Community Mission

The College Outreach Community leads collaborative efforts between SAME and academia to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges and supports Post’s efforts to mentor and develop future STEM professionals at the collegiate-level. The community serves as a bridge between academia, Posts, government (military and civilian), and the private sector. The community provides guidance to the network of student chapters across the Society, promotes internship opportunities from SAME sustaining members, and will establish a new engineering competition for students designed to address the nation’s grand challenges.


The SAME College Outreach Community strives to organize programs and present opportunities to future military and civilian members of the A/E/C profession that will foster networking within their professional community, build leadership skills, and provide job opportunities to recent graduates. Additionally, students with an active membership within SAME have at their disposal a wealth of knowledge and experiences from professionals throughout the A/E/C community of practice.

COI Work Plan

View the 2020 work plan for the College Outreach COI here.


Join the Community of Interest

You can join any of our communities of interest by logging into your member profile and scrolling down to “Communities of Interest” and click to join.”

Undergraduate Innovations Challenge: A Design Project Competition

The inaugural SAME Undergraduate Innovations Challenge, a Senior-Design Project Competition, was completed this May, 2020. This competition was aimed at showcasing the work that our SAME student members are doing in their senior-level capstone projects and focused on their ability to effectively communicate the importance of the work they’re doing and their design and build process. Participating teams represented the following schools:

  • The Citadel
  • Gulf Coast State College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Florida State University Panama City


Top projects are below. Congratulations to all the submitting teams!!


Title of Project

School Name


A Study of Sea Level Rise and Designs for Coastal Resiliency in Boston--TOP PROJECT!

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Prepare a sea-level rise analysis for Boston that recommends mitigation actions based on a 48" sea level increase, including flood barriers and resident relocation.

Clean Energy Deer Repellent (C.E.D.R.)--TOP PROJECT!

Florida State University Panama City

Create a device that can detect and deter deer and other animals from crossing into the path of oncoming traffic, to reduce animal/vehicle collisions.


The Citadel

Create a low-budget ventilator powered by a standard wall outlet, that can be used from children to large adults.

To find out more about the competition and get a preview of the entries, visit the Competitions page.

Annual Forum on Student Members and Student Chapters

Save-the-Date: August 16-18, 2021

The SAME 2025 strategic plan calls on the Society to: ENRICH THE STEM PIPELINE FOR THE NATION by leading efforts to inspire, encourage, and enable youth to pursue STEM careers; and helping develop the technical capacity that our nation needs to remain globally competitive.

To accomplish this goal, on August 16 - 18, the College Outreach COI will host a three-session Forum on Student Members and Chapters to discuss the status of SAME student members and student chapters. 

Who is the SAME Student Member?

Date: Monday August 16, 3 – 5 p.m. ET

Student members fall into many different categories. Some attend traditional 4-year universities but others may be in community colleges or trade schools. They may be pursuing a STEM career—or business, or law, or marketing! They may be in the military—or bound for the private sector! What they all have in common is an interest in the AEC industry. Join us for a discussion on who these different audiences are, what draws them to SAME, and how to reach them.


Running a Successful and Sustainable Student Chapter

Date: Tuesday August 17, 3-5 p.m. ET

What are the pieces needed to run a successful and sustainable Student Chapter? How do you keep it going once the current crop of leaders graduate? Join the discussion to share your best practices and get answers from other successful programs.


Transition from Student Member to Professional Member

Date: Wednesday August 18, 3-5 p.m. ET

What are some of the best practices for taking student members and transitioning them to professional members?

Proceedings from the 2020 Forum

The proceedings from the 2020 forum are below. Some great discussions came up during in the chat box during each session so the chat log is also included below.

Session 1: Engaging Student Members, Tuesday, August 18th

SlidesRecordingChat Log, Related link: Student Member Application Page
Key Take-away: Add a student member to a Post board.

Session 2: Successful Student Chapter/Post RelationshipsWednesday, August 19th

SlidesRecordingChat Log, Handout: Student Chapter Guidance Manual
Key Take-aways: Create a tab on the Post website for their student chapter; develop student chapter marketing materials; and advertise SAME benefits to faculty advisors as an incentive.

Session 3: Encouraging Student Competition InvolvementThursday, August 20th

SlidesRecordingChat Log
Key Take-away: Create an SAME competition based on student senior design projects.

Academic Partners

SAME offers  academic institutions (colleges, universities, and trade schools) the opportunity to promote their programs, credentials, and certificates to SAME members by becoming an institutional member. Opportunities include advertising in The Military Engineer, SAME's flagship magazine, and/or on the SAME website or online newsletters. To learn more about member benefits for your institution, contact Johnny Frasier, Sales Representative, at

The College Outreach Community of Interest is also looking at how to engage academic partners more. Join us in the conversation.

