Donor Spotlight

Celebrating 10 Years of Scholarship

American Water has always recognized that investments need to be made not just for the infrastructure that is vital to providing clean, safe, reliable, water services, but also the tremendous need to invest in our brightest and best students to infuse the water and wastewater industry with the talent needed to continue to deliver on our commitment. 

As the largest private water and wastewater utility company in the United States, American Water has a dedicated team of professionals and scientists, that focus on finding practical solutions to existing and emerging issues that impact the water, wastewater, reclaimed water and desalination industries. Priority areas for this group of microbiologists, chemists, environmental scientists and engineers can and do change rapidly; however, central to all efforts is the constant focus on operational efficiency, water quality, environmental and public health protection.  

American Water professionals dedicate considerable time and effort to share findings of their work with the rest of the industry through engagement with other industry leaders, regulators and through presentations, webinars and other community outreach/education. 

With increasing world populations and water scarcity, innovative solutions to future environmental and water quality challenges will require professionals with a diverse knowledge base. So, we can continue to provide industry leading water and wastewater services, American Water understands the value of supporting education and furthering the educational opportunities for students through scholarship programs, like their own LaFrankie Scholarship and the American Water Works Association American Water Scholarship.

For many years, the company has partnered with the American Water Works Association to create this scholarship that provides an annual award of $5,000 to a graduate level student to assist with the development of professionals interested in service to the water industry.


"By attracting scholars to the field of water research, which is vital to the future of our business, we hope to develop and tap their talent for the long-term benefit of our communities and the environment. 

We are honored to have helped all these recipients to advance their research studies," said Dr. Zia Bukhari, principal scientist, water and wastewater research at American Water. 

American Water is pleased to share that Samuel Hodges will the recipient of this award in 2020. Congratulations Samuel!

Some recent AWWA American Water Scholarship Award Winners include:

2019 - Kaitlin Mattos, University of Colorado at Boulder

2018 - Michael Bentel, University of California, Riverside

2017 - Alma Beciragic, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Better Together for Ten Years 

Stantec takes pride in our long history serving the communities where we live and work. Our commitment to our communities goes beyond our day to day work inside office walls and on project sites. It is important for us to provide support to strengthen the organizations we work with all over the world.

One of the most pressing needs in higher education is funding for scholarships. Scholarships allow deserving students to attain their educational goals, meet their professional objectives, and succeed to their fullest ability. 

To commemorate Stantec’s 10th year participating in American Water Works Association’s Scholarship Program, we are increasing our annual donation to $10,000 in 2020. This engineering scholarship represents Stantec’s values to encourage and develop the next generation of water industry leaders.

Kyle Gerlach, featured in the photo, is the 2019 recipient of the Stantec AWWA Scholarship and is working on a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. Kyle was selected based on the practicality of his research and its direct path to deployment in the field. His work focuses on bench scale testing and water quality parameter analysis to assess the use of potassium ferrate as an oxidant for the treatment of harmful algal blooms.


Stantec is excited to continue our support, alongside AWWA, for students pursuing their degrees and futures in the Water Science field. 

About Stantec
We're active members of the communities we serve. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind

The Stantec community unites more than 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations. Our work—professional consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, Stantec has the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Supporting the Future of Drinking Water Safety

ChlorTainer Awards AWWA Scholarship

ChlorTainer is proud to be the sponsor of a $10,000 scholarship awarded to Zachary Kralles so that he may further his education in the water industry. Thanks to a program established by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), ChlorTainer donated the scholarship funds to support the future of the water treatment industry by investing in young talent at a critical educational phase and the beginning of Zachary’s career. 

About Our Recipient
Zachary KrallesZachary Kralles (Zac) just completed his second year in the pursuit of a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering, and is going into his first year as a PhD student (3rd year as a Graduate Student) in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Buffalo in New York.

Zac is a member of AWWA and has done some work with the Buffalo Water Authority.

From a young age, Zachary was inspired by the work of his father, a mechanical engineer, and his mother, an environmental scientist. He knew early on that he wanted to work in environmental engineering. When he was a junior in college, he took an aquatic chemistry class that really sparked his interest in water chemistry and guided his direction to work specifically with drinking water and water disinfection.

Zac has a particular interest in chlorine disinfection, how new disinfection byproducts form, and how we can control them to benefit public health.

The water quality crisis in Flint, Michigan, was one event that especially inspired Zac to pursue work that would help ensure that people located in all areas across the nation would have access to clean drinking water.  

ChlorTainer and AWWA wish Zachary all the best in his important work in this essential field.

About ChlorTainer
ChlorTainer provides failsafe protection for water treatment and industrial facilities utilizing 1-Ton and 150-lb chemical cylinders such as chlorine, sulfur dioxide, and anhydrous ammonia. ChlorTainer’s secondary containment vessels are the safest and most reliable technology available to process and prevent a chemical release. If the cylinder should leak, the gas or liquid chemical is contained within the vessel and processed at a normal rate. More information on ChlorTainer can be found at 

Opening Doors, Creating Solutions

Gannett Fleming Deploys a Combination of Programs to Reach Young Professionals 

By Michael Brown, PE, Vice President, Gannett Fleming 

Sarah Ehrman, a Gannett Fleming water/wastewater designer and former intern, observes installation of rebar during construction.

