Arthur Antoine (PhdCivEngr’17) is a proud Buff and an outstanding College of Engineering and Applied Science volunteer. Since graduating from CU Boulder, Antoine has established a successful career at Shrewsberry & Associates, an engineering consulting firm, as a senior project manager.
As a CU Engineering Front Range Regional Network Ambassador, Antoine serves as a dedicated volunteer. He also contributes to the engineering community, serving as an active member and leader on numerous professional societies. We had the opportunity to sit down with Antoine to learn about his experience at CU Boulder and why he remains involved with his alma mater.
What are your fondest memories of CU Engineering?
My fondest memories of the college, and in particular of our Construction Engineering & Management (CEM) group, are of our research group meetings and regular camaraderie among grad student colleagues in our shared offices.
It was a welcoming experience to join the CEM group and the culture of supporting new grad students was genuinely maintained. Also, it was a pleasant surprise that the CEM group attracted US-based and international academics, contributing to a diverse mix of cultures while I was there.
You have served in executive roles with local trade associations such as vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Denver Professionals chapter, and secretary for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Colorado. Can you talk about why you choose to pursue leadership positions with each of the organizations and what they mean to you?
Fresh out of grad school in fall 2017, the first local trade association I got involved in was COMTO Colorado. The experience served as a great way to get familiar with the local Denver-Metro Engineering/Construction professional community.
It was a pleasure to serve as Secretary for a term. Currently, I serve as the Chair of COMTO Colorado’s Scholarship Committee, in which we aim to award up to 10 scholarships annually to students interested in pursuing college studies in a transportation-related field.
With the NSBE Denver Professionals chapter, I served as Vice President for one term and currently serve as the Corporate Sponsorship Liaison responsible for fundraising and fostering partnerships with corporate entities that wish to support our NSBE Mission, i.e. "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community."
In summary, I chose those organizations and welcomed the leadership positions as a way to get involved and support the local community while contributing to my professional development.
Since graduating from CU Boulder, you have maintained a close connection with the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. Can you talk about your experience as a student and the impact it had on you?
In my quest seeking a Construction Engineering & Management (CEM) PhD, I applied to multiple schools and CU Boulder’s CEM professors had the best personal approach to my interest in their program.
Beyond acceptance/entry, the program turned out to be more than I could have asked for – it was a comprehensive academic experience in my field of study. CU’s support of academic pursuits, financial and otherwise, was especially impactful on my experience.
With CU’s support, I got to attend and present my research at several significant industry and academic conferences. Additionally, through my advisor’s involvement in industry, I got to network and meet professionals who helped my research efforts and remain as professional contacts. Ultimately, I graduated feeling that the CEM program at CU Boulder surpassed my expectations.
Why did you choose to become a Regional Network Ambassador for the Front Range? Have there been any highlights to your role as an RNA since joining the program?
After graduating, I felt indebted to the institution as my alma mater and obligated to support the efforts of recruiting and retaining diverse students.
In this regard, I accepted the role of an RNA. The highlight for me is the random new connections made with prospective students and sharing knowledge about CU Boulder to aid them in deciding whether or not they pursue studies here.
What would you say to encourage alumni who are considering volunteering with their alma mater?
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision based on experiences and circumstances. Nonetheless, to anyone considering it I would say, think of your own achievement (BSc/MS/PhD or otherwise). Undoubtedly someone helped you along the way at some point, so consider being that person to help someone else on their academic journey.