Rachel H. Leitson
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Construction Systems Management
Pepper Pike, OH
2021 Distinguished Senior Award Celebration Program (.pdf)
2021 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Poster (.pdf)
Rachel Leitson’s most valuable learning experience was her participation in an Associated Schools of Construction commercial construction competition. This was her first time putting together a complete bid for a project, and she learned from the upperclassmen that were on her team as well as from the other teams they were competing against. Rachel attributes the many terrific opportunities and relationships she has found within her major to this competition.
After transferring into the Construction Systems Management program, Rachel started being acknowledged. In her nomination it was shared, “With her foundation in engineering courses, Rachel quickly adapted to the concepts taught in core CSM courses, and proved herself an outstanding learner and teacher among her peers. Her abilities did not go unnoticed, and she was quickly recruited to be a teaching assistant for the electrical and lighting systems course.”
Rachel identified Mr. Jeff Suchy as her mentor. Rachel said, “Professor Suchy has been a strong supporter and advocate for me throughout my undergraduate career. He has constantly been a sounding board for issues and problems I face, giving me invaluable advice that I will use for the rest of my life and career. He has given me countless opportunities where I am pushed to further my knowledge, experience, and skills. He has helped me with industry contacts and relationships that have benefited me throughout my work here at OSU. He has been an absolute joy to work for and has helped me to thrive and succeed within the construction industry, and I would not be receiving the award without his support and advice.”
The greatest sense of accomplishment Rachel has experienced was from completing her Humanitarian Engineering Scholar distinction, which occurred over a two-year process. It was the first community that she felt a strong mutual bond for service within the Ohio State community. She created meaningful relationships through those two years that she knows she will carry for the rest of her life. Overall, she believes that it made her more conscious of the global impact of all her decisions in her industry.
Rachel has had extensive internship experience; she worked as a project engineer with Borror Construction in 2019, Kiewit Construction in 2020, and she has accepted her final internship with Turner Construction for summer 2021. Through her internships, Rachel was able to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a public sponsored project that the mayor of Columbus and a senator for Ohio both attended. She was able to take a virtual tour of incredible large-scale projects during her internship for Kiewit. She also gained tools and training that are invaluable for future jobs during all of her internships.
After graduation, Rachel plans to attend a year-long graduate program to earn her master’s in management. Until she can begin that pursuit, she will continue working full-time in the construction industry.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Humanitarian Engineering Scholars | Ohio State Hunt Seat Equestrian Team | Construction Management Club, secretary | SWE & NAWIC (women empowerment and support groups for women in STEM and construction fields) | OSU AWARES Program