Tech student recieves engineering scholarship from Nashville-based company

Two Tennessee college students have each received a $1,000 scholarship from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee (ACEC of Tennessee). Paul A. “Sparks” Sparks, a graduate engineering student at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, received the state scholarship. Emily Epperson, an undergraduate civil engineering student at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, received the structural scholarship. The students were selected to receive the scholarships from among the engineering students at colleges and universities throughout Tennessee who submitted applications. As the state winners, Sparks and Epperson will compete for national scholarships with students throughout the United States. National scholarship winners will be announced in October 2010.

ACEC of Tennessee has awarded an annual scholarship to a Tennessee engineering student since 2003. This is the first year that the structural scholarship has been presented. Past scholarship winners were students at Tennessee Tech, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Knoxville and Vanderbilt. Last year’s winner of the Tennessee scholarship also won the national competition and received an additional $10,000 scholarship.

Epperson, age 19, is a resident of Sequatchie, Tennessee. She is a 2008 graduate of Marion County High School. In addition to maintaining a 3.78 grade point average, Epperson is involved in several professional and student organizations. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the TTU Honors program. She serves as a counselor for United Youth Summer Camps and as a greeter at her church. She also plays intramural volleyball.

Epperson currently interns with the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources at TTU.

Dennis George, Director of the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said, “I have known Emily for two years. I have the utmost confidence in her academic future. She is a quiet leader who strives for perfection. She is an excellent worker who will get her P.E.”

“Our scholarship program is another example of how ACEC of Tennessee is committed to the future of our profession. I am pleased that interest in the scholarship program is increasing,” said Everett Cowan, PE, Gresham Smith and Partners, Nashville, the chairman of the 2010 Scholarship Committee.

Founded in 1968, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee (ACEC of Tennessee) is a statewide organization of more than 110 engineering firms. ACEC of Tennessee has chapters in Nashville, Chattanooga, East Tennessee and Memphis. The organization works to improve business practices of engineering firms and to enhance public awareness and understanding of the value of engineering services.