Student Leaders Take on Multiple Roles

ASCE Leaders 2022-23: Anthony (AJ) Tabura, President, and Chandler Lallak, Vice President

The largest professional engineering group for CEGE students is the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter. The group offers fun, connection, knowledge, competition, study help, and exposure to engineering professionals and companies. The students who step up to lead this dynamic group are themselves dynamic. This year the President of the University of Minnesota Student Chapter of ASCE is Anthony (AJ) Tabura, and Chandler Lallak serves as the Vice President.

Anthony (AJ) Tabura will complete his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in the spring of 2023, with a focus on transportation. “I’ve always been interested in public transit and transportation in general, so I’ve been set on pursuing civil engineering for many years. Ultimately, I chose to attend the University of Minnesota due to the great opportunities I’d get by being a part of such a high-quality civil engineering department. Upon graduation, I plan to work in transportation engineering and improve our country’s transportation infrastructure.”

Over his time in CEGE, AJ received multiple scholarships, including a Sommerfeld Scholarship and the Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik and Associates Scholarship. He was especially proud to receive the John J. Connors Scholarship, which supports CEGE undergraduate students who are actively engaged in the college community or community outreach activities.

And AJ is certainly engaged. “I’ve always prided myself on my participation in the CEGE Community. I’m a part of the Civil, Environmental, and GeoEngineering Student Ambassadors, the Interdisciplinary Transportation Student Organization (ITSO), and I have a job as the department’s undergraduate outreach coordinator. Leadership has always been a big part of my life, which is why I have become the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers chapter at the University of Minnesota. I love being able to share our amazing department—and civil engineering as a whole—with as many people as possible. My many leadership roles help me do that. The scholarships I received have allowed me to reduce my working hours, so I have ample time to study and still be a part of as many extracurriculars as I can.”

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The main responsibility of the ASCE Vice President is coordinating the ASCE UMN Career Fair. It is completely student-led, and Chandler Lallak was the engine that made it happen in the fall of 2022. His duties included everything from inviting employers to participate in the Career Fair to ordering lunch. Things went very smoothly, a testament to Chandler’s organizational skills.

Chandler is no stranger to involvement. He has held the office of Treasurer for ASCE, Captain of the Concrete Canoe Team, and was a member of the Steel Bridge Team.

Valuing his variety of experiences, Chandler made it his goal to help other engineering students engage in more than just academics while at UMN. He enjoyed planning the ASCE Career Fair because it allowed him to connect students with companies that will shape their future careers. And heading the Concrete Canoe Team allows him to provide others with hands-on experience in concrete design and production. Chandler displays the mindset of a leader, aiming for excellence and bringing others along with him.

Chandler’s long-term goal is to be a transportation design engineer. “I chose to enter civil engineering because this field provides the best opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to improve communities and their quality of life.” Living in International Falls, Minnesota, he saw the importance of having Highway 53 as a connection to I-35 and as a gateway to improve the quality of life for families there. Likewise, living in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area he saw how transit and transportation projects support prosperity in communities. “Through designs that fit the needs of the community, civil engineering enhances everyone’s quality of life. I selected the University of Minnesota because this university gives me the most chances to connect with the civil engineering industry, to work on the most impactful projects, and to find a great career.”