UMD’s MCAA Student Chapter wins Student Chapter of the Year

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Hailey Brennan (second from right) and Amaya Caggino (third from left) are UMD's individaul MCAA student award winners.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) recently held their MCAA22 Annual Convention, where the University of Maryland (UMD) student chapter was named the 2021 MCAA Student Chapter of the Year. The award recognizes UMD’s student chapter for their continued achievement and overall focus on offering career opportunities in mechanical contracting to their student membership.

Additionally, two UMD mechanical engineering (ME) students were given individual awards at this years’ convention. Hailey Brennan, a senior and the current president of the UMD student chapter, won the $2,500 Josam Endowed Scholarship for the third year in a row. Amaya Caggino, the vice president of the UMD student chapter, was named the first-ever recipient of the $5000 Thomas J. Wanner Scholarship. These awards not only support students in their education, they also bring recognition to students who are looking for future employment in the field.

“My involvement with the MCAA student chapter has been an integral part of preparing me for my career,” says Brennan.

The MCAA offers resources to student chapters across the country, with the goal of assisting students with the development of their professional skills. Anna Trapane, the marketing and outreach coordinator of the local branch of the MCAA, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington (MCAMW), says that the student chapters of this organization are a hidden gem.

“My involvement with the MCAA student chapter has been an integral part of preparing me for my career,” says Brennan.

“As a professional in the mechanical industry that works closely with students in mechanical engineering at UMD—I hear time and time again that the students ‘aren’t quite sure’ what they want to do when they graduate,” says Trapane. “This chapter gives the students a platform to explore different positions, projects, and companies with the support and guidance of industry mentors.”

Indeed, both Brennan and Caggino were able to receive internships through their work with MCAMW mentors. This past summer, Caggino worked for the Poole and Kent Corporation, where she was able to work with project engineers on a data center in Ashburn, VA.

The MCAA UMD student chapter also participates in the MCAA National Student Chapter Competition, where student teams develop a proposal to bid for a real-life construction project. The top projects are invited to present their packages at the annual MCAA convention, providing an opportunity to show their work to contractors, CEOs, presidents of companies, and other individuals in the industry. Brennan remarks that these conventions offer important opportunities for students to network, learn more about industries, search for jobs or internships, and learn about the student chapter project.

“It’s a win-win. Students get to learn about and experience the industry, and hiring companies get to connect with the future talent of the industry!” says Trapane.

The MCAA UMD student chapter is a great choice for students who are looking to learn more about potential internship or job opportunities, and there is always room for more motivated students to join.

Published April 13, 2022