christopher consultants, ltd.

Mentoring the Next Generation

christopher consultants, ltd. (christopher) is proud to have a staff filled with those who not only work hard in the office, they share their knowledge and skill sets by mentoring the next generation. Our staff recently took advantage of three great opportunities to give back to our communities, profiled below.

Chris Fillmore – Grymes Memorial School
Since 2015, Chris Fillmore, LS, has been introducing students to the land surveying profession at the Grymes Memorial School in Orange County, VA. As mathematics and geometry are at the core of surveying principles, his focus is on an introduction to land surveying, equipment used and how math influences the work. Each year, Chris visits the school at the end of May, as the year is winding down and the weather gets warmer, to work with a small group of students that are finishing courses in geometry. He is happy to find each year the students are always engaged and interested in the topic.

This year, Chris spoke with a class of 8th graders who were intrigued at what the land surveyor does, and not surprisingly, very interested in the technologies used, specifically drones. The mentoring session went by quickly, as the students were very excited to learn about land surveying and use the total station and GPS unit. Chris says he is very lucky to meet these rising stars and honored to represent land surveyors to the next generation.

Nikki Barclay – Rock Ridge High School
High school senior Nikki Barclay spent two weeks with christopher’s subsidiary Paciulli, Simmons and Associates this summer. Nikki is the high school daughter of Drew Barclay, a Project Manager in christopher’s Leesburg office. For her senior capstone project through Rock Ridge High School, Nikki focused on how to run a small business by joining us for two weeks to learn all the different facets of the work Paciulli performs.

She worked in AutoCAD, engineering, surveying and administrative areas her first week, to include learning how to use the survey instruments. The second week she spent time with our Safety Officer, Federico Tersoglio, learning about safety procedures and personal protective equipment. She also spoke with Staci Vega, CPSM, in our marketing and business development team about the tasks her team typically handles. She rounded out her mentorship with Lou Canonico, PE, who talked about our Special Services division and Donna Lombardo to go over proposal and contract work.

Nikki presented her capstone project earlier this month with much success. She will be attending Longwood University in the fall.

Katie McDaniel – Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Virginia Tech’s Land Development Design Initiative (LDDI) program has been around for years. Katie took the design course her senior year in 2010, and has since mentored two student groups in the same design course. Mentors are asked to select a project that covers each aspect of design and challenges the students without overwhelming them.

Throughout the semester and design process, Katie and her team of mentees have weekly or twice weekly calls to discuss project status, questions and challenges. Students take the project from feasibility to conceptual layout and through utility and stormwater designs. Katie coaches them with suggestions or asks questions to guide them through the entire process.

At the end of the semester, all mentors travel back to Blacksburg to watch each team present their projects. Many of the teams face similar challenges, and the unique obstacles they encounter for their site are always interesting.

“It means a lot to me to be able to give back to a program that provided me so many opportunities. I can’t express enough just how impressed I am with the students whom I have worked and how much they learn and grow through the semester and design process. They will definitely enter the professional workforce with a leg up on their peers in experience from this class,” says Katie.

christopher is proud to pass on these skills to the next generation and to give back to the communities where our employees live, work and play! Follow along on our news section for more christopher news.