Grad student receives scholarship from Water Works Operators’ Association of PA

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Julie Brooks, a Master of Public Administration student in the School of Public Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg, received the David A. Long, Ph.D. Memorial Scholarship from Water Works Operators’ Association of Pennsylvania (WWOAP).  

The scholarship, created by a former Penn State professor, included a $500 cash award and complimentary WWOAP student membership. 

The WWOAP is a nonprofit group dedicated to increasing knowledge and expertise of those working at all levels and in all sectors of Pennsylvania’s water supply industry. Their goal is to help strengthen and promote the water service industry. 

The scholarship was awarded at the WWOAP conference awards luncheon in October 2021 in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. 

To qualify for the scholarship, Brooks had to submit a personal essay, a recommendation from a professor, and a one-page résumé, and have a preferred major related to the water industry with a focus on water industry education and advancement. 

“As part of the requirements, they do like to see candidates that are involved in water,” Brooks said. “I’ve always had an interest in the education of the water treatment industry and the public on water and environmental issues.” 

Brooks got her undergraduate degree in environmental biology from Millersville University. For many years, she has worked in water and wastewater treatment operations and in a state-accredited environmental laboratory. 

Currently, Brooks works full-time as the assistant superintendent at the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the Borough of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, while also working on her master’s degree in public administration through Penn State World Campus.

“I would like to grow where I am with Bellefonte Borough. I am looking to always move up and be a great asset, wherever I end up,” Brooks said. 

While working full-time, she was also able to complete her certificate in public budget and finance. She hopes these accomplishments will lead to a leadership role in the water and wastewater industry after her graduation in December. 

“It has been a really good experience,” Brooks said. “It’s been very easy to maintain that [workload] while working full-time.” 

Brooks attributes her success to the mix of individual and group assignments while working in a flexible, remote environment. 

Other Penn State Campus students are greatly in need of scholarships. Consider how you can help.