Scholarships Available

… providing opportunity for those pursuing higher education related to water and wastewater

WWTreeFarm.2014Many professionals working in the water and wastewater industries are members of AWWA and WEF. Many students also are members of these associations, and many colleges around the country include student chapters for AWWA and WEF.

MSAWWA is the Montana Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA is an association focused on providing opportunity and information to professionals working in the drinking water industry. Public water systems, water operators, public works staff, engineers and scientists make up the AWWA membership.

MWEA is the Montana Association, or section, of the Water Environment Federation. WEF provides opportunity and information to professionals working in the wastewater industry. The WEF membership includes professionals working on the handling and treatment of municipal and industrial wastewaters, and related fields.

MSAWWA and the MWEA jointly offer this scholarship to honor Donald G. Willems and his many years of dedicated service to the State of Montana, its environment and its people.

Donald Willems Joint Scholarship Application

It is not so much for the years of Don’s service, or his many professional accomplishments that the organizations established this scholarship, as it is the way Don did his work. In his work Don was quiet, but supportive. He was calm under pressure and in the face of conflict. He was eager to reconcile rather than polarize. Don recognized worth and ability in other people, and did not so much rule over people as work with them. He gave people chances to prove themselves, and was responsible for giving many young people in the State the career opportunity they desired.

By these means Don made it possible for people to claim their own sense of achievement. He prepared the ground so others could succeed and future generations of Montanans could be assured the environmental conditions that make for good health.

Don is honored for the seeds he planted and the benefits he brought to others. Don’s belief in the youth of Montana is carried on by awarding this scholarship to deserving college students.

General Description
MSAWWA and MWEA are equal partners in offering the Donald G. Willems Scholarship. One or two scholarships are offered annually to students whose course work leads to employment in the water and wastewater fields, which are highly diverse, including specialization in water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and collection, water resources, watershed protection, groundwater remediation, and many other subdisciplines, including for example, the study of waterborne disease.

Each award includes a scholarship of $1500 to be used toward the cost of education, such as tuition, books, and supplies. Recipients also receive a one-year student membership to either AWWA or WEF (recipient’s choice), and also paid registration and lodging for the MSAWWA/MWEA Joint Conference. The conference includes a variety of presentations on the technical details of project work, research, and regulations, as well as numerous vendor displays of equipment and products for the water/wastewater industry. A conference banquet provides opportunity to socialize with professionals from around Montana and the other northwest states.

Basic Requirements

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Montana college or university.
  • The applicants major course work must be leading them toward employment in the fields of water and/or wastewater.
  • Applicants may be enrolled in a program at any degree level (associate, bachelor’s or graduate).
  • Applicants must have at least a 2.0 G.P.A., based on a 4.0 scale.

Application Instructions
Applicants must submit the Donald G. Willems Scholarship Application Form along with supplementary information that is requested on the application. The completed application and supplementary information must be postmarked by March 15th. Instructions are provided for all entries on the application form. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Conditions of Acceptance

  • Applications will be ranked by the MSAWWA/MWEA Scholarship Committee. Candidates will be notified of the Committee’s decision in April.
  • The successful candidates must notify the Scholarship Committee within one week, indicating acceptance or rejection of the award.
  • Recipients will be asked to submit either an AWWA or WEF membership form. Membership will be paid by MSAWWA/MWEA.
  • Recipients will be invited to attend the annual conference. Registration, including meals and lodging, is paid by MSAWWA/MWEA. Transportation is paid by the student.
  • The scholarship will be awarded in the recipient’s name to the school he/she is attending in August of the year awarded. The school will use the scholarship to balance the student’s account, and will distribute any remaining funds directly to the student.

Please direct questions to Greg Lukasik at Greg is the Scholarship Committee Chair.

Past Donald G. Willems Scholarship Awardees:

  • William Walter—1988
  • Tony Reed—1989
  • Arthur Riedinger—1990
  • Barbara L. Coffman—1991
  • Rhonda Knudsen—1992
  • Mark Severson—1993
  • Denver Fraser—1994
  • Jeanine Carmody—1995
  • Christopher Veis—1996
  • Judel A. Buls—1997
  • Elsa Emilie Meiser—1997
  • Autumn F. Bahr—1998
  • Barbara A. Woodbury—1998
  • Kevin Colburn—2000
  • Brenda Jo Luse—2000
  • Elsa Meiser—2001
  • Kristin Van Andel—2001
  • Gregory D. Morgan—2002
  • Alex Barkmeyer—2003
  • Misty Hirsch—2003
  • Dan Hoffman—2004
  • Mohammad Rahman—2005
  • John Weikel—2006
  • Cameron Clark—2007
  • Shaylene Pidelaue—2008
  • Chauncey Means—2009
  • Sean Patrick Sullivan—2009
  • Jonathan Leiman—2010
  • Molly Smith—2011
  • Stephen Markwardt—2012
  • Timothy Kienitz—2012
  • Andrew Olson—2013
  • Elizabeth Adams—2014
  • Kayla Bayer—2015
  • McKenzie Joseph—2016
  • Bradley Jones (MSU)—2017
  • Emma Raeside (MSU)—2017
  • William Najjar (MSU)—2018
  • Luke Thompson (MSU)-2019
  • Abigail Northup (MSU)-2019
  • Kaely Langton (MSU)-2019
  • Tucker Bowman (MSU)-2020
  • Caleb Lockyer (MSU)-2020
  • Cameron McCarty (MSU)-2020
  • Molly Schmidt (University of Montana)-2021
  • Tasnim Ritu (MSU)-2022

The MWEA Board has set aside funds in the current operating budget for assisting Montana operators to attend continuing education/training events. We know it can be difficult to get the funding to attend much needed trainings and we want to help! See attached for the scholarship application and requirements.

MWEA Operator Scholarship Application

MWEA is an association of water environment professions who support student education and career-building efforts in the storm water and wastewater fields.  Our rivers and wetlands are healthier than they’ve been in generations, but more work is needed to protect our watersheds and community livability.  The Grants for Teachers program was established to support water science education, involvement and restoration activities by K-12 grade students in Montana who are working toward clean water education goals.

Grants for Teachers application

The creation of the One AWWA Operator Scholarship addresses the present and future workforce need for operators by providing training and educational funding. It also creates an opportunity for collaboration between the Association and Sections within The Water Equation Campaign.
AWWA’s The Water Equation Campaign and the Montana Section AWWA will award the One AWWA Operator Scholarships for water operator training and education.  (1) $1000 scholarship or (2) $500 scholarships are available based on need.
The scholarship award can be used for certification/licensure, two-year water related associate degree, technical school program, professional training program, books and manuals and operator related conferences.
Each scholarship recipient will also receive a one-year AWWA Operator membership.

One AWWA Operator Scholarship Application