Fairmont State University Professor of Engineering Technology, Tia Como, has been named the American Society of Civil Engineers WV Section Educator of the Year. The award is given annually to an ASCE member and educator who has positively impacted the lives of their students inside and outside the classroom.
“I was very surprised,” Como said when she learned she had received the award. “I was speechless, which is very unlike me because I can usually always find something to say.”
Como has a long-standing background in engineering, serving as a Fairmont State faculty member since August of 1998. She graduated with her master’s in civil engineering with a specialization in geotechnical engineering from West Virginia University and is a registered professional engineer in the State of West Virginia. Como has contributed more than 15 years of research to the WV Division of Highways and Federal Highway Administration, in addition to roles as secretary and an honorary board member with the American Association of Highway Engineers since joining the organization in 2000. Como has also served as the treasurer for the ASCE WV Northern Branch for 22 years.
Throughout her tenure at Fairmont State, Como has mentored student members of the University’s ASCE Chapter for 16 years. In 2000, she began her position as ASCE Student Chapter faculty advisor, leading the ASCE Concrete Canoe team to 13 consecutive first-place regional victories from 2004 – 2016. During this time, the Fairmont State student chapter of ASCE won four Region 4 Governor’s Awards with Como as advisor and Como received the Region 4 Faculty Advisor of the Year Award in 2011.
Como explained that she now serves alongside many of her former students in the professional ASCE WV Chapter.
“It makes me so happy to see so many of my past students still involved in ASCE,” Como continued. “Many of them have went on to join the professional chapter after graduation, and it warmed my heart to see so many of them there when I received the Educator of the Year Award.”
Como stepped down as the Fairmont State ASCE Student Chapter faculty advisor in 2016, now serving as a senior mentor. Since then, Como and current faculty advisor, Tabitha Laffere, have broken a national record with 15 consecutive concrete canoe regional titles.
To learn more about Fairmont State University’s ASCE Student Chapter, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/asce/.