The Environmental Industry Associations Women's Council has named a Piedmont student as one of three winners of the Women's Council Scholarship Program, which recognizes outstanding young scholars with an interest in solid waste and environmental industries.

Ryan Lewis, 18, is a full-time student at the UC Davis, studying biochemical engineering. He will receive $5,000 toward his studies.

He has been surrounded by engineering and science his entire life. With a mother and father who are both civil engineers in the solid waste industry, Lewis concedes that he has been "obsessed with all kinds of science from an early age."

"Mom still chuckles when she tells people she would read the specifications for construction equipment to me from the Caterpillar Performance Handbook rather than bedtime stories," he wrote in his application.

During his summers in high school he has worked on several science- and engineering-related projects, including creating mobile environmental apps and improving street networks.

While at Davis, Lewis wrote that he hopes to "help society transform the environment around (him) in a positive, meaningful and more sustainable way" through bio-remediation -- a cutting-edge waste management landfill technology.


Advertisement

"Our scholarship candidates' qualifications get better and better every year, which makes the selection process challenging, but even more rewarding for the committee," said Jeanie Dubinski of Waste Pro USA and EIA Women's Council president. "We were impressed with the diversity of the applicants -- they really explore all the facets of environmentalism. What an honor and pleasure for the Women's Council to invest in our industry's future with such fine individuals."

"These students aspire to careers serving the environment and we want to help them succeed. We see a brighter future for our industry every year as we evaluate applications," said Mary Margaret Cowhey, of Land & Lakes Company and EIA Women's Council Scholarship chair. "Whether they are full-time students or going to night school, we salute these scholars. When they advance, all of us in the solid waste industry advance. That's what the Women's Council is all about."

The EIA Women's Council established its annual scholarship program to assist qualified individuals in their pursuit of an education that will lead to productive careers in the environmental industry.

All EIA member employees and their dependents are eligible to apply.

The Environmental Industry Associations is the trade association that represents the private sector solid waste and recycling services industry through its two sub-associations, the National Solid Wastes Management Association and the Waste Equipment Technology Association.

-- Thom Metzger, Environmental Industry Associations