By Caylin Jimenez
Enmaily has been focused on engineering since 6th grade. She was the president of the engineering club at her high school, TERRA Environmental Research Institute. She came into FIU primarily interested in coding and robotics, but It was FIU orientation that led her to switch her major to construction management.
“Being a woman in construction management is an amazing opportunity to leave a footprint in the engineering field,” said Enmaily Alvarez ’21.
Immediately after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in construction management, Enmaily started her master’s degree in construction management and already has plans to obtain her Ph.D.
“I am continuing my education to help further my exposure to the industry. There is knowledge and insight you do not get from a bachelor’s degree. For example, the Special Topics course taught by Dr. ElZomor brings industry experts from professional construction organizations into the class. The course is designed to enrich your construction management knowledge by providing a unique construction topic each week,” said Enmaily.
The Moss Department of Construction Management and its endowed chair, Jose Faria, has a lot to do with Enmaily’s continued education.
“Dr. Faria helped me find my niche within the construction industry – construction safety – which opened a door for me that I did not know existed. He was the one that got me a job in the department. Dr. Faria still meets with me periodically to talk about the construction management path I am taking and to reassure me of the potential I hold. I am happy to have an experienced mentor in my life that is always looking out for people wanting to expand in the industry,” said Enmaily.
As a female first-generation immigrant and DACA student in a male-dominated field, Enmaily is no stranger to breaking barriers and hard work. While attending her master’s classes Enmaily will be assisting Nipesh Pradhananga, Associate Professor in the department, with the Susan Harwood Grant and OTI.
“Enmaily serves as a prime example and role model for women looking to get into construction management or construction safety,” says Jose Faria. “Her dedication and drive are admirable and an inspiration to her colleagues.”
The Susan Harwood Grant is funded by the Department of Labor to provide free safety training to workers, focusing on those who are underserved and hard to reach. The training grant renews every year at the end of September with a new training topic. FIU serves as a host for it, and they have been actively renewing it for years. FIU also serves as a host site for select courses offered by the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center at Volunteer State Community College (VSCC). The goal of OTIEC courses is to reduce workplace fatalities and injuries by teaching the application of OSHA standards in hazard recognition and prevention.
“I hope we can justify our hosting of OSHA courses by making a difference in the community with the number of people we train per quarter. By providing both paid and free OSHA training, we are making the industry a safer place one training at a time. Even if we educate as little as one person, we know we made a difference in the industry. Thousands of lives are lost in the construction field over preventable hazards. These preventable hazards are what we target to keep everyone safe,” said Enmaily.
Her involvement with the department does not stop with OSHA, she has also volunteered for the department’s summer camps – the She Builds Summer Camp & the Trimble Boot Camp – and has taken classes within the Construction Trades Program where she is receiving her NCCER certificate and solar panel certification.
Where does Enmaily see herself in the future? The 23-year-old says, “I see myself improving the safety industry with FIU by my side. I stand by OSHA’s promises to make a difference and be there for all workers no matter their status. I get a great sense of happiness when a person comes into one of our OSHA safety courses wanting to learn more. Many times, they are eager to learn more about the field, as well as how they can further their education at FIU.”
FIU plays a role in empowering women like Enmaily, by showing them that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.