Engineered Leader: Student Named “New Face of Engineering”

Matthew Cristi, a graduating senior and civil engineering major, was one of 10 civil engineering students from across the nation recently chosen as a 2020 New Face of Civil Engineering – Collegiate Edition by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
“Stay disciplined, work hard and be humble,” Cristi said of his personal maxims. “Take on leadership roles and embrace the challenges that come your way — it’ll pay off as invaluable experience. With relentless hard work and effort, the possibilities are endless.”
It’s this personally engineered attitude that has propelled the 22 year-old from Glendale, Calif., to the top ranks of collegiate student engineers.
The ASCE highlights up-and-coming civil engineers for their hard work, commitment to leadership and early accomplishments, inside and outside of academia. ​The professional organization cited Cristi ​as a hard worker who has turned his life experiences into an “exemplary record of leadership and community service.”
His list of professional accomplishments is long, as is the list of his academic successes.
CSUN isn’t the only place where Cristi is making an impact and building on his engineering education. He’s a part-time transportation engineering intern at the civil engineering firm Psomas and has worked on several projects in the Greater Los Angeles area — including improvement projects such as the Los Angeles River bikeway, the Glendale-Hyperion bridge system, and road improvements to Inglewood’s Prairie Avenue as well as Reseda Boulevard, near CSUN.
Cristi said he takes pride in his work, particularly the Reseda Boulevard improvement project that will improve curbs and driveways near campus.
“What I find special about this project is that I drive through it every day,” he said. “Once it’s under construction, I’ll be able to see the positive impact it makes to the San Fernando Valley.”
Cristi is president of the CSUN ASCE student chapter and co-project manager of the CSUN Concrete Canoe project. Incorporating community and campus service into the chapter’s activities is important to him, Cristi noted. Under his leadership, the chapter’s volunteering activities have included work on L.A.’s Skid Row, decorating for the holidays at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and speaking to K-12 students about pursuing engineering through various workshops.
“Any individual has the opportunity to take initiative and be a leader in different ways,” Cristi said. “It only takes a step forward to start the momentum in the positive direction.”

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