CECorps Affiliation: Program Manager
Employment: American Water Works Association
Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Virginia; M.S. Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University
What is your role: I am AWWA’s program manager and staff engineer dedicated to the Community Engineering Corps program. I ensure members find valuable volunteer opportunities working with communities on projects that improve a common quality of life.
What part of your job are you most excited about and why? I love that my job allows me to use my engineering skills to help those that need it most. The volunteers we work with are always so enthusiastic to donate their time and expertise to help improve the lives of our community partners – it’s always humbling to work with our volunteers as we try to make an impact together.
What’s your career background: I have a somewhat varied background, but everything is strung together with the common thread of sustainable community development. After college, I pursued a master’s degree through a program that included service in the Peace Corps. I spent 3 years as a volunteer in Mali, West Africa rehabilitating groundwater wells and teaching the community about safe well treatment. When I returned to the States, I found work with a general contractor where I focused my work on implementing green building practices. In 2012, my husband and I moved to Colorado and I found a great opportunity with AWWA. Shortly after I started I began working on developing and growing the Community Engineering Corps program.
What’s the most unique/interesting/impactful project you have helped implement: When my family moved to Colorado, I spent my time between jobs volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. The first project I worked on was a house built exclusively by women. I spent 2-3 days a week hammering nails with other women and our awesome project managers – both women, one of whom was a fellow UVA alum. I learned how to (really) use power tools, lay flooring, install drywall and roofing – and at the end of it all, we’d built an entire house for a woman whose family really needed it!
What do you like to do in your free time: Anything with my family! Friday nights are family date nights. We’ll grab a bite to eat and pick an activity where my 2-year old son can run around a bit. We’re fond of the playground, of course, or taking a walk around the mall when it’s cold. We’ll often indulge in a special treat too – ice cream or cake pops are always a hit!
What’s your biggest accomplishment: In terms of professional accomplishments, I passed the Professional Engineering exam in April 2017. I’d been working toward licensure for almost 10 years and put in many extra hours hitting the books. I’m pretty proud to have earned that credential.