Instructor Gayan Herath is on a mission to put OSUIT’s Civil Engineering Technology program and the American Society of Civil Engineers student club on the map. Herath recently received the 2013 ASCE Outstanding Faculty Advisor award for Region 6 recognizing his passion for teaching and student leadership.
“Gayan has put in a tremendous amount of effort and thought into developing our ASCE club into a thriving student organization,” said Dolph Hayden, Engineering Technologies division chair. “In less than two years, the club has risen from inception to its selection as OSUIT’s 2012 Outstanding Student Club. Its success is a direct result of our faculty’s leadership and the students’ passion to grow as professionals and citizens.”
Herath downplays his contributions, emphasizing the outstanding cooperation and support provided by his fellow program instructors Kevin Arnold and Jennifer Butler, the faculty of the manufacturing and drafting programs and the entire Engineering Technologies Division.
“This is definitely a collective achievement,” explained Herath. “I am happy to receive the award and gratified when the ASCE club is recognized for its hard work and community service.”
To Herath, the ASCE club provides essential hands-on experience for the students to apply proficiencies they learn in the classroom, literally bridging them to the types of tasks they will perform in the workforce.
“Everyone has done a lot of extra work because our program is growing, and we want it to develop into a civil engineering technologies program respected around the country,” he said.
Herath is especially proud of the club’s recent service projects, including their work for the Okmulgee Community Garden when they developed 3-D topography maps to improve drainage on the property and designed and built raised garden beds to precise specifications for wheelchair access. He recognizes the importance of these types of applied technology projects in developing a sense of belonging for students and inspiring them to give back to their communities in meaningful ways.
“Gayan exemplifies the ideal teacher and faculty advisor working side by side with the students showing them how to do projects yet letting them express their creativity,” stated Ken Morris, ASCE Region 6 Governor. “ASCE is proud to have civil engineering advisors who prepare the student for their professional life after college. We need more teachers like Gayan.”
Founded in 1852, 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. ASCE student organizations are dedicated to assisting the development of civil engineering students into capable and professional practicing civil engineers. Students are provided industry resources, access to engineering competitions and service projects, and networking opportunities with practicing engineers.