Alfred University News

Alfred University ROTC cadet awarded Army Corp of Engineers internship

Makenzie Cashmer '22
Makenzie Cashmer '22

Makenzie Cashmer, a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at Alfred University, has been awarded an internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Cashmer is one of just 22 ROTC cadets in the country to be accepted into the Army Corps’ Engineering Internship Program.


ALFRED, NY – Makenzie Cashmer, a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at Alfred University, has been awarded an internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Cashmer is one of just 22 ROTC cadets in the country to be accepted into the Army Corps’ Engineering Internship Program.

Cashmer, a mechanical engineering major (minors in mathematics, chemistry, and computer science) from Weedville, PA, will serve her internship this summer, from July 10 through August 6, at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Charleston, SC, District.

The Engineering Internship Program typically involves ROTC cadets working on civil, mechanical, electrical, or environmental engineering projects in the district in which they are assigned. ROTC cadets awarded internships serve in Army Corps of Engineers district locations throughout the continental United States. Cashmer said she has not yet received word on the details of her internship. 

Army Corps of Engineers projects support U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force installations (military construction, i.e.) or state and local communities (civil constructions projects, such as dams or levees).  Cadet interns may perform engineering functions such as design, project management, project engineer, construction representative, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, and more. The program focus is on engineering majors. While the majority of internships focus on civil, mechanical, and environmental engineering, majors in all engineering disciplines are eligible to apply.

Cashmer learned of the Army Corps of Engineers program through an informational packet of scholarship and internship opportunities provided by the ROTC. “Basically, we list the top three internships that are of interest, fill out a packet, and wait to hear back,” she said. Part of the application process included writing an essay on why she should get the internship, and providing letters of recommendation.

It was an easy choice to include the Army Corps of Engineers internship among her desired three opportunities, as it meshes with her career aspirations.

“My goal has always been to work for the Corps of Engineers once I decided to join the Army,” said Cashmer, who will commission as a Second Lieutenant after graduating in May 2022. She hopes to serve four years active duty in the engineering branch of the Army. “I remember seeing that there was an internship with the Corps and I knew instantly that it would be my first choice. It was always my end goal for my career in the Army and I wanted a taste of it for a month.”

Cashmer said she has benefitted tremendously as a student by being enrolled in the ROTC program.

“ROTC has provided a lot of structure for me and helped me to become more disciplined. I also play soccer here at AU and balancing everything has been difficult, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” she commented.  She added she pleased with the increased interest and participation in Alfred University’s ROTC program, which she attributes to the efforts of Dillon Smith, military and academic coach in the Pamela L. Bernstein Center for Advising. Smith serves as military affairs liaison; among his duties are promoting and attracting recruits to the ROTC program.

“The ROTC program here has grown so much since I was a freshman. It has gone from being just me to a handful of us and lot of that credit goes to Dillon. It is so nice to not be the only Cadet here on campus and help to build up the program. The program growth in the last couple of years has made us all very close.”

“Makenzie has played a huge role in promoting and bettering the ROTC program here at Alfred University,” Smith commented, referring to her assisting at events like Accepted Students Day and open houses, and being an advocate for her fellow ROTC cadets with University faculty, staff, and the Board of Trustees.

“She is a prime example of the type of Army officers AU has the ability to produce. I am extremely proud of Makenzie’s accomplishments and receiving this prestigious internship shows how fortunate we are to have her here.”

Cashmer was recently named a recipient of a Society of American Military Engineering (SAME) Award. To be eligible for the SAME award, students must be a junior or senior engineering student actively enrolled in an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited school and in ROTC. Nominees must be in the top 25 percent of their engineering class and in the top 25 percent of their ROTC class. “It was an honor to be chosen for the award,” said Cashmer, who will be recognized during a virtual ceremony on April 24.