There is a simple but jarring truth that underpins the importance of outreach to the next generation of water professionals: without them, life as we know it is at risk.

We are at a critical crossroads of aging infrastructure, water scarcity, workforce uncertainty and the technological changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our collective success depends on the diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences of our employees, so I encourage all Service Provider members to consider offering scholarships and internships.

Gannett Fleming is proud to sponsor an annual $5,000 AWWA scholarship for an undergraduate or graduate student in engineering, project management or information technology.

Gannett Fleming also sponsors inclusion scholarships and internships for traditionally underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math. For these programs, we work with historically black colleges and universities as well as schools that graduate a high rate of female engineering students. 

A scholarship through my university brought me to Gannett Fleming for an internship, which was truly a turning point for me,” said Sarah Ehrman, a water/wastewater designer. “My internship experiences helped me realize what I did—and did not—want to do with my career. I was encouraged to ask questions and gain valuable experience in a variety of specialties.

Sarah is a member of AWWA and Pennsylvania AWWA, where she serves on the Young Professionals Committee. “These programs create opportunities that benefit both the intern and the company,” she said. “I encourage everyone to either sponsor or apply for a scholarship and parlay that into internship experience. It’s so different than what we learn in a classroom, and that real-world exposure is important for recruitment and retention.

In addition to Gannett Fleming’s scholarship and internship programs, our construction management team has found success in an apprenticeship program that brings in employees who fit our corporate culture but don’t yet have technical skills. Apprentices start as full-time employees with benefits and undergo on-the-job training and certifications.

Today’s scholarship winners, interns and apprentices will solve the most pressing infrastructure issues and become tomorrow’s leaders. And you may not have to go further than within your own walls to prove it: Gannett Fleming’s current president and chief operating officer, Paul Nowicki, PE, started with our firm 35 years ago . . . as an intern. 

HDR One Water Institute Scholarship increases to $10,000

As the demand for innovation in the water industry continues to grow, so does the need for a robust workforce. To help alleviate and elevate this industry need, HDR’s One Water Institute has decided to double down on investment for the future of One Water leaders.

Read more

Denver Water's partnership for Scholars

Denver Water partners with AWWA's Scholarship program to offer a $5000 Centennial Scholarship for Colorado students interested in water industry careers.

Read more

35 Year Anniversary of Holly A. Cornell Scholarship

Investing in our future water leaders is something that Jacobs believes strongly in, which is why the company has supported the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its annual scholarship program for nearly three decades, donating more than $150,000 to help graduate students. 2020 will mark the 30th year of the Holly A. Cornell Scholarship—a scholarship that was established in 1990 to honor one of CH2M’s founders Holly A. Cornell and his legacy to the water industry.

“As leaders in the water industry we’re committed to helping future generations make a positive difference in our world. By sponsoring the Holly Cornell Scholarship, we can make a direct impact on an individual’s ability to do just that,” said Russell Ford, Jacobs Global Water Solutions Director and scholarship champion. We like to think of it as our resiliency planning -- making sure we’re preparing for the future by supporting and inspiring more of our youth to pursue engineering degrees.”

Jacobs’ most recent Holly Cornell Scholarship winner Samantha McVety was announced during the ACE19 conference in Denver.

“Samantha McVety stood out as an outstanding candidate for this special scholarship, and we are honored to play a role in helping her pursue her dream career in context-based data science at Stanford,” added Dr. Ford. “She has already distinguished herself among her peers, and we are excited for all that she will bring to the water sector as she finishes her graduate studies.”

Throughout her educational studies and professional work, Samantha has gained tremendous expertise in the membrane and advanced water treatment sectors and is currently pursuing an Environmental Engineering M.S. to expand both her technical knowledge and business fundamentals at Stanford University. 

After working in the consulting world, Samantha learned that taking an academic information discovery approach to solving problems led to better results; and rather than starting with a problem to solve, designing solutions around people and empathy also led to a better outcome. 

This context-based applied data science is Samantha’s passion, and she is excited to focus her career on this after gaining a strong foundation in both engineering and data science in her pursuit of a co-terminal degree in Environmental Engineering and Computational Mathematics and Modeling.

The Holly A. Cornell Scholarship is part of AWWA’s annual scholarship program and is awarded annually to a recipient selected by the AWWA University Student Activities Committee. The $7,500 grant was created to support a female and/or minority student pursuing graduate studies in the field of water supply and treatment. Samantha is the 28th student to receive the Holly A. Cornell Scholarship.

Jacobs has five current employees who are former Holly Cornell Scholarship recipients:

Kim Haines Ervin - 1993

Carolina Mendez - 2009

Amy Gao - 2010

Jennifer Liggett - 2014

Nora Sadik - 2015

“Winning the Holly Cornell Scholarship was a great honor and provided much appreciated funding for graduate school, but the greatest benefit was the connection to CH2M HILL that has resulted in a fun and fulfilling career in water,” said Kim Ervin, 1993 Holly Cornell Scholarship recipient and current US West Regional Solutions Lead, Water.

Article contributed by Jacobs