Brennan, Seck Win MCAA Scholarships

UMD mechanical engineering students Hailey Brennan and Ahmed Seck have been awarded prestigious scholarships from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).

Brennan, a junior, has again received the Josam Endowed Scholarship, which provides $2,500 for up to three consecutive years.  She first received the scholarship during her sophomore year. Established by The Josam Company, the scholarship aims to support students committed to pursuing a degree in construction management, mechanical engineering, or a similar field within MCAA’s scope.

Currently president of the MCAA student chapter, Brennan attended the 2019 GreatFutures Forum and then helped to lead her chapter to the Final Four of MCAA’s 2019-2020 Student Chapter Competition. In the 2020-21 competition, the team placed sixth. She has been taking engineering courses since high school. An interest in HVAC “really drew me toward a career in the mechanical contracting industry,” she said.

Seck was awarded the Foster J. McCarl Jr. Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $5,000. The John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF) established the scholarship to honor its founder, Foster McCarl, Jr., and to commemorate his impact on the mechanical contracting industry.

A member of UMD’s MCAA chapter, Seck was also part of the UMD team that made to the Final Four of the 2019-20 Student Chapter Competition. Working on the competition project “heightened my understanding of the mechanical contracting industry by exposing me to some of the responsibilities that one has to assume in the real world as a contractor,” Seck said.  “We had our own firm name, our own responsibilities, a headquarters, a deadline. It truly felt real and exhilarating. It gave me confidence that I could indeed do this in the real world.”

Both students were awarded their scholarships at the 2021 MCAA Virtual Education Conference, an annual nationwide education conference that is geared toward providing essential education to mechanical contractors across the United States. The scholarships awarded to the students are meant to provide financial support to talented students with skills and an interest in the mechanical industry.

Jungho Kim, mechanical engineering professor and director of undergraduate studies, said the scholarships are well-deserved. “The mechanical engineering department is very proud of the accomplishments of Ahmed and Hailey, and the entire MCAA student chapter,” he said.

“Credit should also go to the chapter mentors, Anna Trapane and Tom Bello, who have done a tremendous job mentoring and guiding the organization the past few years,” Kim said.

 The mechanical engineering department is part of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMD.

Published April 8, 2021