Penn State senior named one of 10 'New Faces of Civil Engineering'

Yixuan Li
March 04, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Since he was a young teen, Steven Mezzacappa has aspired to build skyscrapers all throughout the world. And each day, he moves one step closer to his dream.

Mezzacappa, a senior architectural engineering student, was recently selected as one of the 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering — Collegiate Edition by The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America’s oldest national engineering society.

Sponsored by DiscoverE, the New Faces of Civil Engineering program promotes the achievement of young civil engineers by highlighting not only their academic success but also volunteerism and dedication to making a positive impact on society through their chosen profession. 

“Growing up on construction sites truly sparked the passion within me to build,” said Mezzacappa. “When I was young, if I wasn't digging holes or picking up trash on my dad's projects, I was building popsicle stick houses to fulfill my love of creating and building.” 

Aside from his passion for construction, Mezzacappa also learned at an early age about the importance of giving back and loving others from his family and involvement with the Boy Scouts of America.

His aspirations to serve have carried on to Penn State, as well. Mezzacappa has traveled to New Orleans on two spring breaks with Engineers Without Borders, to Panama twice with Bridges to Prosperity and served as a construction and logistics operations captain for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon in both 2015 and 2016. These experiences have further built and shaped his vision as a future construction manager. 

“One of the biggest things I have learned was about the importance of relationships. No matter the size of the project, the impact is truly made within the relationships that the project creates,” he said. “It's not the buildings or bridges of the future that will change the world, but it is the relationships of the people that the project brought together that changes the world. It's the perspectives that we gained. It is the encouragement that we shared with one another. It is the lessons we learned together.”

Recognizing the value of service activities in his own college career, Mezzacappa has encouraged other students to take the initiatives as well, especially his peers in engineering. 

“We do not have to wait until after college to change the world. The opportunity is right here at Penn State to do it right now,” he said. “I know that balancing out class activities with academics feels near impossible at times, but if what you are doing is what you are passionate about, you cannot fail.”

Mezzacappa is currently in the process of developing a new campus organization, Passion with Purpose, which encourages students to view college as not only an opportunity to get a degree, but also an opportunity to grow as a person, foster their passion and further develop character and leadership skills that can ultimately lead to so much more than a successful career, but a life full of fulfillment and impact in the world. 

This summer, Mezzacappa will intern in Mexico City with Turner Construction Company, his fourth time with the company, where he will continue his journey to build and pursue his passion of service. 

Mezzacappa is currently one of the top three finalists for New Face of Civil Engineering. The winner will be selected by DiscoverE in April and awarded a $500 scholarship by ASCE.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 04, 2016