts.

Spicer received the American Society of Civil Engineers' prestigious Student Leadership Award. The nomination-based award is given in recognition of leadership in a student chapter or international student group through various activities, including services as an officer, leading special events and interaction with university administration. Spicer has served in a multitude of roles with the K-State chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers, including vice president, 2011-2012 steel bridge team co-captain and co-chair of the Mid-Continent Student Conference.

"I am very thankful to Dr. Mustaque Hossain, Dr. Alok Bhandari and Bob Thorn, the honorary lifetime contact member for K-State's American Society of Civil Engineers chapter, for writing letters of recommendation for me," Spicer said. "I wouldn't have known about or applied for the award if it weren't for Dr. Hossain."

Hossain, professor of civil engineering, nominated Spicer for the award.

"Throughout her tenure, Rachel impressed me with her dedication as a student leader," he said. "She also has an impressive demeanor."

This demeanor was on display during the Mid-Continent Student Conference, hosted by K-State in April. Spicer was nominated for president of K-State's American Society of Civil Engineers, but declined because of her involvement planning the conference. The conference has a budget of $54,000 and Spicer began raising funds in spring 2010.

"Her dedication prompted me to nominate her for this award," Hossain said. "It's a recognition of her leadership abilities and dedication for our profession. A role model like her fully deserves this award."

In addition to her involvement with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Spicer has served in a variety of roles with the K-State Collegian, including copy and presentation editor. This summer Spicer is serving as the newspaper's editor-in-chief. Similar to her other activities, she does not become involved for the prestige.

"I do them because I enjoy them and working with the others involved," Spicer said.

Spicer plans on beginning graduate school at K-State in summer 2012. She will be pursuing a master's degree in civil engineering. In the future she would like a job that allows her to travel and work on innovative projects. Spicer is a 2008 graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School.

The American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. The society has more than 300 student chapters.