Community Chair

Anne MacMillian
Blue Stone Environmental


Executive Community Structure

Vice Chairs 
Andrew Bates
, Strategic Planning
Tiffany Castricone Events
Christina Jettie, Communications
Marilyn Zenko, Student Chapter Operations
Ron Welch, Academia Engagement
Nathanial Sheehan, support to VC Academia Engagement
Patrick Bass, Competitions
Andra Clapsaddle, Virtual Student Chapter
Seth Lorimer, Former Chair

Gia Huynh-Ba, Young Professionals Liaison
Paul Phillips, Credentialing Liaison

Mike Scarano, Senior Student Chapter Mentor
Ron Welch
, Senior Student Chapter Faculty Advisor

At-Large Members
Nawras Taffal
Charlie Li

Staff Liaisons
Jeannine Finton, STEM Coordinator
Eddie Gonzalez, Program Manager

Student Members

Student members represent the next generation of innovative STEM thinkers ready to take on society’s challenges. Recognizing the need to cultivate this valuable asset, SAME offers FREE membership to all full-time students enrolled in high school, 2-year or 4-year colleges and universities (through the undergraduate level), trade schools, and military academies.  As emerging professionals, you benefit from an array of programs meant to support your academic and professional development.

Learn more about student membership.

Join SAME as a student member

Student Chapters, Virtual Student Chapter, Distinguished Student Chapter

Student Chapters

SAME supports a network of over 35 student chapters. Student chapters promote the goals and objectives of SAME, and encourage the advancement of careers in architecture, engineering and construction by connecting college students with professionals in these areas.

To find out more about SAME Student Chapters, visit:

Virtual Student Chapter

For students not attending one of the institutions hosting physical student chapters, or who want to explore more professional development options, SAME has formed the Virtual Student Chapter (VSC). The Virtual Student Chapter is a boundaryless chapter that provides that provides virtual professional development opportunities for all students at the high school and college level to foster engineering leadership for our nation. VSC webinars and events are open to all students.

See below for the upcoming calendar of events. For more information, contact Andra Clapsaddle, VSC Chair.

Distinguished Student Chapter

The SAME Strategic Plan encourages efforts that "enrich the STEM pipeline for the nation." The Distinguished Student Chapter Award recognizes student chapters that are providing programmatic impact towards that strategic goal. That can include encouraging STEM engagement at the K-12 or post-high school level, and/or developing community projects that engage key stakeholders.

To submit your chapter for consideration, download the Distinguished S.C. Submission Form. Deadline to submit for the 2020-21 cycle is April 15, 2021.

Post Mentoring

Mentoring is one of SAME's most important goals, and toward that end Posts are encouraged to develop College Outreach plans to involve local college and university students and encourage their pursuit of careers in the A/E/C field. Remember, the students you mentor today will be the leaders of tomorrow! Find out more here!



Recognition is one of the key components in engaging young leaders in the Society. To that end, the Society created two awards that offer Posts a way to recognize the leadership and involvement of college and university students:


Virtual Student Chapter Webinars

No webinars are planned over the summer. Check back in August for our Fall schedule.

Most Recent Webinar: Personal Branding: Why and Where to Start (Held on June 16th)

Personal Branding may be a buzzword to most but knowing how to gain the benefits can help you when defining your goals, looking for a company to apply with and set you apart when it comes time to landing that internship or job after graduation. You’ll learn some virtual networking basics too!

Click here to view the recording.
Click here view the slides.

Victoria Mechtly
Business Development Aerospace & Defense, RS&H

Victoria Mechtly is an architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) business and marketing professional who specializes in client development, strategic business planning and implementation for business-critical marketing and communications efforts.

For the past seven years, she has worked with her technical staff to create business development approaches and materials, and with principals to secure new clients and projects. Ms. Mechtly holds a degree in business management, marketing and sales, and brings a passion for helping others develop interpersonal skills. She works with coached everyone from young professionals to senior level managers and transitioning military service members to improve their communication skills, personal brand and other soft skills that lead to successful careers.

Ms. Mechtly serves as RS&H’s Aerospace Business Development Led and is the immediate past Chairwomen for the National Young Professionals Community of Interest the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).


Past Webinars

View past webinarsLogin to view.

(Please note: You must be logged into your member account to access this link).

Stay Engaged with the COI

Third Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll Free): 1 877 309 2073
United States: +1 (571) 317-3129
Access Code: 918-326-549

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Notes from June 16, 2021 COI Call

View the recording. (YouTube Link)
View the agenda. (PDF)

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