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Foundation Board Picks Four

  • Ashley Mastervich
  • February 7, 2013

Four students with a passion for the construction industry are a little bit closer to achieving their goals, thanks to the help of the Builders Scholarship Foundation. 

The Scholarship Foundation Board recently awarded four students from the Chicagoland area with construction-related majors an annually renewable award of $4,000. This group of honorees brings the total number of scholarships awarded by the Foundation to 42. Since the scholarship’s establishment in 2003, the Foundation has raised over $600,000 in tuition to help assist Chicagoland students.

Here’s a bit more about this year’s honorees:  


Michael B. Drake, Illinois State University


Michael found his passion for the construction industry five years ago while working for a small residential contractor. Since then, the  junior Construction Management major has also worked at Lake Bros. Construction as a carpenter as well as Divane Bros. Electrical Contractor as a Project Management Intern. 

Not only has Michael maintained a 4.0 GPA and been honored on the Dean’s List, but he is an active member of Illinois State University’s Construction Management Student Association. He aspires to earn an executive board position within this association in order to further development his knowledge of the construction industry as well as provide leadership to this organization.

“My career goal is to be a competent and successful project manager for a large general contractor of commercial buildings, Drake said. “I want to share my knowledge and expertise to achieve success for my employer and promote team concepts. I feel that my focus, motivation, and work ethic will get me there.” 


Cristina Flores, Marquette University


Cristina is a junior Construction Engineering and Management major who has been able to apply her studies in one distinct hands-on opportunity. She has worked with the Walsh Group over the course of two semesters. During this time, Christina worked on the renovation of an underground garage in downtown Chicago and the construction of a New Orleans prison.  

“I was responsible for measuring, tracking, drawing, and documenting the repairs,” said Flores of her time at the Walsh Group. “I was also introduced to the submittal review process and updating record drawings.”

Cristina also continues to be an active member of the Marquette community through several distinct student organizations including the Builders Coalition, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. She hopes to work in the field of commercial construction after graduation.   



Rebecca Genualdi, Marquette University


Rebecca began her collegiate career as a Civil Engineering major, but the junior became intrigued with Construction Engineering and Management because of its combination of engineering problem solving and managerial coursework.  As President of the Builders Coalition of Marquette (an AGC student chapter), Rebecca organized an OSHA Safety Training for its members.

Being able to lead the organization and manage a team of officers has helped me to recognize the managerial skills I possess and how I will continue to use them in the construction industry,” said Genualdi.

Along with her involvement on-campus, Rebecca also completed two work terms as a Co-op student with Builders Association member McShane Construction Company. This allowed her to assist in the supervision of both pre-construction and construction phases of a warehouse and several distribution centers.

 “During her two internships, Rebecca has exceeded our expectations for a new intern,” stated Brian Sundermann, the Project Manager who worked with her. “She proved to be a reliable member of my team and has been able to handle and perform with increased workload and responsibility.” 



Alexandra Sexton, Purdue University


There are two things that shaped and solidified Alexandra’s decision to become an engineer: The architecture of Chicago and her father. As a junior Construction Engineering major, Alexandra maintains a 3.60 GPA while also participating in a wide-range of student activities and service projects.

Alexandra has worked with the Walsh Group as a Pre-Construction Intern. During this past summer, she enhanced her skills in technical proposal writing, estimating and subcontractor acquisition, and project tracking. She is an active member of Purdue Society of Women Engineers.

“The Purdue Society of Women Engineers has single-handedly kept me within Engineering and provided me with the professional development skills I need after graduation,” Sexton said.

Jennifer Gadzala, an MS4 Operator for the Town of Chesterton, IN, said, commented on Sexton’s excellent work ethic.

“She takes her studies seriously, as she does her work,” Gadzala stated. “I have every confidence that she will complete her studies and complete them in a way that brings honor and esteem to the traditions and goals of any organization.”