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Student Shannon Sturtz on Her Co-op at the New Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences

February 15, 2019

Shannon Sturtz (Photo by Sarah Sherard)

It’s common knowledge that the Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences was built for Wentworth students. But, in the case of people like Shannon Sturtz, it was also partially built by students.

Sturtz is a junior in Wentworth’s Construction Management program. This past semester, she worked as a co-op at Gilbane, the company who headed the construction of the CEIS. She joined the team when the building was only at its foundation, when the walls weren’t fully in place and one could see from one end of the building to the other.

Sturtz worked on the project until the completion, attending and even speaking at the official ribbon cutting ceremony. As a co-op, she primarily assisted with submittals, making sure the materials received were what the owner and architect needed. She also met with various foreman of each subcontract daily and made sure everything was on schedule.

In the beginning, Sturtz explained that she was a bit shy, barely knowing the foremen’s names, but that the daily work helped her come out of her shell. “By the end we were really close, and I would be running those meetings,” she says. “Before I was just a fly on the wall.”

Sturtz grew into her team as she gained more experience. She was also building her confidence in her construction management abilities and counts the co-op program as a large reason she chose Wentworth. “You can learn a lot in a classroom,” she says, “but there’s certain stuff you can’t learn until you’re outside of school.”

Sturtz’s familiarity with Wentworth actually extends beyond her time as a student. Both of her parents, Raina and William, are Class of 1992 alumni who majored in Construction Management. She admits that she didn’t know much about the university outside of the fact that her parents attended, and she didn’t think she would ever choose Wentworth. “Then I came on the tour and I realized how much a community it was and I realized that’s why my parents liked it so much,” she says, adding that at that point her parents had very little with the decision.

The Sturtz family has left an impact in the past, in the present, and now the future. As a student, Sturtz can utilize the CEIS while knowing her work is ingrained in the very foundation of it.

Sturtz speaks fondly about a class she took her first year--a favorite of hers--and one she took before the Gilbane co-op was secured. The class, “Building Construction,” gave her a look at real plans for the CEIS building that she would one day help make a reality.  

“It brings me so much pride...being in the building that you helped build is just so cool,” she says with a smile. “Knowing that it’s going to be here for many generations, it makes me so happy especially because it’s the school that I go to and my parents went to.”

--Sarah Sherard

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