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Mentorship Program Now Accepting Applications

mentor program

The 2023 PNCWA mentorship program is open for applications! This program will pair mentors with protégés and provide a framework for regular mentorship meetings over a six-month period. Pairings are made based on results to this application survey. Meet someone new outside of your organization, field, or sector and grow in ways you may not have considered!

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Know a Student or Young Professional? Get Them Involved

The Student and Young Professional Committee is excited to introduce our new leadership team and share our goals for the future of our committee. Based out of Portland, Riley Murnane is serving as our new chair. Riley has lived in Oregon for the last seven years and currently works for Hazen and Sawyer. Our vice chair, Cody Sprague, is from Boise and currently works at Mountain Waterworks as an engineer. Hannah Thomascall is the new S&YP board liaison and an engineer at Spokane County.

riley murnane  cody sprague  hannah thomascall 
Riley Murnane Cody Sprague Hannah Thomascall


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Apply to Become a Mentor or Mentee By Feb. 28

mentor program

The PNCWA Mentorship Program application is now open! This one-year program pairs seasoned clean water professionals with students and young professionals for a series of conversations and learning opportunities to challenge and inspire us and to help us stay connected. It’s a great way to grow your career as well as your PNCWA network. If you’re an experienced professional interested in guiding the industry’s future leaders, or a student or young professional seeking advice from someone who has faced the same career questions, consider participating in the 2022 program.

For more information, visit our webpage.

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Students & Young Professionals Mentor Program

mentor program

The PNCWA Mentorship Program application is now open! This one-year program pairs seasoned clean water professionals with students and young professionals for a series of conversations and learning opportunities that challenge us, inspire us, and help us stay connected. It’s a great way to grow your career and your PNCWA network. If you’re an experienced professional interested in guiding the industry’s future leaders, or a student or young professional seeking advice from someone who has faced the same career questions, consider participating in 2021.

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Kristi Steiner has been selected as the WEF Outstanding YP Award winner. HUGE congrats and well deserved. Kristi has served WEF in so many ways through YP connections, PNCWA leadership, Water Leadership Institute, and the WEF-AWWA YP Summit. Please congratulate Kristi and join us digitally for the WEF Awards Ceremony during WEFTEC. 

We are also pleased to share that Brittany Burch, Isle Americas' Senior Program Manager, has been named to Water & Wastes Digest list of 2020 Young Professionals! Brittany Burch is active in the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association and takes a lot of pride in the InFLOW program — Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water — which aims to encourage more people of color and women to join the industry by engaging them through more hands-on experiences like attending the annual conference. Burch has said, “Engaging future leaders on an individual and personal level is one of the echoed sentiments of the next generation of workers, who are likely to push the digital transformation of the industry to the next level.” Check out the article and video

US Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner Hails From Washington

PNCWA is excited to announce that Zoe Gotthold, from Richland, WA, is the winner of the 2020 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), the nation’s most prestigious youth competition for water-related research. Gotthold developed prototypes of devices that promote oil flocculation at the surface and increase the efficacy of traditional oil spill remediation techniques. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SJWP had to pivot to an online-only competition for the first time. Watch Gotthold’s video explanation of her research with this link.

Students from 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico competed in the national finals during a virtual event on June 20. Gotthold won $10,000 and will represent the United States at the international competition in August.

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YP Summit 2020 Recap

The 2020 YP Summit theme was “amping up our communication game.” The way we communicate within our organizations and with our customers is just as fundamental to our daily business as any other task or strategy we perform in the water industry. Erica Haide, Senior Marketing Coordinator at Brown and Caldwell (Portland), was one of our PNCWA YP representatives at the summit. She gave us her top takeaways from the summit below.


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2019 WEFTEC: One YP’s Experience

Each year, the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) offers scholarships to Student and Young Professional (S&YP) committee members to attend the national Water and Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). As the lucky recipient of one of this year’s two scholarships, I had the opportunity to join over 20,000 water professionals gathering in Chicago for the 92nd WEFTEC, the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world.

The conference kicked off with an opening session featuring keynote speaker Dr. Lera Boroditsky, an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California-San Diego. Dr. Boroditsky spoke about how language plays a critical role in influencing our perception of the world, including the development and reinforcement of personal biases. She connected this power of language to the importance of understanding how to use communication in developing a diverse and inclusive workforce in the water industry. Dr. Boroditsky’s message was echoed in the remarks of (past) WEF president Tom Kunetz who emphasized the power of building an inclusive and diverse workforce in the world of water and wastewater.

