Home > Wise Water Words > 2022 > Spring 2022 > Scholarships

Scholarship winners recognized

Leisen Memorial Scholarship

The Leisen Scholarships were developed in 1993 to encourage graduate and undergraduate students to choose the water industry as their field of work or study. The Nebraska Section - American Water Works Association offers four of these $1,000 scholarships every year.

Chuyang Liu

Chuyang Liu is working on completing a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL) and has focused his research on both traditional and machine learning models to predict water quality, climate change, and public health issues related to water quality and quantity. He's done work with USDA and has participated in several activities to help younger students discover an interest in the water field and engineering.

Jacob Garder

Jacob Garder is completing his master's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska - Omaha. His interests lie in mitigating water quality issues, such as nitrates and pesticides, in Nebraska's surface and groundwater. Jacob plans to continue working at an engineering consulting firm after graduating.

Madison Galusha

Madison Galusha is currently working on a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from UNL and has plans to continue her education all the way through to a Ph.D. Madison hopes to contribute to improvements in water infrastructure, sustainability, and efficiency as she pursues a career in academia and research.

Mitchell Miller

Mitchell Miller received his bachelor's in Civil Engineering from UNL this spring and is continuing on to a master's degree in environmental engineering, also from UNL. Mitchell has an interest in water treatment and plant design and hopes to use his experience to develop clean water projects that will have a positive impact on the health and safety of his community.

One AWWA Operator Scholarship

Each year the Nebraska Section AWWA offers two $1,000 One AWWA Operator Scholarships to operators to help with pursuing licenses, furthering education, or to help offset the cost of attending trainings and conferences. It also comes with a one-year membership to AWWA and covers the registration cost of the fall conference. This year we wanted to focus on veterans who are interested in obtaining operator licenses. We had many great choices in this category, it was difficult to choose just two.

Christopher McKibben

Christopher McKibben from the Village of Broadwater was our first recipient. Currently Chris works full time doing maintenance for the Village and he will use the scholarship toward obtaining his water operator's license.

Kurt Focken

Kurt Focken from the City of Randolph was our second recipient. He is also using the scholarship to obtain his operator certification for his community.

A comment on applications

This year, we decided to help offset the registration cost for the Fall Conference for a couple of operators in addition to the scholarships we offer. This is something we hope to continue in coming years and would involve reimbursement of the cost of registration after attendance. Submitting an application for a One AWWA Operator Scholarship makes you eligible for consideration. This year our recipients were Don Reves from the Village of Duncan and Lance Winters from the City of Kimball.