A recent Penn State World Campus graduate was the recipient of a scholarship given by the Water Works Operators' Association of Pennsylvania.

Julie Brooks received the David A. Long, Ph.D. Memorial Scholarship in late 2021. She graduated in December 2021 with a Master of Public Administration and works full-time as the assistant superintendent at the wastewater treatment plant for the Bellefonte Borough Authority in Centre County. 

A portrait of Julie Brooks

The scholarship was created by a former Penn State professor. Brooks received a $500 cash award and a complimentary association student membership. 

The association 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 association's 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 has worked in water and wastewater treatment operations and in a state-accredited environmental laboratory. 

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

Learn more about the Master of Public Administration offered online through Penn State World Campus.