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SYP Scholarships to Attend WEFTEC are Available

PNCWA 2019 SYP WEFTEC Scholarship application is online

Eligibility: Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered:
1. Be a Student or Young Professional member of PNCWA at the time of application.
2. Reside and work within WA, OR, or ID.
3. Cannot be a previous recipient of a SYPC WEFTEC Scholarship.
Instructions: Please complete the SurveyMonkey form no later than Aug 9, 2019, at 5:00PM Pacific Time. To ensure an unbiased evaluation process, please do not include any identifying information (your name, the name of your employer, etc.) in your application responses...we will track your application by your WEF member number! Scholarship application is at

PNCWA YPs Connect at 2019 YP Summit

At PNCWA, our mission supports the professional development of our members. The AWWA/WEF joint YP Summit provides the young professionals in our organization the opportunity to join other YPs from across the country to learn, grow, and build community. Each year the Student and Young Professional committee sponsor two member YPs to attend the YP Summit. Due to an increase in interest this year, the S&YP committee made a call for applications. Erica Haide, a marketing professional from Brown and Caldwell, and Brittany Sorenson, an engineer with BergerABAM, were selected through the application process.

Erica has been involved in the Pacific Northwest water industry since 2015. She applied to attend the YP summit because she knew it would only further her passion for the industry. “I would love to continue my leadership within the industry,” Haide explained. “The more exposure I can get with like-minded people will help me further those goals and turn them into reality.” Brittany was equally passionate but approached applying for a slightly different reason. “I got my PE a year ago and signed up as a WEF member but six months later felt like I hadn’t been a good member or taken advantage of member benefits like I had hoped,” Sorenson said.

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PNCWA Info Session & Resume Building Workshop at Portland State University

Students & Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) Resume Building Workshop Feb 11

Come join our Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) Students & Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) for a Resume Building Workshop on Monday, February 11 at Hot Lips Pizza-PSU! We will provide an introduction to PNCWA, followed by a Resume-Building 101 presentation, and we will finish with time for students to work with water industry professionals on their individual resumes. With the PSU Career Fair coming up on February 13, this is your chance to network with professionals in the water industry and get some last-minute help with your resume. Oh, and there will also be pizza!

What: PNCWA Info Session & Resume Building Workshop
Where: Hot Lips Pizza on PSU Campus (1909 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR)
When: Monday, February 11 from 4:00pm-6:00pm

2019 PNCWA Mentoring Program Announcement

Dear PNCWA Members,

We would like to invite you to participate in the 2019 PNCWA Mentoring Program. This program was developed to encourage experienced professionals (mentors) in our area to pass on their knowledge and experience to young professionals (protégés). Here’s how it works:

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PNW YP Summit Speakers Announced!

Register now for the 2018 Pacific Northwest Student and Young Professionals Summit.

We are excited to announce a phenomenal line-up of speakers covering topics on technical material and professional development as it relates to this year’s theme: Innovation.

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2018 PNW Young Professionals Summit: Date, Location and Theme Announced

Mark your calendars!

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PNCWA Sponsored Students to Compete at the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize Contest

Alex Howard (Timberline High School, Boise ID), Cheney Sung (Oregon Episcopal School, Portland OR) and Sagarika Samavedi (Interlake High School, Bellevue WA have been selected as 2018 state winners of the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the nation’s most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project.

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Call for Judges for Student Design Competition

The S&YP Committee is recruiting judges for the 2018 Student Design Competition! Three judges will be selected from the pool by March 31, 2018.  The SDC Subcommittee will select judges that represent the diverse nature of our industry.  Commitments include the review and scoring of a design notebook and team presentation feedback. 

  • Judges must be WEF-PNCWA members
  • No travel will be required.
  • The presentation will utilize an interactive web based platform and will be held on April 30, 2018
  • Participation as a judge will take approximately 10-15 hours of your time.
  • Three judges will be selected from the pool by March 31, 2018
We ask you to consider lending your expertise to this competition that provides real world experience for emerging industry professionals. Submit your name to volunteer

Student Design Competition Guidelines

It's Time for the 2018 Student Design Competition - Submit intent to enter by Feb 19

The PNCWA Student Design Competition is intended to promote “real world” design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water/wastewater engineering and sciences. This competition tasks teams of student members within PNCWA to design and present a program meeting the requirements of a problem statement that they have worked on together as a team. This competition is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, typically completing a capstone project.

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Attention All Students: The EPA Wants Your Stormwater Designs!

School is back in swing, which means it’s time for the EPA’s annual Campus RainWorks Challenge!

Each year, teams from universities around the country come up with innovative new ways to manage stormwater on their campus. The RainWorks Challenge fosters a dialogue about responsible stormwater management and showcases the environmental, economic and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.

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It's Time for the 2017 Student & Young Professional Summit!

Every year, the PNCWA Student and Young Professionals Committee invites students and young professionals (S&YPs) in the water world to gather for networking, leadership development, and industry training. This year, the summit will be November 3rd at the Brightwater Center in Woodinville, Washington with a satellite location at the Bureau of Environmental Services building in Portland, Oregon. The theme of this year's summit is "Reach Your Peak."  Register here today! 

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