WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Brown and Caldwell, a leading environmental engineering and construction firm, today announced the recipients of its 2019 scholarships awards. The firm annually provides monetary grants to promising full-time students under several award programs, this year handing $30,000 to five exceptional students*.

In partnership with the American Water Works Association, the Dave Caldwell Scholarship recognizes aspiring young people that have the potential to make a big impact on our industry, just like BC co-founder Dave Caldwell did. The scholarship awards $5,000 to a female and/or minority graduate student with demonstrated leadership ability in applied research and consulting in the drinking water field. This year’s honoree is Alex Polasko, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has ambitious plans to employ microbial cultures to bioremediate contaminated groundwater.

Brown and Caldwell also continued its legacy of offering the Dr. W. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. Scholarship, established to honor Dr. Eckenfelder and his more than 50 years of pioneering work in the environmental profession. Each year, this $5,000 scholarship is awarded to students pursuing education and a career within the environmental industry. The recipient for 2019 is Kaleb Smith, a stormwater engineering undergraduate from the University of Washington. Kaleb has spent time working on a drinking water project in Honduras, volunteering with NPH International. He plans to pursue his master’s degree at the University of Michigan’s Environmental Engineering program.

Through its Minority Scholarship Program, Brown and Caldwell provides time and monetary commitment to invest in scholarships, internships, and mentoring for full-time minority college students at the junior, senior, or graduate level majoring in environmental engineering or one of the environmental sciences. Each scholarship winner receives $5,000, and this year’s recipient is Tyler Oshiro, a graduate from the University of Washington (UW), who has served as president, liaison, and treasurer of the American Water Resources Association UW Chapter. Tyler has also interned at the firm’s Honolulu office and plans to pursue his master’s in environmental engineering at Stanford this fall.

Brown and Caldwell has revamped its scholarship program to further support diversity in the industry through the creation of the LGBTQ and Women in Leadership Scholarships. Each winner receives $5,000, and this year’s recipients are:

  • Samantha McVety, a senior at the University of Southern California, is devoted to increasing safe access to water. Through an internship with the firm, Samantha cemented her passion for environmental engineering and seeks an academic career in the nexus of membrane technology and universal water access.
  • Katherine Dodge, a civil and environmental student at the University of Florida (UF), has already opened her own business. Her diverse background includes volunteering with the UF chapter of Engineers Without Borders in Nepal.

Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee of Brown and Caldwell professionals based on their academic accomplishments. The awards are open to full-time college students enrolled in their junior or senior years or graduate programs.

For details on eligibility, visit:

*Pictured, from left: Alex Polasko, Samantha McVety, Kaleb Smith, Katherine Dodge, and Tyler Oshiro

Media contact

Cameron McWilliam | 303.968.2055 |