IFMA Silicon Valley recently announced that Bethany Lea, a member of the OSU student chapter, is the recipient of their $2500.00 annual scholarship. Bethany was among 51 students that were competing in this year's IFMA scholarship program. There were over 20 sponsors who reviewed the applications and selected candidates for this year's awards. Applicants were evaluated in the areas of achievement, leadership and facilities management involvement. Letters of recommendation with special consideration given to the candidate's ability to create a professional resume' and a focused letter of intent were also evaluated. Many impressive applicants competed, but in the end, Bethany's overall accomplishments set her apart from the crowd. The fact that she is the second woman in as many years to win this scholarship stands as evidence that change is on the horizon.
Says Silicon Valley's Julie O'Loughlin, "When I was first involved in construction jobs as a facility manager, I felt the need to establish myself within a male dominated industry. In the last thirteen years, the role of women in the industry has progressed, but more work lies ahead. As current Vice President and head of the scholarship committee, it is and has been my goal, along with our chapter, to increase opportunities for the advancement of women in the world of Facilities Management. Through scholarships, networking events and training opportunities, women like Bethany will be given the tools needed to continue to bring women to the forefront of Facilities Management."
As an aspiring Facilities Manager, Bethany is definitely building momentum for herself. She currently maintains a 3.957 GPA and is majoring in Facilities Management and Interior Design. She has been the active student council representative for the chapter and is the VP of the chapter this academic year. Along with being awarded the Silicon Valley scholarship, Bethany was also awarded the Tulsa chapter's Ted D. Webb Facilities Management scholarship.
In Bethany's own words, "Being a facilities manager requires more skills than anyone might realize. It is a profession of analytical and creative thought. As I continue to grow in this industry, I hope to make an inpact on the places I manage...I can only hope to handle it all with grace and help those who come after me, as I have been helped."
If anyone out there is looking for a great, young, up and coming facilities manager, look no further than Bethany Lea. Congratulations, Bethany. Keep up the great work. It is an honor to have you as part of our IFMA organization.