Fairmont State graduate and professor awarded the 2020 WV Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The West Virginia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has awarded Fairmont State Engineering Technology faculty, Professor Tabitha Lafferre E.I, the 2020 WV Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to a distinguished civil engineer in the field. Candidates for the nomination must be a registered professional engineer or present evidence of formal intention to become registered. Candidates must also be a member of the WV Section of ASCE. 

Qualifications for this prestigious award include: 

  • 35 years of age or less
  • Outstanding engineering achievement
  • Society recognition of accomplishments and/or contribution
  • Demonstrated leadership potential in civil engineering
  • Evidence of high character and professional integrity
  • Civil and humanitarian activities (community service) 
  • Letters of endorsement to substantiate application information

“I’m so honored to receive this award. I have never once questioned my career choice,” Lafferre explained. “I love civil engineering and I’m truly blessed to be able to educate students while pursuing civil engineering and being a part of ASCE.” 

Lafferre’s recent work with the WV ASCE Infrastructure Report Card was one of the driving factors in her nomination. 

“I’ve been working on it for a year now and hosted a special topics class in spring 2020 for the research and drafting of the Report Card,” Lafferre said. “I was also promoted to an Infrastructure Report Card Committee Chair for the WV Section this spring.” 

The final Report Card will be released in early December, prior to the WV Legislative Session. 

“I have worked closely with Mrs. Lafferre and a group of students for over a year on developing the first WV Infrastructure Report Card,” said award nominator, Rodney Holbert, PE. Holbert was a former winner of this prestigious award, and currently serves as the Office Manager of the Burgess & Niple, Inc. Engineering Firm in Parkersburg, WV.

“The award is for much more than working on this important project. This 2020 WV Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award was not earned in a one-year time period, but after a decade of service to her profession, to the state and dedication to teaching the civil engineering students at Fairmont State. I have high expectations for continued success for Mrs. Lafferre and her career as a civil engineer,” Holbert explained.  

Originally from Clover, South Carolina, Lafferre migrated to WV where she studied at Fairmont State and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering Technology in 2011. As an undergraduate at Fairmont State, she became the ASCE Student Chapter President of the Concrete Canoe Competition. In 2017, she graduated with her master's degree in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. While working toward her master’s degree, she became an Adjunct Professor in the Engineering Department at Fairmont State. She currently serves as an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at FSU. 

In addition to this prestigious award, on September 26 Lafferre was inducted as the Vice President of the WV Section of ASCE. 

“Mrs. Lafferre has always been one to raise her hand and volunteer to take on duties,” Holbert said. “ASCE is a volunteer organization, so we need people who will give their time and energy for the betterment of our profession. Mrs. Lafferre is a role model to her students. The ASCE Fairmont State students excel in demonstrating their commitment to their chosen profession.” 

With the support of friends, mentors, and her husband, John Lafferre, and her two daughters, Sidney and Rosalie, Lafferre continues to embody the values of hard work, passion, and dedication to the field of civil engineering.