Megan Grabel grew up in Hartville, Ohio not knowing for sure what she wanted to study in college. When she looked at Kent State, she liked that it was a big school with lots of diversity. She applied to the Architecture program and was accepted immediately. She enjoys being an Architecture Studies and Construction Management double major and has gotten involved in many organizations and programs on campus relating to her majors. She is a part of the Construction Management student organization and was able to travel and network through her involvement. She has a job as a project engineer currently for a general contractor in Cleveland and hopes to continue working there when she graduates. Her nominator, Joe Kapinski, talks about more of her accomplishments. “Megan has gotten heavily involved in the CMGT student organization. She has taken on leadership roles within the organization and has been the community service chairperson for the past two years. She is in charge of organizing all the community service projects/activities our students do throughout the school year. She planned and organized trips to New Orleans for Spring Break 2015 to work for Habitat for Humanity with six students and is currently planning the Spring Break 2016 trip to work for Habitat for Humanity in Dallas, TX in the rebuilding effort from the tornado that hit there in 2013. She also organized a trip this past August to Rockaway, NY to help rebuild from Hurricane Sandy. For all of these community service trips she has contacted the hosting organization to work out all the details for our volunteers, made reservations for hotels, air fare and rental cars...In the nine years I have been involved with the CMGT program Megan is definitely one of the top students who I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. There has not been anything I asked her to get involved in that she turned down. And when she gets involved she goes above and beyond.”
The construction management faculty here at Kent has really made a difference in Megan’s life, especially Joe Karpinski and George Bigham. She never dreamed that she would get the kind of support in her college career that she gets from them. They put such a great effort into making students successful and helping them through their ideas and thoughts instead of just saying “no”. Megan says that she would not be where she is in life without these people to guide her. Her mother and father have also been great role models for her, always being there to help and encourage her to work hard in order to achieve her goals. Her father especially was an inspiration to her, always being a good example and going out of his way to support everything she wanted to do in life.
When many people hear that Megan works in construction, they often ask if she has difficulties being a woman in the field. She presents herself and shows the workers that she belongs, and she is accepted. She believes that as long as you show respect and get your work done, you will receive that respect back and no one cares about your gender. Women should not feel that they cannot work in the construction field just because of their gender.
What motivates Megan to work hard is the fact that she is a goal-oriented person. She knows what sort of lifestyle she wants to live, and has figured out a path to get her there. The fact that she is so well supported in her endeavors, and enjoys what she does, helps a lot as well. She is persistent and does not take no for an answer. Some people may call this “stubbornness,” but Megan calls it “perseverance.” Her attitude towards life has gotten her very far and her ability to not give up easily has helped her through obstacles in her life.
In ten years, Megan hopes to have travelled the world and be working in the construction industry in a higher position than she is in today. She wants to be involved in a job that allows her to see more of the world and work with the healthcare field building hospitals for those in need, whether it be for the United States or other countries around the globe. What she will remember most about Kent State are the people she’s met, especially through the Construction Management program, as well as all of the great experiences she’s had here. Her advice to students is to “figure out what it is that makes you happy ‘big picture’ and what it’s going to take to get there...don’t let anything else get in your way.” She believes that you should “work hard, but play harder,” and she lives her life this way every day.