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Asked & Answered with Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award Winner, Molly Denton

Asked & Answered with Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award Winner, Molly Denton 

The ASHRAE Foundation and ASHRAE TC 5.2, Duct Design, and the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter invited students to apply for the Herman and Dorothy Behls Travel Award. TC 5.2 fully funded the endowment to honor the late Mr. Herman Behls, who was a 50-Year Distinguished Service Award member of ASHRAE. Molly Denton, Student Member ASHRAE, was one student who received this year's travel award and answered some questions about her experience with ASHRAE.

ASHRAE TC 5.2, Duct Design, and the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter are offering five $1,100 USD travel grants to help subsidize students to travel to the Winter Conference in Chicago January 2024. For more information, please visit the page for the Herman and Dorothy Behls Travel Grant.

From left: Ruiji Sun - Travel Award; Abdur-Rahman Quadri - Certification Award; John Constantinide, TC 5.2, Duct Design, Chair and ASHRAE Region XII DRC; Molly Denton – Travel Award; Iliana Georgia Georgakakou - Certification Award; and Vineet Nair - Certification Award.

How did you find out about the Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award?

My school's branch of ASHRAE advertised the Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award and encouraged student members to apply.

How was your experience at the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Atlanta?

I had a really great time at the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Atlanta. This was one of my first professional conferences, and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed meeting industry professionals and students from other schools studying architectural and mechanical engineering. I loved learning about all the students' various experiences in the industry, what things we have in common, and what makes each of our school programs unique.

Please highlight a standout moment for you during the Conference?

I had the opportunity to meet President Mehboob at the Welcome Reception prior to attending the President's Luncheon the next day. It was really special to have the chance to thank him for his leadership and to hear his words of encouragement for me and my peers to continue our involvement in ASHRAE.

Please tell us about your involvement with ASHRAE?

I am a student member of University of Cincinnati's ASHRAE Branch. Our branch has grown a lot in the past few years, and I have enjoyed partnering with their student executive team in joint events with our school's chapter of Architectural Engineering Institute (on which I have served as an executive team member for four years). Both organizations host lunch 'n' learns, socials, and many other types of events where students can get to know one another and learn about the industry. I have really enjoyed attending ASHRAE meetings in which mechanical and electrical engineers share about their past and current projects, ASHRAE standards, and energy efficiency measures.

Did you have the opportunity to shadow John Constantinide, TC 5.2 chair and Member of the ASHRAE Board of Directors?

While I was unable to shadow John Constantinide at a technical session, I was able to attend a seminar hosted by TC 5.2. I learned all about sizing ducts, pipes and fittings and some of their latest innovations in allowing engineers to keep track of these things in their projects. It was neat for me to be able to recognize so many mechanical engineering principles and concepts that I have learned in my HVAC classes at UC.

What would you say to a Student Member considering applying for the Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award?

I would strongly encourage student members to apply for this award. ASHRAE loves to pass it forward and help students entering the industry, so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that. Even if a student doesn't win, the application was a simple, straightforward way to reflect on my involvement in ASHRAE, and it gave me the chance to meet many new people who have been quite influential.

What would you like to say to all the donors that contributed to establishing the Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award?

I am incredibly grateful to the donors who contributed to the establishment of the Herman & Dorothy Behls Travel Award for their generosity. This award goes a long way in enabling students to afford the travel expenses of attending events far away from home. Having my travel expenses reimbursed really lifted a weight off my shoulders. It allowed me to travel comfortably and really focus on getting the most out of the conference. I look forward to passing this generosity forward upon entering the industry later this year.

Thank You, John (Mentor at the 2023-2024 ASHRAE Winter Conference)

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of shadowing John Constantinide at the ASHRAE Atlanta Conference. From the moment I met John, I knew that he was someone special. His dedication to his work, his empathy for others, and his tireless work ethic were all qualities that I admired and wanted to emulate in my own life.  

Throughout the conference, I had the opportunity to watch and learn from John. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, to listen to others, and to go above and beyond to make sure that everyone felt heard and valued.  But what impressed me the most was his unwavering dedication to his work. John worked tirelessly to ensure that everything was done to the best of his ability. And yet, despite his busy schedule and demanding workload, he always made time for others, never losing sight of the importance of empathy and human connection.  

Since that conference, I have tried my best to implement the lessons that I learned from John into my daily life. I have strived to work harder, to be more empathetic towards others, and to never lose sight of my goals, no matter how challenging they may seem.  

I am incredibly grateful for the time that I spent shadowing John, and for the lessons that he taught me about the importance of hard work, empathy, and dedication. These are qualities that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that I hope to pass on to others.

Warm regards,

Abdur-Rahman Quadri